Luanne Rice makes everything right when things go wrong. A gentle storyteller who uses a calm and sensible approach to her characters problems. Nothing is impossible to overcome if you view it from all perspectives. Lovely novel that gives you the feeling that you are in New England. I usually read murder mysteries but Luanne Rice books are some of my favorites.
I have been hearing people rave about Luanne Rice's books for some time now, so I thought I would give this book a try. I found the premise of the story very interesting. Two families brought together by tragedy, who go their separate ways, and are drawn back together thirty years later. The Renwick family is well drawn. The emotionally uninvolved Augusta Renwick, matriarch to the three Renwick girls, Caroline, cool and sophisticated, Clea the happily married earth mother and Skye the alcoholic mess. The problems stem from the overwhelming tragedies that seem to permeate the entire storyline. From the opening chapter scene of impending murder, to the accidental death of a young man caused by a young girl, the doom and gloom dragged the tone of the whole book down. The formulistic love story between Caroline and Joe was very predictable. What does save the book is the chemistry of the three sisters, whose story is heart warming, and believable. We all want to believe that love and loyalty can be the answer to a lot of unhappiness, and in this particular instance that is true. I have one other Luanne Rice book on my never ending To Be Read pile, so I will give this author one more try at winning my loyalty.
Luanne Rice is a fine writer. Her stories offer plots and characters that are enthralling portrayals of contemporary (if sometimes fraught) family life. Firefly Beach is the story of three sisters coping (or not) with emotional betrayal on various levels by their famous but dead painter father. Rice is such a good writer, in fact, that I hold her to a higher standard than other authors. That is why this rates only 4 stars in my book. There are at least two terrific and terrifying scenes where you just can't imagine what the outcome is going to be, but overall the character treatment and incidents are predictable and superficial compared to her better novels (Cloud Nine is my favorite). And while the hero in Firefly Beach is convincingly angsty, his transformation from antagonist to love interest is not developed enough to be totally satisfying. Also, I was disappointed about the inaccuracies in the underwater diving/salvaging scenes. She adequately conveys the ambience but the discrepancies in the details will annoy readers who have any diving experience.