Voices on the Waves: A Review
Sunday, May 08, 2011
The last three weeks have been incredibly busy, so my readings have been put off a bit longer than I wanted. But today, sippin' on a nice glass of sweet tea, I finished reading Jessica Chambers' Voices on the Waves. It's the perfect story for a lazy afternoon!
I've always been fond of any narrative that uses a seaside home as its setting, particularly those set in the U.K., and I like having access to the minds of different characters when they are each given a voice. It's certainly a difficult thing to accomplish, and I admire authors who can do it well.
Voice on the Waves: My 100 Word Summary
Faye Wakefield is the owner and operator of Trewhella, a beautifully restored vacation farmhouse set high on the cliffs of the Cornwall coast. She loves playing hostess, meeting new people, and learning about their lives, but Faye is harboring a secret of her own...
She decides to hold a competition, a drawing of entries for nine vastly different personalities to come and stay for two weeks at Trewhella: a brooding Irishman, a wealthy, arrogant womanizer, a vivacious and beautiful young flirt, among others. And when their lives converge on Faye's lovely homestead, it makes for an interesting, and sometimes heart-wrenching, series of events.
Voice on the Waves: What I Think
I am a sucker for secrets, let me just say that now. And when those secrets come to life in an old house on the coast of somewhere beautiful, I'm sold. Chambers created a lovely cast of characters, my favorites being the young Leah with her gentle, hesitant spirit, and Karenza, an independent beauty with a flair for being obnoxiously honest.
But I struggled to really become attached to the characters, and the story as a whole, most likely because I felt that the author hurried through the first fifty pages or so of the story. Of course, there is great difficulty in trying to capture the reader's attention while still realistically laying the groundwork for nine vastly different people, who have never met, to spend two weeks together on holiday. I could eventually see how each character connected with the other, whether it was Anjum's need for friendship with Will, or Patrick's heart-wrenching emotional tie to Leah, but I would have liked to become more invested in them in the beginning. I would have liked to have had my curiosity about them as individuals be what urged me to turn the page, rather than my curiosity about how Chambers would relate them to one another so that the story made sense.
In light of these misgivings, I did enjoy Voices, especially after dealing with a hectic past few weeks. I think many readers will like this story because it gives them a chance to see what a little time away from the hustle-and-bustle of life can do for the self. Chambers is obviously a skilled writer, with a penchant for romantic descriptions of nature, and I found myself wishing that I, too, had won a two-week vacation to Cornwall. The sea, the quiet...the biscuits, the tea! I may very well belong in England, my friends...
Until next time,