Family Trees

Kerstin March. Kensington, $15 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-61773-524-0
March's debut novel visits the charming, idyllic town of Bayfield, Wisc., nestled on the shore of Lake Superior. Three years after the tragic sailing accident that claimed the life of her childhood sweetheart, Shelby Meyers has put her entire life on hold. She claims to be perfectly content to stay in Bayfield, working in her grandparents' apple orchard, with no thoughts of career, dating, or exploring the wider world. When Ryan Chambers, heir to one of the country's largest media empires, comes to Bayfield on a kayaking trip, he's immediately drawn to Shelby, and to the town itself. He decides to leave the family business to temporarily settle in Bayfield and pursue his passion for art. The two fall in love, despite their differences and Shelby's hesitance. But when Shelby's estranged mother rolls into town after a long absence, old wounds are reopened, and Shelby's inability to let go of the past becomes a stumbling block again. While March's setting is lovingly drawn—the lake itself may well be the most memorable character in the story—the plot's peaks and valleys are fairly pedestrian, and the characters have an oddly cavalier attitude toward Lake Superior's dangers, even after multiple brushes with death and the inevitable tragic climax. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/04/2015
Release date: 05/26/2015
Genre: Fiction
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