cover image Silver Bay

Silver Bay

Jojo Moyes. Penguin, $16 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-14-312648-5

For most of her 76 years, Kathleen Whittier Mostyn has run the only hotel in the sleepy town of Silver Bay, on the east coast of Australia. In recent years, the town’s visitors have mostly been whale-watchers who charter boats to see humpbacks and dolphins during migration season. One such boat is captained by Kathleen’s niece, Liza McCullen, who emigrated from England six years ago with her young daughter, Hannah. When London-based real estate developer Mike Dormer arrives in town to scout a location for a new resort, he’s immediately taken with the area—and with Liza and Hannah. But it’s soon clear that development would have severe consequences on the annual visit of the whales and dolphins, and Mike is suddenly moved to save the bay. He needs Liza to help raise awareness back in England, even though the trip there would force Liza to confront the tragic past that drove her to Australia. Moyes brings polished prose and well-rounded characters to a setting with abundant appeal. Unfortunately, she doesn’t quite infuse new life into the well used plot device of small business versus developers, and Liza’s secret is unveiled without any particular regard for timing, which causes it to land with minimal effect. [em](Aug.) [/em]