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Jeanette Baker is the award-winning author of seventeen novels, most of them set in the lush countryside of historical and contemporary Ireland where she lives and writes during the summer months. Her ancestors, the O'Flahertys, hail from Inishmore the largest of the Aran Islands located off the coast of Galway. She takes great pride in the prayer posted by the English over the ancient city gates, 'From the wrath of the O'Flahertys, may the good Lord deliver us.'
Jeanette graduated from the University of California at Irvine and holds a Masters Degree in Education. For the remainder of the year, Jeanette teaches in Southern California and enjoys the company of her grown children. She is the Rita award-winning author of NELL.
Having grown up in Maryland and on the Chesapeake Bay, I am always thrilled to find a story based on that locale. Chesapeake Tides was a good story, but my enjoyment was undermined by the outrageous number of editorial errors. At least three times, the heroine, Libba Delacourt, is called Libba Hennessey. The locale of Marshyhope Creek is confused - at one point it is on the western shore of the bay, later on the eastern. Libba's route home follows Kent Island to Annapolis Island - Annapolis is not an island. (This indicates an east to west route, adding to the confusion over the location of Marshyhope Creek.) The book says the migrant workers "shuck" the peach orchard. Oysters are shucked - not peaches. Many references are made to shrimp trawlers - on the Chesapeake Bay? A truckload of oranges (?) is also spotted. Soft crabs are NOT sold by the pound. It is very unusual to spot brown pelicans on the bay, except in the extreme south where the bay meets the ocean. When a trot line is run out to catch crabs, a net will not subsequently be hauled in. Libba took a ferry on her trip to Marshyhope Creek, but Eric took the bridge. And the plight of the migrant farmers is not as dire as recorded in the story - the state has rules and regulations regarding facilities provided to migrant workers, and many happy, educated migrant workers will return year after year to work the same fields of benevolent farmers. Fiction is fiction, but fact is fact. The Chesapeake Bay is a beautiful, fragile environment that needs to be protected.
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Almost two decades have passed but Elizabeth Delacourte realizes that marrying Eric was a mistake and she ended their relationship. Pride has kept her in Southern California rather than returning to her family in Marycreek, Maryland as she only heard from her daddy perhaps a dozen times since she left home and never from her momma because they thought Eric was not good enough for her. Her daddy informs Libba Jane that her beloved mother suffered a stroke and needs her to come home. Daddy shakes her further when he apologizes for driving her away. Libba Jane accompanied by her recalcitrant sixteen year old daughter Chloe comes home. Russ Hennessy also comes home to take over the family fishing business. He never forgot the starfish he let get away when his beloved Libba Jane left with the actor for the coast. Now he has a second chance, but the obstacles are great as Libba Jane is reluctant to get into any relationship while mending the fences with her family and struggling with a daughter who wants to go "home" to California. Besides which he has his own problems as someone is poisoning the waters. CHESAPEAKE TIDE is an exciting romantic suspense that is at its best when the theme is a character study. Libba Jane, her parents, her daughter and the man she loves struggle with forming endearing lasting relationships in spite of love flowing between everyone as pride hampers communication. Though the environmental mess adds suspense, this subplot also takes time away from a terrific family drama starring individuals trying, not easily, to simply talk about their feelings for one another. Harriet Klausner
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