This is a beach read, a rainy day book, something for fun-you won't get anything new here, but you won't necessarily be bored either.
Birdie Burke rules her family and their island-Heart Island-with an iron fist. A cold, unforgiving woman she also possesses a remarkable strength, that I couldn't help but admire, even though author, Lisa Unger, seems to want the reader to dislike her. Birdie has gumption, as my dad would say. She has a spark. Her daughter Kate, is a happily married mom that just published her first book. Birdie summons Kate to the island for the annual visit, and through a series of events Kate ends up heading up with her daughter Chelsea and Lulu, Chelsea's best friend, leaving husband, Sean and their son to follow the next day. On the other side of town, is Emily. A tired, young woman that has all but given up on her own dreams.
Unger gives away the link between the three women about 200 pages into the book, and as soon as she does you can pretty much read the writing on the wall. You know what's going to happen, and though there are a few twists and turns, the book is pretty predictable.
That doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it, but I wouldn't necessarily call this a thriller, nor was it shattering in any way. (as the back of the book implies) It was a tangled family drama-a hard matriarch, her strong, but silent daughter, and the young woman that barrels into their lives on the back of a nightmare. Though there is some violence, it takes second place to the drama that unfolds within Birdie and Kate.
You won't get anything new here, but Unger does a find job with the characters. The isolation of Heart Island gives the book a rather ominous undertone, but not enough that I would classify this as a thriller.
If you have some time this summer, pick this up, but I wouldn't move it to the top of my list.