Whatcha reading? Returning to Shore by Corinne Demas

Demas's previous book, Everything I Was, featured a nearly lone main character, Irene, who finds an alternate, voluminous, all-encompassing new family up the road when her own family doesn’t seem to have much interest in her. I felt deeply for her. Here, too, the main character, Clare, finds herself shunted off so that her thrice-married mother can go on her honeymoon for three weeks. That her destination is her father’s ancestral cottage, where she has neither been nor set eyes on him in a decade, only heightens her initial misery and sense of abandonment.

My favorite parts of the book so far, hands down, are the setting and the cover. “Blackfish Island” on Cape Cod sounds like somewhere I would like to move—immediately, if possible. Demas evokes the sights and sounds and smells beautifully. Clare’s father’s quest to preserve the habitat of the native terrapin turtles holds a place in my heart and makes quick inroads into Clare’s as well. Clare herself, she embodies the teenage, only-child quandary, knowing too much and too little about most things. As for the cover, rarely does one tell nearly the whole story right there and yet draw you into the story at the same time. The front matter’s layout, dark and mysterious, enthralled me as well. Clare’s story, while small, has large ripples, just as does the turtles’ place in the evolutionary march and the food chain. I hope the best for her, and for them, as they make their way.

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