Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes
First published in Great Britain in 2007 by Hodder & Stoughton
Synopsis from my paperback edition
"Liza McCullen will never escape her past.
But the unspoilt beaches and tight-knit community of Silver Bay offer the freedom and safety she craves - if not for herself, then for her young daughter, Hannah.
Until Mike Dormer arrives as a guest in her aunt's hotel, and the peace of Silver Bay is shattered. The mild-mannered Englishman with his too-smart clothes and disturbing gaze could destroy everything Liza has worked so hard to protect: not only the family business and the bay that harbours her beloved whales, but also her conviction that she will never love - never deserve to love - again."
Being the ninth book of Jojo Moyes that I’ve read, I have to say that I pretty much already knew what my reading-experience would be like before I even opened Silver Bay. I already knew that the story would touch me, that the characters would make me laugh as well as cry, and that I would fall in love with the style in which the book was written.
What I didn’t expect, though, was to be impressed by and somehow proud of the actions of fictional characters in such a way. After all, it is just a story of fiction, ‘just another romance novel’ as some people might say. And yet, there was something about Silver Bay and all of its characters and storylines which differed from most other romance novels – at least in my opinion.
Not only does the main story of the book follow the lives of the Australian and British characters and their emotional journeys, it also highlights some of the ways in which human beings affect the lives of certain animals. It shows that we have responsibilities towards those creatures and that we shouldn’t ignore all the ways in which our actions might harm them or their homes, their territories.
I thought it was fascinating and engrossing to see how some of the characters had to learn to see things differently in order to understand probably one of the main responsibilities we have towards animals – keeping them safe from harm and respecting their natural habitats – while others already knew of its importance. Even as a reader you might learn something new about the lives and the characters of certain animals, or more precisely of whales and dolphins while reading this book. That is, if you don’t already know many things about them, just like eleven-year-old Hannah, one of the main characters – and probably my favourite character – of Silver Bay.
So, if you’re looking for a book about love and emotional journeys, about friendships and – at times funny – differences between people from two countries, two continents even, but you also love to read stories about animals, I would definitely recommend Moyes’ Silver Bay to you. Although the main focus stays on love and romance, there are some many other fascinating and great things to this story that it would simply be impossible for me not to recommend this book.