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Daughters search for truth in ‘Silver Boat’

Their grandmother always thought their dad was a useless man, living on the dreams of something unattainable. But he always swore he would prove the truth to her, and left for Ireland to do so.

Now, years later, his three daughters, Dar, Delia and Rory, have reunited to sort out their McCarthy family home on Martha’s Vineyard before it is sold to pay estate taxes. None of the three women has gotten over their father’s leaving when they were young, but it affected oldest sister Dar the most. She has created a series of very successful graphic novels about a water spirit named Dulse to deal with her feelings, but she still has doubts over her mother’s insistence that her father just up and left them.

As they go through the family’s belongings, clues found in a packet of old letters lead the sisters to believe that their father might have been on a mission to prove that the land their home sits is actually an ancient land grant given to one of their ancestors by the English King. This discovery sends them on a trip to Ireland to hopefully find answers and perhaps what happened to their long-lost father.

In Ireland, a vision of a ghostly silver-white boat, much like the one her father left on, leads Dar to the answers that she seeks about her dad and the family’s homelands.

In addition to dealing with the possible loss of the only home they’ve known, each is dealing with life-changing problems. Dar, a recovering alcoholic, is avoiding any kind of traditional commitment with her long-term lover and best friend, Andy Mayhew. Middle sister Rory obsesses over a cheating husband she has not quite been able to cut loose. Delia, the youngest, fears the worst for herself, her marriage and her son, Pete, as he struggles with the anguish of meth addiction.

“The Silver Boat” by Luanne Rice is a rich tapestry of a story that encompasses the lives of the three sisters, the men who love them, and their families. With a bit of romance, a bit of mystery and a whole lot of wonderful storytelling, this book will resonate with readers long after the last page. I hope Rice will continue the story of the McCarthy family in the future.

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