The #Bookvent Calendar 2020 – Day 11

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#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2020

My day eleven #bookvent pick is the second book in a series that has made quite an impression on me. Rich in beautiful imagery, full of brilliant and diverse characters and a story full of mystery and suspense, this book really has it all. And it made me feel very, very hungry. It’s not often I walk away from a book craving food but this one left me with an overwhelming desire to make Tacos. Part murder mystery, part story of family, I found myself completely lost in the Gaspé peninsula once again and loved it. My eleventh selection is …

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The Coral Bride by Roxanne Bouchard

When an abandoned lobster trawler is found adrift off the coast of Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula, DS Joaquin Moralès begins a straightforward search for the boat’s missing captain, Angel Roberts – a rare female in a male-dominated world. But Moralès finds himself blocked at every turn – by his police colleagues, by fisheries bureaucrats, and by his grown-up son, who has turned up at his door with a host of his own personal problems.

When Angel’s body is finally discovered, it’s clear something very sinister is afoot, and Moralès and son are pulled into murky, dangerous waters, where old resentments run deep.

Exquisitely written, with Bouchard’s trademark lyrical prose, The Coral Bride evokes the power of the sea on the communities who depend on it, the never-ending struggle between the generations, and an extraordinary mystery at the heart of both.

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I love reading stories from around the world, learning more about different cultures and travelling, on a literary basis, to place I will probably never get the chance to see in person. The better the writer, and in this case translator, the easier it is to picture the scene, to place yourself in the heart of that new and distant landscape, and Roxanne Bouchard is definitely one of the best when it comes to recreating the landscape in which her books are set. There is a clear love for the sea that shines through in the stories, both of which have. been set against a backdrop of sailors and fishermen, and a lyrical quality to the writing which makes the story wax and wane. This is a mystery, a story of a missing woman who may, or may not, have been murdered and it is up to Detective Moralès to get to the truth. Partnered with some very interesting characters and faced with a community who are both close and yet strangely divided. As much as we learn of the victim and her extended family and the feuds that have rippled through it for years, we also get to learn more about Moralès and his family as his son, Sébastien joins his father to get away from his own complicated life. This, and some of the flamboyant and colourful characters who inhabit their worlds, adds a layer of humour to the book, and a story steeped in tragedy. Full of poignant moments, memorable scenes and building tension, it is a story of family, of passion and of resentment. Emotive and tragically beautiful, this is a definite recommended read.

You can read my full review here.

Happy #bookvent reading all

Jen

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