Sunday, August 13, 2006
Susan Meissner's A Seahorse in the Thames ~ Reviewed
A Seahorse in the Thames
By Susan Meissner
Published by Harvest House
Alexa Poole was to spend her week off from work quietly recuperating from minor surgery. But when carpenter Stephen Moran falls into her life—or rather off her roof—the unexpected happens. His sweet, gentle disposition proves more than she can resist and now she's falling in love with him.
And then the news comes that Alexa's older sister, Rebecca, has vanished from the Falkman Residential Center where she has lived for the past 17 years, since an auto accident left her mentally compromised. Alexa, fearing the worst, calls her twin sister in England and Priscilla agrees to come home despite a strained separation from her family—not to find Rebecca but to deliver some startling news.
As Alexa begins the search for Rebecca, disturbing questions surface. Why did the car that Rebecca was riding in swerve off the road, killing her college friend, Leanne McNeil? And what about the mysterious check for $50,000 found in Rebecca's room and signed by her friend's father, Gavin McNeil?
And can Alexa, in love for the first time, embrace the news about Stephen's future with courage?
This is a fast moving story, thoroughly entertaining and mesmerizing. I read it in one sitting, stopping only long enough to make dinner. Not your typical love story, Susan Meissner sweeps her readers away on a journey, beginning with the first paragraph: "Stephen's wounded body lies just inches from me ... I look at him lying there, an injured man I barely know, and all I can think is, 'So this is what it is like to fall in love'."
It's a saga of coping and broken relationships, and not once did I think, "No way." The coping mechanisms for the members of this family were all different and not contrived at all. Alexa, who wants to be needed, coped by doing, Priscilla by running away and their mother by breeding pugs and ignoring the problem.
Meissner's unconstrained writing style turned off my "inner editor" from page one until I closed the book. I found the ending just right. Satisfying but fitting, she avoids tying it all up in a neat little bow of predictability. I enjoyed A Seahorse in the Thames so much I ordered another of Meissner's books which I will begin tonight.
A Seahorse in the Thames receives this reviewer's high recommendation for a great read.
Reviewed by Ane Mulligan