Monday, August 09, 2010

THE OUTER BANKS HOUSE by Diann Ducharme


I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.

I was intrigued by the subject matter of THE OUTER BANKS HOUSE.  I haven't found many books that focus on the Reconstruction era immediately following the Civil War.  In this book, 17-year-old Abigail Sinclair, the daughter of a (former) slave-owning plantation owner, joins her family at the Outer Banks for a summer vacation at their new beach house.  Reeling from the loss of her beloved uncle during the war and waiting on an imminent proposal from well-to-do doctor's son Hector Newman, Abigail looks at her summer as the chance to escape and explore.  After her father forces her to tutor local guide Benjamin Whimble, Abigail finds herself falling for him as she begins to re-examine all the truths about slavery, the South and her family that she has previously held.

On the one hand, I really appreciate the setting and the time period that Ducharme present in the book. The story provided an interesting look into how former slave-owning families dealt with the changes that occurred after the Civil War. Ducharme does a very good job capturing the effects of the chances on a variety of individuals. However, the book utimately didn't work for me because the story was cliched and boring.  There were no real surprised here and the characters were fairly one-dimensional with the exception of Abby.  I found the sex scenes especially silly and somewhat unbelievable. Ducharme has come up with a good character in the form of Abby but she isn't enough to carry the book on her own.

BOTTOM LINE: Not recommended.  In spite of the excellent setting and a good story idea, the book just didn't work. It felt hackneyed and I was disappointed with its lack of depth.


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1 comment:

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