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The Bay at Midnight by Diane Chamberlain

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An interesting and engaging read about how the events of one summer haunt a family. The story is told through 3 first person narratives and this is effective in conveying the plot and the emotions each person feels. The book also uses reminiscences to the past to show how events unfolded and the lives changed.

Julie has lived with a feeling of desperate guilt since her sister Izzy was murdered in 1962 and the book centres on why she should feel like this. It looks at how she has changed personality from outgoing to anxious and how this has affected the relationship with her own daughter who is now the age Izzy was when she was killed. Julie’s sister Lucy is the next character we meet through the first person and she has also changed considerably from her younger self. Finally we see through Maria’s eyes at how even further back in the history of the characters was the beginning of the tragedy.

Some of the characters were quite stereotypical but I really like the grandmother Maria and was delighted when her first piece of narrative turned up. It also provided greater depth to the events of 1962 and I began to have some clues about the potential explanations for certain behaviours and relationships.

The writing style was good and the narratives were personal so the book overall was very enjoyable.

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