Also by this author: The Prodigal
Published by Ragbagger Press on November 25, 2014
Genres/Lists: #30Authors, Fiction
Read synopsis on Goodreads
I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours.
Buy the book: Amazon/Audible (this post includes affiliate links)
You might not know who Michael Hurley is, but you should. When I heard that TLC Book Tours was hosting him, I greedily emailed and asked to be a part of his tour because his first book was wonderful and he really outdid himself with his second. The Vineyard is a tale both hopeful and tragic, with an ending that will leave you lost in thought for days after you finished it.
The short summary of the book is that three college friends reunite on Martha’s Vineyard for the summer, each battling her own demons and needing something to believe in. Charlotte is desperate following the death of her daughter, Turner is free-spirited and running away from something, and Dory is the wealthy, trust fund baby who is trying to find her place in the world. As they come together and delicately circle each other’s private turmoils, they each have their life forever altered by the existence of the fisherman, a prophetic man who knows things no one could know and helps those in need in mysterious ways.
For Turner, the fisherman is someone she can’t explain and is therefore creepy, but for Charlotte and Dory he’s somewhat of a lifesaver and so they forgive his transgressions. If you think I”m using a lot of religious words, that’s because the book has a large undercurrent of religion running through it, at times serving as a catalyst for a particular event. I must confess, I’m not very religious, but I was raised Catholic by New England’ers, so I appreciate and understand the complexity of the story, as well as the skepticism often accompanied by the presence of a miracle. Unlike many books that have religion as a central point of the story, The Vineyard isn’t preachy nor condemning (there’s actually quite a few sexy scenes). People have doubts but aren’t disbelievers, priests aren’t perfect, and faith can’t fix everything but is still a central tenant to one’s livelihood. Hurley’s ability to balance faith and skepticism is perfect and non-believers won’t feel at all preached to while strong believers won’t feel chastised.
Beyond religion, however, The Vineyard is about friendship, finding one’s place in the world, and overcoming grief. It’s about the ties that bind and finding out what it takes to break them. It’s about obligation, familial expectations, and getting up after falling down. Lastly, it’s about believing in something bigger than yourself and realizing that you can’t control everything and that maybe, just maybe, there’s something bigger out there. I highly recommend it.