The Shore explicitly exposes a third-world culture so ignored by modern society it will surprise most that it exists in the United States. The author provides raw insight into an impaired society that resides on the gorgeous islands of the Chesapeake Bay.
Murder, rape, domestic abuse, poverty, addiction, and birth defects haunt the inhabitants of the marsh and despite the hellacious fear, the indoctrination is so deep that most never leave and those that do, inevitably return.
Often times, fiction is more or less a look at the cultural anthropology of a given group, defined by a geographical perimeter or any of an infinite number of defining criteria. In fact, all literature real or imagined at some point converges with anthropology.
Generally, this idea is not at the forefront of a given novel, unless, the refining differences deviate so far from the norm that the vast cultural difference, with or without the author’s intention, becomes the focus. In fact, an author deeply embedded in a particular culture may not realize where the reader’s fascination will abide.
Moreover, as more and more truth publishes as fiction, the idea becomes more pertinent in conversations inspired by literary works. It would be hard to imagine a novel where culture was more prevalent than it is in The Shore.
Although shocking to read, without a doubt this story’s profile of this region’s inhabitants epitomize many pockets in rural regions of the United States. Like the marshy islands in the novel, for the most part, even nowadays with the sprinkling of wealth near the poverty stricken, these areas are lawless and lack modernization that most of us take for granted.
A young author, Sara Taylor provides her readers with an intimate and graphic narrative of short personal stories from the region. Interconnected through birth and geography, their stories cover generations of heart wrenching drama and loss.
Sara Taylor’s delivery is flawless with flowing detail and in spite of a trend that discourages authors from presenting regional and cultural dialect; she does it with an effectiveness that could not otherwise carry the message.
Powerful- this is not a book for the faint of heart. Prepare to be changed by this passionate story.
Published by Penguin Random House, The Shore is available in hardcover, eBook, and audio at Amazon and Audible as well as other book retailers.
|Review by Sammy Sutton|