Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Bay of Shadows” as Want to Read:
The Bay of Shadows
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book

The Bay of Shadows

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  752 ratings  ·  65 reviews
How far would you go for love?

In a rambling house in a small Australian beach town, Elena Jameson is recovering from her recent divorce. To her delight, she is given the opportunity to foster a little boy, Daniel, whose mother is dead and whose violent father is in rehab. As Elena and Daniel explore the beautiful bay and wild bushland, they form a profound bond that will c
ebook, 226 pages
Published December 5th 2016 by Samantha Wood
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Bay of Shadows, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Bay of Shadows

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  752 ratings  ·  65 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Bay of Shadows
When Elena Jameson was granted the opportunity to foster six year old Tyson, she was thrilled. Her recent divorce had left her fragile – caring for this little boy would be therapy for them both. Learning that the name Tyson made the boy shudder with apprehension, Elena started calling him Daniel – his second name – which suited them both. Daniel had lost his mother to death and his father was a cruel, vindictive and abusive man, currently locked away. Elena chose not to think about the future a ...more
 Li'l Owl
The Bay of Shadows by Australian author Samantha Woods brings a powerful rollercoaster of emotions!

Samantha's descriptions of the scenery and landscape is refreshing and beautifully done. I could easily envision myself right there on the beach, watching the pelicans and seagulls as the sun sets below the water.

Just as the peaceful serenity of the bay starts to settle in, the once peaceful butterflies are suddenly startled, taking flight in my chest and stomach and I begin to feel a nervous, el
gwen graves
Interesting story

I liked the story and the characters were very good, but the one thing that bothered me was the mythical character and to me it had no place in the story
Sep 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Well, if thrillers are meant to be lovely (or cute or quaint), this was it. Mind you, those are not the descriptive adjectives I look for in a thriller (usually quite the opposite), but every so often exceptions are made, particular for freebies. Likeability sometimes goes a long way to elevate an otherwise average story and that's pretty much the case here. Just a ton of immensely likeable characters and a cute kid to boot in what turns out to be a pretty mild suspense thriller about a foster p ...more
I wanted to like this book based on the premise, but I was not impressed with either the prose or the characters. The scenes would sometimes switch with no break in the text, so one line Elena was in her car, and the next she would be in the house and it'd be hours later. Also, there were some weird inconsistencies, such as Daniel's favorite meal being spaghetti w/ garlic and basil towards the beginning, but at the end it's roast chicken w/ potatoes and vegetables, seemingly for no reason. It's ...more
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, read-2017, australian
I love the Aussie setting in this page-turning psychological thriller. My emotions were high as the fate of an innocent child was at stake. A solid debut - I look forward to reading more from Samantha.

I reviewed a complimentary copy.
The Mustache Louie Matos
The Bay of Shadows is the debut novel for Samantha Wood. Elena Jameson is a divorced woman who has begun fostering a child named Tyson. He doesn’t respond well to the name, so she begins to call him Daniel (his middle name). With that slight touch she begins to unravel some of the horrific circumstances that the boy has survived, not the least of which is an incarcerated father that wants his son back, not because he cares for his son, but because he wants to win. Somehow, to the father, the acq ...more
Apr 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books
I feel very torn over this book. It had some really good elements, but it ended up feeling like a mishmash of too many genres. There was some suspense, some thriller, some romance, and then a totally inexplicable bit of supernatural that made no sense and caused the ending to be a hash for me.

I did find reading about another country's version of CPS very interesting. I thought it was odd that the father getting out of prison apparently meant that the child was supposed to go straight back to hi
Adriana Rodriguez
Apr 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read The Bay of Shadow in 5 hours, in one sitting at my kitchen dinning room table. After reading the first chapter, I was instantly engaged by the deeply emotive and descriptive style and instantly became emotionally invested in the characters. While the central theme revolves around the relationship between a foster mum and child, an impressive array of other themes were interwoven seamlessly throughout the story: suspense, romance, sex, violence, death, mortality, emotional intelligence, di ...more
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read

I could not put it down until I finished reading the whole thing. I loved it ! It has me the whole way through.
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Elena is a foster mom who is absolutely head over heals for her boy, Daniel. She watched over him constantly, hoping to dispel the nightmares of his life with his biological parents. But his drug-dealing father was lurking nearby. Why would he want Daniel back?

~ this book is way over the top. Bad guys killed by a monster that only they could see? Wow. No thanks
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I would have given it five stars but the end was pretty unrealistic. I really enjoyed the book though - quite an entertaining read
Sofia Brito
Aug 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked the descriptions of Australia coast and some of its folk culture but found the story dated and the ending expected. It didn’t add anything new. Main character’s way of dealing with the situation was silly and not believable, her reluctance to call the police made it worst. The plot would have benefited from a nice twist.
Oct 02, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was ok. Certainly not the best book I've ever written, but far from the worst. Two complaints worth pointing out though:

1. The idea of a main character refusing to involve the police in an incident that they clearly are not prepared to handle on their own is so overdone and cliché. I have yet to read a good reason for this decision. This one was particularly bad. Elena fears that CPS will remove Daniel if she goes to the police because they will believe he's in an unsafe environment. Y
Sandra Knapp
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it
I did enjoy the story overall, but at times I was very confused. Things changed with no warning, there were inconsistencies, and I have no idea where the "bunyip" came from. This was not a "fairy tale" but a thriller, and it just seemed to me to be totally out of place.

I was very relieved with how it ended, but Elena made so many mistakes it was ridiculous to even contemplate. Anyone in their right mind would have notified the Police, if for no other reason than to have it on the record. How she
Dec 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Masochists
Recommended to Z by: Bookbub
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sandy Adams
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lovely book!

The main characters were so richly described and the plot so well entwined with them I really did not want the book to end. An abused little boy and his foster 'mum' are faced with the real possibility he will be returned to the brutal father as the system believes the child, although now flourishing in a loving environment, should be with 'blood.' Will there be help from the seemingly benevolent creature seen in the garden?
Sep 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
Sometimes a book will catch your fancy, sometimes it won't. For whatever reason I couldn't get into this book. I mainly found myself annoyed with the main character and her determination to do things on her own without any help. Usually I applaud independence, but when bad people threaten someone you care about and you ... you get help. You don't try to take on the bad guys yourself because in the real world, this won't end well. ...more
Jillian Higham
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good read

It's so refreshing to read a good Australian drama, and an amazing effort for a first novel. The characters were superbly drawn and I was with them every step of the way. Sometimes I felt like yelling at Elena to go to the police, but then I remembered what happened to Rosie Batty and couldn't blame her for not having confidence that they would be able to help.
Sep 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018-challenge
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Catherine Mihm
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What goes bump in the night

In a nutshell, Daniel is a foster boy whose father will be released from prison. The father was abusive and Daniel has found a permanent home and is thriving. The father wants the boy back, he doesn't love the boy, he just doesn't want anyone else too.
The father reaches out to his former prison mates and works remotely to get Daniel away from his new home.
You'll need to read the book for the details and conclusion.
Tina Marking
Jul 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I give this 3 1/2. Good concept, good writing, but I was left a little battle scarred and deflated for a while. I guess I just don't understand why anyone (so called) parent would want to terrorize a women, let alone a child, just for the sake of doing it. I had a hard time with the subject concept, and also had a hard time with the Elena not reaching out to for help. ...more
Frau Ott
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathleen M Heiple
This is a book of good and evil and how love can help us overcome the meanest of intent.

I loved that her need to nurture is do strong that it will protect what God has given. When all looked lost she held on to special life that she would not let anyone hurt and was willing to die to save him.
Denise Stephens
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good plot

I liked the storyline but not so much the characters. Their actions were just not realistic to me. Elena was hard for me to like. Her actions were idiotic and completely irrational. Also after her long drawn out hysteria, everything was just tied up in a nice, neat little bow all of a sudden.
Sharon L. Fowler
This was an interesting story with some strange twists

This book seemed a bit slow in the beginning, but grabbed my attention later on, and proved to be in interesting book in the end. It just didn't have the grip on me to be a real page turner or a book that I couldn't put down.
Crystal w
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
wow this book was great. It has a great pace and is a great storyline. I really enjoyed it and found myself not wanting to put the book down. It is a good story with a different type of plot. It involves fostering a child and the family that is left and the battles to get complete custody and what not. Really good read.
Lysa Hadley
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have to say, I was expecting a more intense story line. Despite that, this was still a good book. The characters were well developed and it was easy to like them. I agree with another reviewer that there were some elements that seemed a bit random and did not exactly make sense to the over all story line.
Jamie M. Boatwright
Loved 'TheBayofShadows'.

great book the only thing I would change would be for Elena to kill Anderson herself. Seemed like the mysterious monster wasn't present enough to really understand his purpose or maybe I missed something. Otherwise I LOVE IT! Great mystery with a perfect ending.

This book was a good read, in a sense it was too predictable for me though. The storyline was very basic but the way the author described the environment was lovely. It was a little disconcerting when she talked about fables and described certain things using certain words without giving a backstory on what language or culture they came from
« previous 1 3 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Aussie Readers: Samantha Wood's First Novel 4 16 Dec 29, 2016 10:46PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Searching for Faith (Carissa Jones #1)
  • Wired In (Paradise Crime, #1)
  • Pushed  (Benny James Mystery #2)
  • Ring Around the Rosie (Olivia Thompson #1)
  • 3 Hour Tour (Dee Sanders #1)
  • Death is in the Details (Paynes Creek, #1)
  • Harbored Secrets
  • Watching The Bodies (Jake Boulder #1)
  • From a Dead Sleep (Sean Coleman Thriller #1)
  • Play With Me (Grover Beach Team, #1)
  • An Ace and A Pair (Dead Cold Mystery #1)
  • Cicada Spring
  • The Fire Child
  • Found, Near Water (Christchurch Crime, #1)
  • Deadly Connections (Detective Sarah Spillman, #1)
  • Aunt Bessie Assumes (Isle of Man #1)
  • Gloria's Inn  (Cat Island, #1)
  • New Corpse In Town (Secret Seal Isle Mysteries, #1)
See similar books…
Samantha Wood is the author of the memoir, Culua: My Other Life in Mexico, which was published in 2003. The Bay of Shadows, her first novel, was published in December 2016 and was inspired by the beach town where she grew up. Her follow-up novel, Under Ten Thousand stars, a love story set in wine country, was released in May 2019.

She began her writing career with a travel piece for the Qantas In-F

Related Articles

Mexican Gothic begins when happily ever after turns into a nightmare. The story unfolds with the Taboada family receiving a mysterious letter from...
145 likes · 23 comments
“Then, as she turned in a majestic arc for home, a beautiful sunrise appeared on the horizon, as golden and perfect as the very first ray of sun at the beginning of time.” 0 likes
More quotes…