Wendy Darling's Reviews > Beyond the Bright Sea

Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
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3.5 stars A baby is set adrift in the Elizabeth Islands in the 1920s. Why? The answer is revealed slowly, and Crow isn't sure what her adoptive father knows about it. (view spoiler)

Luminous prose, quietly endearing characters, and sobering history. I loved so much of this beautiful middle grade book, and yet I'm mixed about one major subplot, much as I was with FOX HOLLOW. I think the story is engrossing enough--and frankly, more powerful without it. But it says something about the beguiling nature of the author's writing that I only needed to see her name to know that I wanted to read this. Jorjeana Marie's narration is just perfect for this story, too.

Review of come of the audio edition.
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Reading Progress

April 19, 2017 – Shelved
April 23, 2017 – Started Reading
April 25, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)

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message 1: by Devon (new)

Devon Munn Hey Wendy, would you be up for some book recommendations??


Wendy Darling I try to keep my shelves updated, but do you need something specific?


message 3: by Devon (new)

Devon Munn Not really, I just wondered if you were up for some book recommendations


message 4: by Leonardo (new)

Leonardo You must have some parameters to guide her! :P There are so many possibilities! Greetings


message 5: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Just wanted to say I've missed seeing your reviews on here, Wendy. They're always really helpful in deciding what to read next. Of course, my backlog is still approximately 200 books long, so I don't really need suggestions right now. But hey, no such thing as too many books, right? Haha


Wendy Darling Hah hah, thanks for looking out for me, Leonardo. ;)

Thanks so much, Jackie. <3 Hope all is well with you.


message 7: by Devon (last edited Apr 28, 2017 01:59PM) (new)

Devon Munn Wait, did I come off in a rude way, cause when I asked if you were up for recommendations, I wanted to recommend a book called Ravens Peak, and when you responded, I didn't exactly got what you meant and was sitting there with thinking, "it is just me or my autism" cause sometimes, I don't really get what someone's trying to say, but if I came off in a ride way., I'm sorry


Wendy Darling No no, don't worry Devon. It was a little confusing because I thought you were asking for recommendations, not trying to add to my massive TBR list. No harm done, though!


message 9: by Devon (new)

Devon Munn Oh okay, a little misunderstanding, alright


message 10: by Leonardo (new)

Leonardo Ohhhh, giving recommendations! :D I misunderstood you too :P


Travis Mcgee Which subplot did you think was unnecessary. I liked this book a lot, but I loved Wolf Hollow.


Wendy Darling Hi Travis--I didn't love the subplot about the missing treasure and the (practically mustache-twirling) villain that was after it. I really like everyday stories about ordinary kids that don't have to involve "big adventures," and both this book and WOLF HOLLOW (which I agree was the better of the two) felt like one of those, except for this type of thing. I know I'm likely in the minority on that preference, and I'll be interested in reading what everyone else thought once I've written my review.


Travis Mcgee I agree that the writing and the unique setting were enough that the subplot could have been eliminated, but I wonder if in this age of the thriller if the story would have had enough momentum for the majority of readers. Especially young readers for which technology may have made them less patient for a slow story to unfold.


Wendy Darling Good point, you are probably right about that. I'm grateful there are still stories like The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy and Calpurnia Tate series that are still written and published, but they don't tend to be as popular. Don't get me wrong, I love fantasies and mysteries! But I do mourn the dearth of books about ordinary kids who are just figuring out their place in the world, because I think life is plenty scary and inspiring without A Big Thing. Contemporary YA has an audience, it's interesting that MG doesn't seem to have an equivalent interest. When I was a kid, I read a lot of books about kids going to camp, dealing with siblings, etc, and I read books about kids growing up in various eras, particularly the 1900s, 1950s, 1960s. You only seem to get a glimpse of daily life for grade school kids now if they're wrapped up in other adventures.

Anyway, I still enjoyed this book very much! Just a personal thing that I wish we saw more of.


Travis Mcgee Great points. Have you read the Melendy Family books? https://www.goodreads.com/series/5073...
They are a favorite for read aloud at our summer house in Coastal Maine.


Sojourner2earth I think the subplot turned it into a page turner. Was it unrealistic? Yes! But hey, it’s fiction. Not a biography. 😉


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