16 August 2013

The Storm and the Darkness, By Sarah M. Cradit

Ana Deschanel has made a terrible mistake. The only chance of protecting the other people involved is to flee New Orleans, the only home she has ever known, for the quiet solitude of Summer Island.

Summer Island, Maine (population 202) is not the tranquil escape Ana imagined. The locals are distant and cold, especially her neighbor, the reclusive veterinarian Jonathan St. Andrews. Her only lifeline is the kind but odd caretaker Alex Whitman. Showing up at all the right moments, he warns her she is completely unprepared for a Maine winter. As the first winter storm approaches to whispers of an island shutdown- Ana realizes that she may soon be cut off from the rest of the world.

After a surprising encounter with Jonathan’s brother, Finn, Ana finds herself braving the storm to return something to him. Unprepared for the Maine storm, she slips and falls onto the jagged rocks along the shore. The St. Andrews brothers find her in the nick of time, but she remains unconscious. As the storm worsens, the St. Andrews brothers learn there are other, more sinister forces at work closer than they ever imagined.

With no help from the outside world, they must find a way to protect themselves from both the storm, and the growing darkness that looms across the island.

I really didn’t know what to expect from this book. From the description I wasn’t sure that this was up my alley, but I have to admit, I was really pleasantly surprised. I was totally engrossed and engaged in this book.

This book revolves around the story of Ana, who moves to a small island off the coast of Maine. She makes only one friend at first, a caretaker named Alex, and then later gets to know a man named Finn St. Andres and his brother Jonathan. An accident in a winter storm occurs that throws Ana, Finn and Jonathan together. Romance and a little bit of danger ensues.

One thing that I found really different about this book was the way the chapters are set up. It gives the reader a chance to know the characters and bond with them before you get to the meat of the story, and I think that something that serves the reader well and makes the story even more intriguing. It helps the story not to feel rushed or like stuff comes from out of left field. The only way I can describe the way this story is written is “masterful”. The author obviously knows how to craft a superb story that captures the reader.

This is one of the better books I have read in recent memory. I would highly recommend it to any reader, and I give it 4.5 stars!



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