The Vineyard By Michael Hurley

I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

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A Beautiful Island in New England.
A Time of Healing for Three Women.
A Moment of Destiny for One Man.

From Michael Hurley, winner of the Somerset Prize, comes a tale of old money, young passion, and ancient mystery.

Ten years after their college days together, three wounded and very different women reunite for a summer on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. As they come to grips with the challenges and crises in their lives, their encounter with a reclusive poacher known only as “the fisherman” threatens to change everything they believe about their world–and each other.


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“Hurley writes beautifully”– Kirkus Reviews on The Prodigal

“Hurley’s eloquent, hypnotic style will have readers following, unquestioningly, to the very end.”– ForeWord Clarion Review

The Vineyard Book Excerpt from Chapter 10

Despite the tumultuous beginning of the season and the clouds in Dory’s future, June in Edgartown was as bright as ever, and the three friends took advantage of every minute of it. There were walks down Main Street on sunny afternoons carrying giant, round mounds of mint-chocolate-chip ice cream, teetering three-high and dribbling down onto sticky fingers before it was licked gone. There were steamed little neck clams with butter sauce and fresh horseradish, served with gin and tonics on the porch of The Crew House, overlooking the harbor, and the good-looking, Italian waiter who worked there. It became Turner’s mission to see how many times she could get him to use the word “Tanqueray” in a sentence, because she liked the way he said it. There were lazy hours lying on the beach by the lighthouse and meandering hunts for the perfect cockleshell, and double-dog dares to go skinny-dipping after dark that always descended into fully-clothed refusals, recriminations, and false accusations of prudery—the truth, however, being that none of them was eager to expose great white bellies bursting with clams and Tanqueray and mint-chocolate-chip ice cream.


My Thoughts:

The Vineyard by Michael Hurley is one of those stories that keeps you shrouded in mystery throughout the entire book. It starts out with a great tragedy of attempted suicide, diagnosis, troubled relationships and the mysterious “fisherman” who seems to be the only one able to find shrimp. And not just any shrimp, but these giant shrimp with the most succulent flavor.

We see three friends go through various heartaches but they never give up on each other. They love each other like sisters and it is that friendship and that bond that gets them through their most difficult trials.

For me, this story started out really great. But then it sort of started to drag a little in the middle only to be wrapped up really quickly in the end. I didn’t feel like the ending really fit. We do learn who the fisherman is. We learn his name and where he comes from and I could see that some of the events were being led up to,  but from about 3/4 of the story it all just sort of became a jumble and I was left a bit confused.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers but I will say that we didn’t get to see enough of Turner and the fisherman after one HUGE turn of events. That is the moment that everything went awry and the story seemed to move to quickly for me, leaving out some important parts.

Overall, this was a really great story-line with lovable ladies that get under your skin and make you root for them to be happy. Dory’s mom had some pivotal moments in Dory’s life as well but the main story was about Dory, Turner and Charlotte (Charlie) as well as the fisherman and the choices they made over the course of one summer that drastically changed ALL their lives.

If you like mysteries, check out The Vineyard by Michael Hurley.

*NOTE: This story does contain adult language and sexual content. Just a warning in case that’s not your cup of tea.


About the Author:

15206493199 8d75d01849 oMichael Hurley and his wife Susan live near Charleston, South Carolina. Born in Baltimore in 1958, he studied English at the University of Maryland and law at St. Louis University. Michael’s first book, Letters from the Woods, was a collection of essays, self-published in 2005, based on wilderness canoeing expeditions with his children. It was selected as a finalist in the Nature category for ForeWord magazine’s Book of the Year award. In 2013 Hachette Book Group published his memoir, Once Upon A Gypsy Moon, under their Center Street imprint. The Prodigal is his first novel.

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