Thank you to Booksparks for sending me a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
A warm and wonderfully vivid novel about taking second chances—in life and in the sea
One summer day on the beach in Florida, two extraordinary things happen to Maeve Donnelly. First, she is kissed by Daniel, the boy of her dreams. Then, she is bitten by a blacktip shark.
Eighteen years later, Maeve has thrown herself into her work as a world-traveling marine biologist discovering more about the minds of misunderstood sharks. But when Maeve returns home to the legendarily charming and eccentric Hotel of the Muses where she was raised by her grandmother, she finds more than just the blood orange sunsets and key lime pies she’s missed waiting for her.
While Maeve has always been fearless in the water, on land she is indecisive. A chance meeting on the beach with a plucky, irresistible little girl who is just as fascinated by the ocean as Maeve was growing up leaves her at a crossroads: Should she rekindle her romance with Daniel, the first love she left behind when she dove into her work? Or indulge in a new romance with her colleague, Nicholas, who turns up in her hometown to investigate an illegal shark-finning operation?
Set against the intoxicating backdrop of palm trees, calypso bands, and perfect ocean views, The Shark Club is a story of the mysterious passions of one woman’s life: her first love and new love; the sea and sharks that inhabit it.
I had an absolute blast reading this book. It was fun, and there was just so much heart to the story. Once I started this book, I couldn’t put it down. Maeve’s history was really fascinating: she’s bitten by a shark and instead of becoming terrified of them she becomes obsessed with them. It’s not at all how I would’ve expected her to react and it really set her up as an intriguing character.
I also really enjoyed the family dynamic worked into the story. It felt authentic and I was able to recognize those feelings of loyalty and frustration that come with close familial bonds. I definitely think that’s an aspect that readers will be able to connect with. While the characters may not be specifically relatable to everyone, there are aspects of each personality that will be familiar to a lot of people. Between the sharks and the family and personal relationships, Maeve had a lot of vulnerabilities in this book, and it was really fun to see how she reacted to them.
And oh my gosh, the literary references and quotes! Her grandmother’s love of all things bookish made my little booknerd heart go putter-patter. 🙂