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The Sea Shack: 06/07/08
The Sea Shack follows a long tradition of coming of age stories where a young child is sent to live with an elderly person, sometimes a relative, sometimes not and over the course of living with this person learns important life long lessons. For Any O'Brien, the trip is to his grandfather's sea shack for the summer while his father is on an extended business trip.
Andy goes full of anger and it takes him a good third of the book to rein in that anger. Andy narrates his own story but from some unknown time in the future where he is looking back on this turning point in his life. Because it is adult Andy or perhaps just teenage Andy, the story is told mostly in long descriptions with little time spent on dialog.
It took me a while to get into the novel. It's never much fun to listen to someone winge and that's what Andy does. Grampy, though, makes up for Andy's lack of personality at the start of the book. Grampy is an old sea dog, happily living on the beach, taking what he needs from the sea.
It was initially the mystery of Grampy that sucked me into the story and as McNulty explains in the Afterword, the novel is really more about Grampy than Andy. McNulty though doesn't answer all the questions about Grampy's life. Things I wanted to know: how long had he been living in the sea shack, what had happened to his wife, and how did Andy's parents meet. Of course had these questions been answered, the book probably would have felt bloated. At 192 pages, the book feels just about right.
For more coming of age stories I recommend:
Did you know that the author is a BookCrosser, or did you find the book by accident?"
I am. I bought the book after it was announced at BookCrossing back in 2004. I didn't mention BookCrossing because Mark hasn't been very active recently."
Comment #3: Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 21:26:44
Thank you so much for reading The Sea Shack and taking the time to post this fair, honest review. It has bee six years since you posted it but it is never too late to show gratitude. As a writer, this genuinely means a great deal to me. All my best...
Comment #4: Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 21:29:22
Welcome to my book blog! So much has happened since I read and reviewed your book. I hope to review another of your books in the future.