My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Moving family saga combined with environmental disaster.
Trails in the Sand is Southern drama on the scale of Anne Rivers Siddons, where family secrets lie as deep as a mangrove swamp, skeletons molder in the woodwork, and the honeyed smiles of Southern belles mask seething resentment.
Everyone in the Carlisle/Stokely family hides secrets behind a veneer of Southern respectability. Hatred runs deep and across generational lines. Caroline, the protag, is a journalist who left her family determined to never return. She had been betrayed by her sister who married the love of Caroline's life, the hapless Simon. She tried alternative living, married twice, and traveled to far away places, but she could not escape the gravitational pull of her family.
Late in life, Caroline grabs a chance at happiness by marrying Simon after her sister passes away. This unleashes a family feud and the estrangement of Simon's daughter [who is adopted and whose story emerges as yet another link in the chain of secrets]. While investigating the BP oil well disaster, Caroline comes across her mother's journals as well as those of her uncle Alex and her grandfather, the infamous Arthur Stokely.
Shock and awe doesn't begin to describe what she discovers--murder, incest, secret pregnancies with roots back to England. So how do Caroline, Simon, and the daughter heal from these revelations? They work together on the rescue of sea turtles. These activities melt the ice around their hearts and pave the way to a chance at reconciliation.
Forgiveness without judgment and condemnation is the key. While a lot of what happened is not understandable or even excusable, at the end, the survivors must put an end to bitterness and make a commitment to use love to heal their wounds.
The backdrop of the BP oil well blowout and the Massey mine accident serves to show how these events affected people and wildlife. The tragedy is the emphasis on coverup and denial by officials without concern for the lives affected.
None of the investigations mentioned the forty men whose lives were lost during these so-called blameless events. They also failed to mention the families left behind still struggling with their loss and the wildlife fighting for their lives in oil-filled waters.
Zick, P.C. (2012-12-12). Trails in the Sand (p. 365). In the Garden Publishing. Kindle Edition.
The final message is worth remembering and applying in our lives.
“Who knows what anyone’s motives are?” Holly asked. “I’ve learned one thing during my life. We are unable to judge other people unless we’ve walked their very same path.
Zick, P.C. (2012-12-12). Trails in the Sand (p. 390). In the Garden Publishing. Kindle Edition.
I am very glad I read this book. It made me appreciate the efforts that went into the cleanup of the BP oilwell disaster and the dedication of volunteers to save little lives [those of the sea turtle hatchlings] as well as the people fighting for mine safety. Unfortunately, we as a society tend forget between news stories. But if it is personalized, like this novel has done, it is not as easily forgotten.
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