Review: Stiltsville

Why I picked it: I read this book with Gayle (EDIWTB) for her online book club.

Gayle discussed this book in December but I wasn't able to read it in time for the discussion, life got in the way. 

Synopsis:  One sunny morning in 1969, near the end of her first trip to Miami, twenty-six-year-old Frances Ellerby finds herself in a place called Stiltsville, a community of houses built on pilings in the middle of Biscayne Bay. 

It's the first time the Atlanta native has been out on the open water, and she's captivated. On the dock of a stilt house, with the dazzling skyline in the distance and the unknowable ocean beneath her, she meets the house's owner, Dennis DuVal—and a new future reveals itself. 

Turning away from her quiet, predictable life back home, Frances moves to Miami to be with Dennis. Over time, she earns the confidence of his wild-at-heart sister and wins the approval of his oldest friend. Frances and Dennis marry and have a child—but rather than growing complacent about their good fortune, they continue to face the challenges of intimacy and the complicated city they call home.

Stiltsville is the family's island oasis—until suddenly it's gone, and Frances is forced to figure out how to make her family work on dry land. Against a backdrop of lush tropical beauty, Frances and Dennis struggle with the mutability of love and Florida's weather, as well as temptation, chaos, and disappointment. But just when Frances thinks she's reached some semblance of higher ground, she must confront an obstacle so great that even the lessons she's learned about navigating the uncharted waters of family life can't keep them afloat.

Type: Fiction

Quick Take: I haven't read many novels set in Florida and the idea of houses on stilts was intriguing.  This is the main reason why I wanted to read this book.  I haven't read many novels set in Florida and the concept of Stiltsville sounded interesting.

This may be Frances' story but it's also the story of the people close to her from the time she meets and marries Dennis.  I'm not exactly sure how to explain my reaction to this book, Frances is not an expressive woman and the story moves along at a slow pace with no earth shattering twists.  By the end of the novel it felt like I had listened to an aunt tell me the story of her marriage, sharing moments of motherhood and life as an empty nester (a woman trying to find her way). 

Rating: 3/5 stars
Source: Review Copy & Audio Copy (iTunes)

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