The Distant Shore by Debora M. Coty
Publisher: Vintage Reflections Publishing
Genre: Historical, Suspense/Mystery, Inspirational
Age Recommendation: 12+
Length: Full Length (268 pgs)
Rating: 5 suns
Reviewed by Dogwood
Mysteriously banished to live with demanding Aunt Augusta on Florida's remote, untamed Merritt island of 1904, young Emma-Lee Palmer discovers a dark family secret. Befriended by a kindly sea captain, Emma-Lee and Aunt Augusta discover courage, renewed hope, and the importance of family in this transcendent story of healing and redemption through God's unconditional love.
Inspired by a true story, The Distant Shore is a powerful blend of action, adventure, romance, and the quest within each of us to find our heart's home. Love, after all, is never too lost or too late.
Sweet, charming, exciting, and tearful. This book has it all. This was a fantastic read that any member of the family would enjoy. My favorite part about this book was the fact that it was able to ignite every emotion and still be good, clean reading. Emma-Lee Palmer will have you melting in her hand. Right from the beginning your heart it breaking for her. Emma-Lee is being sent away to live with her Aunt Augusta on Merritt Island. The island is very isolated and you can only reach it by boat.
Emma-Lee has two brothers and two sisters, yet she is the only one who is being sent away. She is terribly saddened by this fact, and can't help but wonder what she could have possibly done wrong. Her father and mother gave her no explanations for why she is going. Her few memories of her aunt are not fond; Aunt Augusta is not one for showing much emotion. I found myself becoming so angry for Emma-Lee, swearing to never speak to her parents again for doing such a thing. It's amazing how the author can send you all the way back with a nine-year-old's mindset. It wasn't until well within the book that I started to wonder if she was sent for good reason.
Eventually, right along with Emma-Lee, you get over the hurt and start to settle in with her life at Merritt Island. Aunt Augusta is the school teacher on the island. Throughout the book you start to see different sides to Aunt Augusta and begin to understand her a little bit more. Much like Emma-Lee you fall right in love with her. Emma-Lee was so excited to make friends, and was a little caught off guard by how difficult that turned out to be. However, she did becomes friends with quite a few people. Her first day off the train she met a gentleman by the name of Captain Stone, who treated her like his very own daughter. She also became quite close with his parents, who introduced her to Christ.
Pa and Ma Stone were wonderful people, the type everyone wants as grandparents. Pa Stone used to be a pirate, until he met Christ and changed his ways. But he still had many stories that Emma-Lee just loved listening to. I found myself becoming quite fascinated with his different tales. She started spending so much time with Captain Stone, that even he and her aunt became rather close. Emma-Lee enjoyed seeing the love develop between them, and it was a wonderful way to draw her mind away from missing her family.
Emma-Lee became great friends with a girl everyone called Punkin. Punkin had a bit more sass in her than Emma-Lee, and took this opportunity to show her all the adventures and mischief one could get into on the small island. There was one particular adventure that will have you biting your nails, hoping everything will turn out right. Punkin is the kind of girl, everyone needs as a friend. She is quick to defend anyone she loves. Emma-Lee wished many times she had as much courage as Punkin, but she never realized until the end, just how courageous she actually was. For a nine year old this girl was braver than most men I know. She is one amazing character to overcome so many trials and tribulations at such a young age. As you will soon learn, there is not much this girl can't handle.
There were so many moments in this book that I was laughing out loud, and crying my eyes out. You will honestly experience, every emotion there is. Which all the more makes this author a fantastic writer. You will completely forget about everything going on in your life, because you will be so involved in Emma-Lee's. It seems like there is one tragedy after another happening to Emma-Lee, yet many wonderful things happen to her as well. You wouldn't be able to put this book down for a second even if you wanted too. There are too many exciting moments that you have to keep reading till it's over.
If you are looking for an entertaining and wholesome book this is the one. It is sure to keep your interest, never wanting it to end. This is by far one of the best books I have ever read. I insist you go out and buy this book this very second, because I can guarantee you will feel exactly as I do.