the winter sea book coverReviewed by Jennifer Jensen

New-to-me author Di Morrissey, a notable Australian author, failed to impress me with her latest offering, The Winter Sea. If only the plotline of the story were all that was necessary to satisfy me while reading a book, I do not think I would have been disappointed. The Winter Sea seemingly has a lot to offer; it’s a coming-of-age story that spans several generations, has a hint of family secrets, and also features a heroine who is starting a new life in an unfamiliar setting.

Starting in the early 1900s, The Winter Sea chronicles Giuseppe Aquino’s rise from a humble fisherman to a prosperous one in the coastal town of Whitby Point. The story then shifts to the present as Cassie Sullivan, a woman who has walked away from an unhappy marriage and a job she hates, moves to Whitby Point to start over. Cassie finds romance with a descendant of Giuseppe’s, only to discover that her familial connection to the Aquinos could destroy everything new that she has built for herself.

The author’s writing style and the dialogue were so simplistic that I found myself growing bored with the book and setting it down to read other things. What I read in this finished copy seemed more like a rough draft, or even an outline for the story that Morrissey wanted to tell.

Although I’m not opposed to reading depressing stories, The Winter Sea put many of its characters through horrible trials. I did find myself able to care about a number of the characters, though mostly the ones from Giuseppe’s chapters. I wanted him to find love and happiness, and just when all seemed well in his life, something tragic occurred.

I was finally able to push my way through to the end of the novel, but only because I wanted to know what had really happened with Giuseppe’s sons on a boating expedition. If not for that, I don’t think I would have continued reading. This book definitely wasn’t for me and certainly doesn’t recommend the author.

Rating: ★½☆☆☆ 

Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Macmillan. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.