4 feather #bookreview of MATEGUAS ISLAND by Linda Watkins
What could be more idyllic than to live on an island off the coast of Maine? That’s what Bill Andersen thought when he moved his family to Mateguas. But Mateguas is more than just pristine beaches nestled between rocky shores. No, Mateguas is really something quite different…
A marriage is never truly tested until it undergoes hard times. After Bill loses his lucrative job, suddenly his loving 10 year marriage is in danger of falling apart. Unable to obtain a new job, in dire financial straits and almost homeless, Bill inherits some land and a house from a long-lost aunt on Mateguas Island.
Linda Watkins did a really good job at setting the stage on the relationship between Bill and his wife Karen. I felt like I was on that ferry with them as they approached the island for the first time. She also did a good job at highlighting the differences in personalities between the adorable twins, Terri and Sophie. The characters were well fleshed out and the settings were dynamic. I booed at Bill for his roving eye and infidelity, but had to applaud him for his actions when he finally Manned UP and did right by his family. And who wouldn’t want to have a sexy Dex around just for eye candy.
The story starts at a decent pace but got bogged down in the middle. Too much everyday life interspersed with the ongoing story and trying to solve the mystery of the swamp hag. I realize drama needs to build, but it went just a tad bit too slow for my taste. But once all the action started and Karen understood what she needed to do to save her family, the pace went pretty fast. The parts of the story that stick out in my mind, are when Karen first discovers the magical field / swamp, Karen’s fight with the owl and Bill’s confrontation with the swamp hag. Something I wouldn’t want to meet on a dark, stormy night, alone, unarmed.
Even though I like the story, there were 2 points that niggled at the back of my mind. One, Karen professes to love her kids and family through the entire story, but part of why they were on the island to begin with was her selfishness in not getting a job after Bill lost his. Also, swamp land is on bottom land. Yet the house and property were at the highest point on the island. There was no description of how the swamp lay in regards to the house. There was the backyard that led to the woods that led to the swamp. Was it a hilly wooded area? Did the backyard slope down to the woods? Who knows? Maybe something that could be elaborated on more in the sequel.
Overall, if you like dark mysteries and family drama, this is the book for you. I give it 4 feathers.
As a side note, since I posted my original review back in July, 2014, this book has won several awards. Personally, I don’t get it. I’ve read so many other books that were way better than this one. *shrugs*