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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
Set in Long Island’s East End, Sparrow Beach by Shelby Raebeck shows the strain felt by locals as they try to keep up with the powerful force of commercialization while also exploring family relationships. As the real estate industry continues to grow, Willie, the oldest of the Dorian brothers, hopes to cash in on the fast-moving sector. Michael, his younger brother, is more reserved and less of a risk taker. He is also dealing with the breakdown of his marriage and his strained relationship with his daughter. Everyone around him, including himself, is struggling to keep up with the changes around and within them. Michael strives to remain authentic amidst the chaos, a task that is proving to be very difficult even for him.
In Sparrow Beach, Shelby Raebeck uses a genuine group of characters; each person dealing with their own set of issues. Michael’s family grapples with anxiety which results in an agonizing marriage and a difficult relationship between the parents and their teenage daughter. Willie, on the other hand, has his eyes set on the future, preferring never to slow down, only to move forward until he reaches a point where he is forced to stop and reflect on his life. Raebeck expertly explores family dynamics alongside the issue of materialism. He captures how people are made to choose between change and adaption or be left behind. This book is well written with its intricately created dialogues and themes that continue to linger long after the reading is completed. It is a contemporary story that is both relevant and eye-opening.