Monday, July 20, 2009
Last Light Over Carolina by Mary Alice Monroe
"Last Light Over Carolina" by Mary Alice Monroe is a wonderful family saga. This family saga takes place in South Carolina in a coastal town named McClellan. Carolina is Bud's wife. Bud is a shrimper. Carolina and Bud love one another very much. To show it Bud named his second boat Carolina. I had the chance to meet the whole family: There is Lizzy, their daughter. Their son-in-law, Josh, and grandchild, Will. To make their world complete they have a set of friends. I also met the patriarch of the family, Oz.
While watching from the dock, I thought about how perfect there life must seem to those who didn't live with the couple behind closed doors. First of all, shrimping for a living is not romantic. It is very hard work. Hard work which does not always pay well or leave the mind centered and at peace by the time the man does get home. Bud is always in conflict with himself and where to get the time to give his family who desperately need and miss him.
I liked "Last Light Over Carolina" because it didn't glorify life on the water. So often I romanticize the life of people who do not live in the city and beat the rat race everyday. I also loved reading about Bud's passion for the ocean. No matter what he faced Bud loved shrimping, patching a net or just feeling the wet wind on his face. For six years, Carolina went out on the boat with him. This is the time when their love seemed the strongest.
I also loved the part of the story where friends remembered Hurricane Hugo. After a hurricane, I think of all the people who lived and died as heroes. In "Last Light Over Carolina," I discovered hurricanes, although death threatening, do not make every person brave.
"Last Light Over Carolina" by Mary Alice Monroe takes us back and forth in time. I always love flashbacks. If flashbacks are used, I figure the people have done a heap of living. This is true in "Last Light Over Carolina." I hated to leave these strong minded individuals. At the end of the book, I sighed. I flipped through the pages again hoping a new chapter had arrived by magic. There was no such luck.