While this made me homesick for the coast in my home state - I could just smell the marsh and the Old Man's Beard! - the main character in this story is just short of annoying. She is not the typical strong southern woman with a tragic past - she has the tragic past alright but not the shutz-pah I expected. What strength she does have she pulls from her island (or sometimes, her bottle). And, somewhat from her husband, who also did not get a fair shake or a fully fleshed out chance here.
The best thing about this story is not the main character though - or maybe I should say that the main character is not Caroline but the people who live on her island. They have been there for centuries and they have their ways, their language, their connections. And nothing and nobody will, nor should, move them. Or the wild horses that live alongside.
Until Caroline's developer husband tries.
More devastation, more crying, more collapsing with disbelief, and one ghost child later, we have a story. And secondary characters that are much more interesting than Caro and Clay. (And listen, I am Southern born and raised and I never heard anyone named Caroline called Caro, but that's just me.) Caroline stands up for what she believes in even through betrayal and loss, and I will say Clay completely redeems himself in the end, which made me happy.
So, overall, an easy quick read, perfect for the beach or if you are looking for some relatively good, if slushy, Southern literature. Now, if you want EXCELLENT Southern literature, go grab Pat Conroy. Meanwhile, this will do (and won't require a dictionary like Conroy does, haha!)