Review: Daughters of the Teardrop Sea ~ H.M. Cooper

DaughtersAnyone who knows Laura can see that she is bound to be successful at whatever she chooses to do. The future looks promising. She is a psychiatric resident at a major urban hospital. She is six months pregnant. Her life is nearly perfect. She’s married to a surgeon who loves her completely and whom she loves with equal passion. She is challenged everyday by patients who test and develop her skills. She has friends who are devoted. What tragedy could happen to wreck all of this? It’s a freak accident that changes Laura’s life and sends her on a journey from which she may never return. A journey to save the one thing that matters the most to her; the life of her unborn child

3 Thumbs-UpThis book is the first in a series of books, and is a debut novel for this Author; it is also something of an oddity as it doesn’t have a foot firmly in any particular genre, which makes it possibly appealing to a wider range of readers.

It is hard to review this book on any level without revealing spoilers, but I will do the best I can starting with the main protagonist, if they can actually be called that.  Given the way in which the novel is written, through a series of dreams, there is very little in the way of character development.  The reader receives snippets as they progress through the book, but there are no in-depth, breath stopping revelations about motivation and this really doesn’t matter one bit.  Through the imagination of the Author, the reader is actually made to care deeply about this character, and it really doesn’t detract from the book in any way that we don’t know her deepest secrets and flaws; the reader just cares, plain and simple.  As she is the centre stage for the most part of the novel, there are no cluttering pages of other characters we need to keep track of and try to remember their place in the scheme of things as we read; I found this to be very refreshing and made the book easier to read than it would otherwise have been.

On some levels this novel could be classified as a broad horror story, not that I could see why, but it would take some stretch to firmly place it there; as I said earlier, it has no standing in any genre.  However, some readers may say it is a psychological thriller or even a sci-fi novel; for me it was just a very good and gentle read.  Through deft writing skills in the dream sequences, the Author weaves into his storyline characters from Greek Mythology such as Clotho, Lechesis and Atropos, The Fates who decide our destiny, and makes them  part of the dream reality of the protagonist.  So well does the Author paint the images of the dream world, that it comes as a shock to the system when the reader is brought back in to the real world, and we are reminded that they are just dreams.

This book is a journey, and at risk of sounding like the opening to the ‘Twilight Zone’ it is a journey into and through the human mind, and each step of the journey takes our protagonist one step further towards healing and acceptance.  As with most journeys, this is one with direction, subliminal planning and a purpose, one that the reader will travel every step of the way to its conclusion.

I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a print copy of this book, and was glad I did as the formatting of the book would have given me cause for concern if I had read in on any of the e-readers out there.  I’m not sure if it is because I like longer paragraphs in my reading selections or whether these were not intended to be short and choppy but I found these, along with some spelling errors in the first few pages to be quite distracting and they did pull away from my overall enjoyment of the novel.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read just for the sheer enjoyment of finding something new and interesting; I will most likely be looking out for the next instalments to see where this journey leads.

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