"Soon or a little too lateeverything you never knewyou always wanted turns uphereat The Breakers" -- from the book
In her new novel At The Breakers, Mary Ann Taylor-Hall, author of the widely praised and beloved Come and Go, Molly Snow, presents Jo Sinclair, a longtime single mother of four children. Fleeing an abusive relationship after a shocking attack, Jo finds herself in Sea Cove, New Jersey, in front of The Breakers, a salty old hotel in the process of renovation. Impulsively, she negotiates a job painting the guest rooms and settles in with her youngest child, thirteen-year-old Nick. As each room is transformed under brush and roller, Jo finds a way to renovate herself, reclaiming a promising life derailed by pregnancy and a forced marriage at age fourteen.
Jo's new life at the hotel features a memorable mix of locals and guests, among them Iris Zephyr, the hotel's ninety-two-year-old permanent boarder; Charlie, a noble mixed-breed dog; Marco, owner of a nearby gas station/liquor store, who may become Jo's next mistake; and enigmatic Wendy, her streetwise eighteen-year-old daughter, who signs on as housekeeper. Irrepressible Victor Mangold, Jo's former professor and a well-known poet some twenty years her senior, invites himself to Thanksgiving dinner and into her life, his passion awakening Jo's yearning for art and love.
At The Breakers is a deeply felt and beautifully written novel about forgiveness and reconciliation. In Jo's words, she is "trying to find the right way to live" as a long-suffering woman who is put through the fire and emerges with a chance at a full, rich life for herself and her children, if only she has the faith to take it.
""At The Breakers is beautifully written, a deep exploration of the complex demands and joys and risks of all kinds of love."--Kim Edwards, author of The Memory Keeper's Daughter" --
""A mother's blood guilt runs the heart of this powerful novel. When it is at last resolved, a pale flower of happiness blooms, the best any of us can expect late in a rich, complicated life."--Sallie Bingham, author of Red Car: Stories" --
""There are many good reasons to read At the Breakers: the perfectly drawn setting (having grown up on the South Jersey Shore, I recognized it immediately), the careful handling of complex relationships between an imperfect mother and her grown daughters, and the vivid cast that populates the hotel; but what delights me most is the character of Victor Mangold, a kind poet with great joie de vivre, with whom I couldn't help falling in love." -- Ellen Bass, author of The Human Line and Mules of Love" --
""Mary Ann Taylor-Hall is a deeply gifted writer whose stories will change your life--don't miss anything she writes. Her carefully crafted characters in At The Breakers will extend and enrich your sense of family and connection/disconnection forever." --Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Going Going" --
""There's wisdom in Taylor-Hall's insistence that plunging into the depths of trust and love...is as essential as it is risky. At the Breakers is as eloquent as it is joyous and intelligent." --L. Elisabeth Beattie, Louisville Courier-Journal" --
""The author of Come and GO, Molly Snow returns with a courageous, well-rendered novel about forgiveness and reconciliation. Its heroine, put through the fire, comes out with a chance for happiness -- if she can muster the faith, courage, and optimism to take that chance." --Joseph-Beth Booksellers Newsletter" --
""Taylor-Hall's voice rings true and the characters are fully developed and intriguing. I didn't want to end my visit to the world Taylor-Hall created. For me that's a successful novel. A perfect read for the summer." --Elizabeth Bright, Armchair Interviews" --
""This is a tale of reconciliation, forgiveness, hope and love written by one of Kentucky's most intriguing writers." --Larry Cox, Tucson Citizen" --
""Taylor-Hall creates a cast of characters... who are undeniably wonderful, casting a party that the reader does not want to miss, despite the pain and loneliness that accompany them. And the reason is that along with that pain comes companionship, kindness, empathy and the opportunity for love in its varying forms.... [Taylor-Hall's] prose is as rhythmic and entrancing as the movements of the waves." --Linda Hinchcliffe,Chevy Chaser" --
""At the Breakers presents a complex, often mystifying look at someone hoping to overcome past mistakes. Author Taylor-Hall... skillfully rides the contour of human emotions to provide a story of a character we really want to succeed." --Steve Flairty, Kentucky Monthly" --