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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling story!, 11 Feb. 2013
By 
lscollison (On the road, or at sea...) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sea Dust (Hardcover)
Sea Dust has all the elements of a gothic romance, but with a maritime setting. The author writes with rich and metaphorical language, creating vivid, spellbinding imagery. The story begins in Whitby, England. It is mid-winter, 1856. Emma gazes out of the attic window where the body of her dead baby girl lies.

"The fishing port, nestled in the valley below, was shrouded in white. Snow covered the docks and wharves, the sand flat - Belle Island, and the hills and open moors beyond. Across the valley, the ruins of the old Benedictine abbey wore a vestal veil. Only the treacherous face of the crumbling East Cliff had escaped the winter mantle." (from Chapter 1)

The descriptions are beautifully evocative, but Emma is no innocent young maiden waiting to be swept off her feet. She is a mature woman, mother of a teenaged boy, about to go off to sea. Her marriage has gone bad and her life is closing in on her. The sea offers tortured Emma her only means of escape from a brutish, violent husband and a bleak life. But the sea is fraught with its own dangers, Emma discovers after she sneaks aboard an outbound ship with the help of a French seaman she is attracted to.

Margaret Muir is quite at home in her nautical setting and she knows how to build suspense. She chillingly portrays the dark side of romance in an era when women were second class citizens at the mercy of men; to be coddled, adored, or scorned and abused as they saw fit. I could relate to Emma's untenable situation and I cheered her on in her quest to be loved and respected while becoming the whole person she was meant to be.

A gritty, unsettling story in the guise of a nineteenth century romantic novel. I highly recommend it. Linda Collison, author of Friday Night Knife and Gun Club
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Story of the Sea, 8 July 2006
By 
Karen Mercury (Green River, UT United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sea Dust (Hardcover)
A beautiful tale of a downtrodden woman, abused by her husband, who goes to sea to get away from him, not knowing her future. Rich details bring this timeless story to life, and you feel like you're really there with Emma as she sails for the new world.

I read this while sitting in traffic, and I actually couldn't wait for traffic to stop, so I could continue reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book full of adventure mainly for those interested in the sea, 11 July 2013
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This review is from: Sea Dust (Kindle Edition)
this book gets you involved from the start and very disciptive worth a read a good sea adventure great author
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable, 6 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Sea Dust (Kindle Edition)
A really enjoyable read, well written and likeable characters. The plot kept me engaged from start to finish. Looking forward to try other books by Margaret Muir
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5.0 out of 5 stars Touching story of a woman's hard life in mid-nineteenth century, 19 Dec. 2013
This review is from: Sea dust (Paperback)
I really loved this book and cannot think of a single fault in the story or the writing. I expected a "sea adventure" from Margaret Muir. But this is a story for adults, with simmering violence, not just a sea adventure.The first third or so of the story takes place on land, in Whitby, in the mid-nineteenth century. Hard times for a woman, and Emma's life is worse than most. Another third of the way and we find her struggling to reach a new life, needing all her courage and fortitude, helped by the ineffable, equivocal François and the gentlemanly Charles Witton.

I read the Kindle edition and missed this lovely cover....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling Author, 28 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Sea Dust (Kindle Edition)
Having read previous reviews of this book I can only add my recommendation. Thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. I think a lot of Margeret Muir and have her two other novels ready to read.

Salmonman
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping read, 7 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Sea Dust (Kindle Edition)
A gripping tale. Emma and her son Joshus escape their unhappy life in Whitby. With help they make a new start and set sail for the other side of the world. To Emma , the destination is not so important as escaping from cruelty and brutality of the present life.
This is the 2nd book I have read by this author and I will definitely read more.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 20 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: Sea Dust (Kindle Edition)
I enjoy Margaret Muir's novels. You can tell by the superb detail that this is a lady who knows what it is like to be aboard a sailing-ship.
One of the 'rules' of writing novels is "write what you know about". Ms Muir certainly knows about the sea, and how to write a good read!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sea Dust by Margaret Muir, 17 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Sea Dust (Kindle Edition)
What a treat reading Sea Dust by Margaret Muir proved to be. It's a fine 19th century story of escape, hope and desire with a captivating background set near and upon the sea. I suspect this might be the most engaging account of 19th century travel by sea I've ever read. Yet it's very much a fine story with a central focus upon the protagonist, Emma Quinlan, of her desperately impassioned escape from imposed powerless and humiliating deprivation and of the hope that something good might present itself out of a need to journey away from experiencing any more of everything worse.

This book has some wonderful triggers to draw ship life into the plot without detracting from the main story focus. It's such a compelling, brilliantly paced and written, account of life on board a 19th century sailing ship and yet that's not at all what the story is about. Add main characters that are likeable even with all their flaws and we are left with one very engaging and interesting story read. I loved it. Five stars.
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Sea Dust
Sea Dust by Margaret Muir
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