Margreete’s Harbor, a review by Di

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Eleanor Morse

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St Martins Press
April 20, 2021
384 pages

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This is a quiet book, a family’s story that covers several years. It is not fast-paced but I was immersed in it from the very beginning.

The Furbers are a 3 generation family, all living in the same house. Grandmother, Mother and Father and 3 children. Margreete, the grandmother is struggling with dementia. We learn about her past from her ramblings. She had been a woman to be reckoned with, and still was, even in her befuddled state. The rest of the family has struggles of their own but they are kind and patient with Margreete.

They are living through some troubled times: the Kennedy assassination, the Great March for civil rights in Washington DC, the Vietnam war, the dawning of women’s rights. The author takes us through the Furbers reactions to these events and the effects on the family.

The book is not actually plot or action driven. It is more about the narrative and the characters. In many ways, it is a sad book. I kept waiting for something to make everyone happy.

The writing in this book is stellar. The descriptions of Maine and the ocean coast are spot on. The characters all became real in my mind. Each family member is very distinct, each chapter focuses on a different one. The reader knows all their stories and feelings.

And at one point I cried!

The ending left me with the feeling that there was hope in the Furbers’ future.

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