The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor: A Review

I was a big fan of The Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd so when Penguin offered to allow me to read an advanced copy of a book by the iconic author's daughter as a part of their First to Read program, I was ecstatic.  What I learned is that each author must be appreciated based on their own work and not be compared to authors that have come before them.  Ann Kidd Taylor's work is completely different from the southern fiction that I enjoyed from Sue Monk Kidd, but still just as fun.

The Shark Club takes place, primarily, in an island hotel in the Gulf of Mexico.  Maeve and her brother lost their parents when she was very young and moved into their grandmother's hotel.  The twins are friends with Daniel, a boy who is grieving the fact that his father left him and his mother unexpectedly.  When Maeve is bitten by a shark and saved by Daniel, she falls in love with both Daniel and sharks.  Soon after her engagement to Daniel, she travels to finish her dissertation so that she can study sharks full-time.  When she is away, Daniel fathers a child by another woman, breaking Maeve's heart and ending the engagement.  When Maeve returns to the hotel after a trip studying sharks, she has to face Daniel, who is now the hotel's head chef, and an illegal shark finning operation in the area.

The characters were a little bit predictable in the book and, while the shark finning mystery was a bit of a surprise, it was also a little bit anticlimactic but I actually enjoyed reading this book.  It is a wonderful beach book.  Even though it addresses issues like animal cruelty and infidelity, it still had a laid back feel and I enjoyed the romance between the characters.  I really love Taylor's easygoing writing style.  While it was very different from Sue Monk Kidd's southern fiction, I really liked Taylor's Florida-based novel.  It is a great book for someone who enjoys women's fiction or romance novels, especially if they also love animals.   

My rating:
★★★★☆

Ann Kidd Taylor co-authored a book, Traveling With Pomegranates, with her mother, Sue Monk Kidd.  Watch Taylor discuss the book at the 2009 National Book Festival here:

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This book is currently available and can be purchased from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Read more reviews on this book on Goodreads.

I received an advanced copy of this book from Penguin's First to Read program.  This is my honest opinion of this book.  I am a participant in the Amazon Affiliates program.  By clicking on the Amazon link and purchasing this product, I receive a small fee.  I am not associated with Goodreads or Barnes and Noble in any way and the links provided are available strictly for your convenience and not to imply a relationship of any kind. 


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