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.
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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