BOOK TOUR REVIEW: The Orphans of Race Point by Patry Francis
The Orphans of Race Point
by Patry Francis
Literary Fiction/Romance/Family Drama
Set on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, a suspenseful page-turning saga of love, murder, and the true meaning of faith from the author of the acclaimed The Liar’s Diary.
Set in the close-knit Portuguese community of Provincetown, Massachusetts, The Orphans of Race Point traces the relationship between Hallie Costa and Gus Silva, who meet as children in the wake of a terrible crime that leaves Gus parentless. Their friendship evolves into an enduring and passionate love that will ask more of them than they ever imagined.
On the night of their high school prom, a terrible tragedy devastates their relationship and profoundly alters the course of their lives. And when, a decade later, Gus—now a priest—becomes entangled with a distraught woman named Ava and her daughter Mila, troubled souls who bring back vivid memories of his own damaged past, the unthinkable happens: he is charged with murder. Can Hallie save the man she’s never stopped loving, by not only freeing him from prison but also—finally—the curse of his past?
The Orphans of Race Point is a huge, sweeping novel that spans several decades, so I’ll try to make a succinct review even though it may be difficult.
The story, at its’ heart, is about the love between two people in a very close knit community and how decisions can affect your life and the lives of others for years to come. Hallie Costa befriends Gus Silva when they are nine years old, after Gus’ alcoholic and abusive father murders his mother. Hallie gets Gus to open up in ways no one else had been able to, and they begin their friendship which in turn becomes a romantic relationship as they are in high school.
But even though Gus has given them no reason to, the people of their small town can’t help but compare him to his violent father and think he will turn out like him one day. When an accident occurs in a split second, the paths of Hallie and Gus’ lives change forever and not only affect their relationship, but so many people’s lives in the years ahead.
I was immediately immersed in this story, which has so many different and rich characters, because of the sweetness and honesty between Hallie and Gus as children. As I watched them grow, their love became something else entirely and I really loved them together. They had so much chemistry, and when they were happy together it was the best part of the book. It absolutely broke my heart to see one thing drive them apart and ruin what they had.
As I said, this novel had so many characters, but I never felt like any of them were one dimensional or simply there for filler. Each person served a special purpose in the main characters’ lives and added to their personalities. I could also see more facets of each person based on how they interacted with the lesser figures in the book.
Though Orphans made me feel a wide range of emotions, I couldn’t settle on how the ending made me feel. In the last section there are several twists, and while I appreciated them I felt that some of them came too quickly behind one another and weren’t fully fleshed out. All my questions were ultimately answered though, and that pleased me.
The Orphans of Race Point is really too sprawling of a story to fully describe in a review, so I’ll just end by saying this is a book I definitely recommend. Whether you like romance, crime, or family drama in your reading material, this novel has it all and you should not pass it up.
About the Author
Patry Francis is the author of The Liar’s Diary and the blog 100 Days of Discipline for Writers. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in the Tampa Review, Antioch Review, Colorado Review, Ontario Review, and the American Poetry Review, among other publications. She is a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize and has twice been the recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant. She lives in Massachusetts.
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