Review of Sand Dollar at Mina’s Bookshelf

Posted on November 27, 2012

Paperback, 223 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Sebastian Cole LLC
Genre: contemporary novel, romance, romantic fantasy
Rating : 5 stars

“What an exquisitely romantic story! Utterly heart-wrenching in its tragedy, absolutely gratifying in its resolution. Far from being a mellow romance novel, the author deepened and enriched the shadows of widely exploited tropes (lost love and second chances) with more introspective and dramatic tones, tragic elements and a mind-blowing ending. Although frequently referred to as a romantic fantasy, I wouldn’t say that Cole’s soulful debut novel falls in that clear-cut category, being the otherworldly element not a dominant feature throughout the narration, as much  as an imaginative touch that the author used very lightly and that found its culmination only at the end of the book.

Lying in a hospital bed, eighty year old Noah Hartman offers to a compassionate medical orderly a bitter-sweet recount of his love life. As past events and present-time regretful considerations unfold  in front of our eyes with the fluidity, accuracy and comfortable pace of a movie script, Noah takes us for an emotional trip down memory lane, leading the readers through his heartbreaking quest for love and the countless obstacles that external forces, prejudices, and twists of fate placed on his path to happiness. What makes this story of undying love so poignant and inspiring is the combination of two very fragile and vibrant characters and the incredible resiliency of their mutual feelings. I was overwhelmed with a deep sense of compassion for Noah and Robin. Their back-stories may be marked by environmental and genetic traits that will act as invisible and sometimes unexplained forces against the fulfillment of their love (Noah’s Jewish background and family’s hostility to Robin, Robin’s tragic past and lack of emotional stability), but true love has a way to reveal itself in “a moment of truth and clarity” and to lead two soul mates through the storms and the rough seas, like a compass to its true north.

Keep a tissue box close by while reading this evocative novel…Sand Dollar won’t leave your soul and your eyes dry.” — Mina’s Bookshelf

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