The Return by Ana MaticsThe Return by Ana Matics

The Return

byAna Matics

Paperback | November 17, 2014

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Near Haven is like any other small, dying fishing village dotting the Maine coastline-a crusty remnant of an industry long gone, a place that is mired in sadness and longing for what was and can never be again. People move away, yet they always seem to come back. It's a vicious cycle of small-town America.Liza Hawke thought that she'd gotten out, escaped across the country on a basketball scholarship. A series of bad decisions, however, has her returning home after nearly a decade. She struggles to accept her place in the fabric of this small coastal town, making amends to the people she's wronged and trying to rebuild her life in the process.Her return marks the beginning of a shift within the town as the residents that she's hurt so badly start to heal once more.
Title:The ReturnFormat:PaperbackDimensions:322 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 0.72 inPublished:November 17, 2014Publisher:Ylva Verlag e.Kfr.Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:3955332349

ISBN - 13:9783955332341

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great story, with a few issues I have been waiting a long time to read this book; its publication was heavily lauded in fandom circles for the OUAT (Once Upon a Time) TV show ship known as Swan Queen where it originated as an online AU fan fiction story. I never read the fan fiction story but am familiar with the show, its fandoms/character pairings so the people of Near Haven in The Return (even with their names changed in the book) are easy enough to identify and along with their counterparts on the TV show. You don’t need to know those characters or anything about the show to really enjoy this story though. As a stand-alone book it works well with most characters well developed and interesting to follow thru their daily lives. The scenes that take place on the basketball court and out on fishing boats are often riveting and highly evocative; you feel as if you’re right there in the center of the action, seeing, smelling and hearing everything the characters do. Liza’s story is a gut wrenching one and highlights the failings of the so called justice system along with her childhood which is harrowing to read about as it’s alluded to throughout the book. The characters around Liza are a wonderful bunch of people, lovable in their imperfections with at least one villain to contrast. I really wanted to like Sofia but she often came across as cold and aloof, even rude and condescending; other characters talk about her feelings being warmer and more intense than what I read coming from her which was a disappointment. I can understand a character having these traits as a defensive mechanism but hers remained so consistent that she seemed to not develop much at all in the course of the story, especially compared to Liza. I wanted to read Sofia in her scenes the same way that others were describing her because that person sounded far more complex and approachable, and better explained why anyone ever interacted with her in a personal way. Also the ending did not satisfy my curiosity; the epilogue does not follow-up on all the characters I had hoped it would, leaving me wanting more answers and some peace of mind about the ending. I would love to read something else by Ana Matics because her writing is very good; I was drawn into the story even with its shortcomings, and found myself attached to Liza’s character rooting for her and caring about her in a very real way. Criticisms aside I do recommend the book for the beauty of the writing and for Liza’s story which is gripping and one of a true underdog you cannot help but cheer for and care about.
Date published: 2018-03-13