First Impressions: Miracle Beach by Erin Celello

On September 28, 2011 by Aimee
Miracle Beach by Erin Celello

Miracle Beach by Erin Celello

About the front:
So here we have a girl walking into the water. The first thing I think about is suicide. Sad, but true. Why else would someone, all dressed, slowly walk into what looks to be a lake? Now I see no beach, but I can assume it’s in the way foreground, where we don’t see it. And that’s okay because my mind can envision that with no problem. So does the beach bring miracles then? Does going into the water bring about a miracle for the girl in the peach dress?

I don’t know, but it’s raising questions as I stare at image.

I love the greens and blues and the contrast in her attire.

I love the simplicity of the text too. Clear. Concise. Clear. Did I say that already?

Now let’s look at what the back says:

In a stirring debut novel, the discovery of a husband’s troubling secrets after his death shakes his wife’s faith in their marriage and herself.

Macy Allen, an accomplished equestrienne, has relied on her horses and her husband, Nash, to pull her through. But after Nash dies in a tragic accident, Macy learns devastating secrets about his life that rock her belief in their marriage and herself. Nash’s mother, Magda, blames Macy for her only son’s death. When her husband, Jack, moves to Vancouver Island in a desperate attempt to feel closer to the son he’s lost and never really knew, Magda’s bitterness threatens to alienate the people she needs most. As this unlikely family questions how well they knew Nash and what love really means, still another surprise awaits them-an irrepressible child who will overturn all their expectations…

Does it match? Front to Back without the in between?
Um … well … where’s the beach come into play? Where is the conflict for the girl? Is that the child? This sounds like a book wrought with emotional tugging … on those heartstrings.

I don’t understand why the blurb has the same thing written (effectively) twice (the opening line is basically repeated). Is this really about the wife or is this about the Mom or is this about the child? Going back to the cover, I’m gleaning now that this is really about the child as the girl now looks young to me.

So if it’s about the child, why isn’t the book description centered around her and not around the wife and Mom? Where does the child come into play? To throw that line into the ends seems like someone thought ‘oh yeah, better add something about the true point of the story.” Anyway … I still think the ‘feel’ of the cover fits the look of a women’s fiction/literary fiction story.

Where I’d read it
Not at the beach. This isn’t a beach read to me. This is a time for when I’m depressed and just need to wallow in someone else’s problems.

Will you add it to your bookshelf virtual or otherwise? Share in the comments!

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14 Responses to “First Impressions: Miracle Beach by Erin Celello”

  • Um … like you, I really liked the cover. And almost expected something mystical would be unfolded within the pages. However, I’m having a little trouble gelling front with back–though that might be down to (as you already pointed out) the confusing warble of a blurb. Yep, I picked up on the duplicated blurbiness, but then the rest of it goes so back and forth, leaping without transition from one character to the next, that I have absolutely no idea who the main focus of the story is, or who the MC could be, or even where the title fits into it all–which is fine because the titles aren’t always obvious without reading a book, but the image also reflects the water/beach theme un-evident in the story’s description.
    Will I add it? Um … I’m afraid the blurb offers up more confusion than intrigue to me.

  • Add me to the growing list of people who like the cover.

    Thing is, i gt a more sinister vibe from it. A ghost story. Bodies floating in the lake or gone missing on said lake. It certainly doesn’t jive with the cover copy though.

    Is the cover designed to get people to pick it up? Check.
    Would i pick it up and read the back? Check
    Would I then buy it? I dunno. Kinda feel gypped.

    Should have been a picture of a partially open closet with lingerie spilling out.

  • See, I read the cover different than you. I saw a child wading in the water after church. She young, whimsical, etc. but the setting is lonely–foggy, no signs of other life. That fits the back cover in that a child (I’m guessing Nash was naughty and had a love child), innocent of her father’s sins, helps reunite a family torn apart by secrets and indiscretions.

    I do agree though that the back blurb is rather rambling. Too much focus on Magda and who cares about Jack. It’s gonna be a tearjerker that’s for sure. I can only hope the little girl isn’t too Shirley Temple and precocious. That’d turn me off immediately.

  • Read the book, will you??? For Pete’s sake.

    I just stumbled onto this trying to look up the name of the author of possibly one of the best books I have read in years. And I see you guys griping in some blog about the photo doesn’t synch with the blurb??? Do you guys actually read books?

    Its an amazing novel. The writing is absolutely perfect. This is her first book, but she is an author I hope becomes as prolific as Joyce Carol Oates.

    • Hi Reader!

      All the books that I put in my First Impressions series are ones I’ve added to my TBR pile. I have a whole post about why I started this series which comes from my photography background and being a reader who likes the visual aspect of a book.

      Online, we only have the front cover and blurb to make decisions off of, and that means it’s even more important that these two things jive so that it CAN be found by and fallen in love with by readers.

      Thanks for commenting!

    • I believe, Reader, you’re missing the point of the blog post:
      To discuss whether or not the book cover matches what the blurb tells the reader, and whether or not you would be swayed by the cover of a book to pick it up and pop it in your basket/on your to-read pile.
      If you note the title of the blog post, it says, ‘First Impressions’, because no matter how protective/defensive you may feel toward this particular author’s work, first impressions (which tend to come in the form of cover and blurb) DO matter.
      The author of this blog has simply posted the cover and blurb, and given her opinion. None of the commentors on here are forced to agree with her–but then, they, too, are entitled to an opinion.
      As an author, learning to accept CONSTRUCTIVE feedback/criticism (not GRIPING, as you so wrongly assume) is part and parcel of putting your work out there for the world to share. You obviously don’t understand that. Just as you don’t understand that if the author can’t entice the reader with what’s on the cover, then even the best darn book in the world will likely be left unread.

  • Well said, Another Reader.

    I, too, look at both the front and back covers. If the text sounds convoluted, I pass…always. if the cover doesn’t intrigue me, I pass…always. While I love the colors of this cover, the cover itself does not appeal to me and I probably would pass. It seems too Shutterstock to me, if that makes sense. Now, if it was recommended to me as a great read, I’d give it a go, but would probably get it from the library before shelling out $$$.

    What makes me decide to buy a book after the front and back covers grab me? The middle of the book. If the writing in the middle of the book grips me and holds me and makes me want to keep reading, odds are the rest of the book will grab me, too.

  • I like the cover. I see a mist covered coast or island that the girl is facing, so I’m thinking some kind of journey for the girl, something she’s searching for maybe? The blurb is somewhat convoluted, and whilst that doesn’t necessarily mean the book is badly written, it doesn’t bode well if you ask me. Which you did :)

    • I like the cover, too, Ruth. :) That’s why it made my list. I was quite intrigued by the overall look and HAD to take a second look at the blurb. :)

  • I like the flavour of this cover. It stirs memories of walking into the lake on a misty morning while camping. I’m hoping for something supernatural when I look at it.

    I don’t see how it fits with the blurb, what of it I read. Sorry, but my attention wandered half way through the rambling jumble of information. If I was in a store, I’d have put it back down and gone to the next one. Blurbs are HARD to write, I know, but this one needs some serious help.