book reviews , different studio guests each week. Join us every Thursday between 12 and 1pm on Radio Scilly 107.9fm or log on to

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Thursday, 7 June 2012

JoJo Moyes - Silver Bay

review by Ro Bennett live on show 7th June 2012.
This is the first Jo Jo Moyes book I have read. I loved the title and the subject matter - whales and dolphins and their conservation is particularly interesting to me. It was also topical with the development of Porthcressa causing differences of opinion here on Scilly, with Scillonians divided by the prospect of change.

The story is based in the Australian coastal resort of Silver Bay. Mike a British businessman has come to stay at the run down hotel to secretly get planning permission for his London company to develop the area. He has decided it has potential for development and wants to knock down the existing dilapidated hotel and built a modern new complex incorporating a large hotel and a vast water sports centre which will bring in loads of tourists, boost the local economy and make a huge amount of money for him, his company and its share holders.

Unfortunately this will have a devastating effect on the whales and dolphins and other marine and wild life in the area as Mike gradually comes to realise as he falls in love with the place and the people.

The story revolves around the small community of 'Silver Bay' and is told from different perspectives by four narrators. This is a terrific book. The characters are well developed, there is drama, intrigue and mystery as the plots intertwine and twist. Interspersed cleverly into the story are grim realities such as the devastation caused to marine life by miles of ghost nets which trap everything in their way. The horror of this is graphically and skillfully described in a way that really tugs at the emotions and makes one seriously consider the implications of the way fish are harvested.
And then there’s the conundrum: The area is sustained by tourism. Tourists come for the wildlife - but the wildlife is threatened by the development to attract tourists - without the whales and dolphins there will be no tourists...
But can Mike disentangle himself from his commitments and financial involvement? He started the ball rolling - can it be stopped?
An excellent, thought provoking read with an unexpected surprise ending. I would certainly recommend it and will look forward to reading more books by Jo Jo Moyes.

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