The Quinn brothers are back in RISING TIDES, the second volume in
Nora Roberts' Chesapeake Bay trilogy. In the first volume, SEA
SWEPT, the stage was set for this story of the bonds that unite
three brothers --- Cameron, Ethan, and Philip --- troubled and
misfit kids adopted by Ray and Stella Quinn.
As SEA SWEPT opened Ray Quinn was in an Intensive Care hospital
room, dying of injuries sustained in a car accident. The boys he
rescued, loved, and made his own are grown now. As they gather
around their father's hospital bed, he gives into their care his
last "rescue," young Seth DeLauter. Seth's emotional wounds are
still deep and his defenses are strong. Caring for him --- and
having their right to care for him recognized by the authorities
--- presents challenges that will sustain the three brothers
through the trilogy, forcing them to change their lives radically
in ways they can't begin to imagine.
Though the whole family is present in both books, SEA SWEPT
concentrated on race-car driving playboy Cameron Quinn and the
relationship that grew between him and the social worker in charge
of Seth's case, Anna. RISING TIDES brings quiet, strong and steady
Ethan Quinn center stage as the ten-year friendship between Ethan
and Grace Monroe heats up and moves toward romance.
In a very real sense, RISING TIDES is about the redemptive power of
love in many kinds of relationships.
Ethan and Grace both bring difficult pasts to their relationship.
Ethan's birth mother was a prostitute and exposed him to sides of
life no child should know. He has deep scars that the love of Ray
and Stella Quinn helped begin to heal. He has a long way to go
until he can accept his own worth as a lover and true partner.
Grace eloped at 17 with a boy who left her in less than a year ---
seven months pregnant and too proud to go home to her disapproving
father for help. Both Ethan and Grace are strong people --- both
have coped well with life --- but each is missing something. Love
redeems Ethan's isolation and Grace's pride, allowing them to heal
the wounds of their pasts and move into the vulnerability of truly
Prickly, defensive Seth also begins to trust and heal as the Quinn
brothers accept and love him. As he begins to feel safe with this
family, more of his story begins to come out. Mystery continues to
surround Seth as well, as rumors abound that he is Ray's biological
and illegitimate child. The questions surrounding his birth --- and
later adoption --- dovetail with questions surrounding the car
accident that took Ray's life. Amid speculation that Ray might have
run off the road intentionally, the Quinn brothers close ranks to
dispel that gossip and arrive at the truth. This story line will
run through all three books, and I must admit to my own impatience
to see the next volume in the series, INNER HARBOR. Darn it, I want
to know what happens!
Nora Roberts' real strength lies in the way she portrays human
relationships. RISING TIDES explores many levels of relationship
--- brothers, friends, lovers, spouses ---and shows the true power
inherent in open, loving, caring rapport. RISING TIDES debuted at
#1 on the New York Times Bestseller list, claiming Roberts' strong
place in the hearts of her readers. It left me hungry for
Reviewed by Jeanny House on January 23, 2011