The Sea and the Stars by Robert Wilder

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Robert Wilder stepped a bit too far in his prose involving detailing so much Daytona Beach and Florida history. I LOVE Florida history and volunteer and work hard to keep the memories alive. However, I have to judge this book involving story telling and this one gets stuck in the sand.

The history in this book should be the primary reason for reading the book. The thing of that is that some of the history is incorrect or left out in context. It is a book of fiction, but I feel if he wanted to drape a story over Florida history, he might as well follow a bit more closely instead of bending to the needs to tell the story. Especially a story that was otherwise so lacking.

The story is a problem. You follow a person in his life that has a specific goal in mind. Unfortunately, that is all you follow. As other events happen the book keeps the focus on the obsession of the character. The only deviation are the many pages of memories of Florida’s past. So there are really two obsessions and the book moves back and forth between the two . To someone who doesn’t care about Florida’s history, this book will be terribly boring. A good editor should have pulled Wilder’s chain about the direction of the book.

There was an obvious disconnect with the cover of the book. The hardcover jacket fits, but the paperback is ludicrous after reading the novel. Obviously the cover art was requested by the publisher to sell the book despite the contents.

Seems to me the truth of this story is that the reader is reading Wilder’s life experiences in Daytona Beach growing up. At least, I hope so. That’s what got me through the book. After reading the very unsatisfying ending, it’s the best I can hope I got from the book.

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