At The Breakers
By: Mary Ann Taylor-Hall
In her new novel At The Breakers, Mary Ann Taylor-Hall, author of the widely praised and beloved Come and Go Molly Snow, presents Jo Sinclair, a longtime single mother of four children. Fleeing an abusive relationship after a shocking attack, Jo finds herself in Sea Cove, New Jersey, in front of The Breakers, a salty old hotel in the process of renovation. Impulsively, she negotiates a job painting the guest room and settles in with her youngest child, thirteen-year-old Nick. As each room transformed under brush and roller, Jo finds a way to renovate herself, reclaiming a promising life derailed by pregnancy and a forced marriage at fourteen.
Jo’s new life at the hotel features a memorable mix of locals and guests, among them Iris Zephyr, the hotel’s ninety-two-year-old permanent boarder; Charlie, noble mixed-breed dog; Marco, owner of a nearby gas station/liquor store, who may become Jo’s next mistake; and enigmatic Wendy, her streetwise eighteen-year-old daughter, who signs on as housekeeper. Irrepressible Victor Mangold, Jo’s former professor and well-known poet some twenty years her senior, invites himself to Thanksgiving dinner and into her life, his passion awakening Jo’s yearning for art and love.
At The Breakers is a deeply felt and beautifully written novel about forgiveness and reconciliation. Jo Sinclair; put through the fire, emerges with a chance at a full, rich life for herself and her children, if only she has the faith to take it.