This book was a bit hard to review for me, because I kept having ups and downs in my opinon.
The story circles around our main character - Aidan, who loses his job as lawyer and is forced to go live and work oon a small island. The books goes with a slow start after revieling something like a little tale before the first chapters, leaving you to wonder how this will fit in the rest of the story.
I don't mind slow starts. Not that I am a fan of them, but I know well enough that a real gem of a story can be hidden later in the pages. This was the case here. The book slightly bored me for the first about 100 pages, even of the authors style was beautiful, realistic and like painting a picture. It all made it a nice read and helped me going. Things changed suddenly after the episode with the bar fight, when my interest to the story was reborn once again and didn't leave me till the last page.
My heart grow warm to many of the characters, and especially to what I started to call the Crew - the four ones on the board of the Prodigal. Aidan, Molly, Marcus, Ibrahim - I loved them all and I felt for them through every page.
I loved how the different storylines enterwined, I enjoyed the blooming love between Aidan and Molly, the humour is some of the dialogs and the characters of almost everyone. But what I loved the most was that the book gives you the chance to choose - if there was a magic and miravles behind all that happens or not. I love sotrylines that go on the edge like this. Also, the use of the legends and tales was great and captivating. The mystery surrounding the boat was beautiful and well developped.
However, there were at the same time many things that annoyed me, apart from the slow beginning (if it wasn't only for it, I wouldn't drop the rating)
-this is a book about sailing, and it is great! But I felt the need of some underline notes. I know some total basics like a nautical mile, but other terms left me wondering. It wasn't a problem to grasp the whole of the story, but still annoying. I think I wouldn't be the only reader who'd feel like this. I know many people don't like sidenotes, but they are easy to skip, and yet very useful if you decide to go through them after all.
-the Vatican. It is just with sooo many books in the later years that go with a Da-Vinci-code like conspiracies, that when this came up in the book, I started eye rolling. Thankfully, it didn't become a main part of the story lines, but it could have been left on the level of the "battle of the ships", without adding an extra spice. Because, as I said, I loved the use of the legends! I was even hoping for more of it.
-the death of one of the characters. It just saddned me so, and I rate books on how I feel.I felt a bit better after the "return from death" of another character, but even so.
To wrap it all in the end - it is a beautiful story. It has love subplots, but is not a romance novel. It talks about faith and finding yourself and finding a home and place to go back to, but is not a book of the type "Change your life (in 9000 easy steps)" - that I hate by the way. It has real adventure and great mystery and I can say I enjoyed it a lot. If you don't mind the points listed above and don't see them like flaws, you'd like the book even more than me.