by Luanne Rice

ISBN: 0-553-80419-7
Reviewer Graphic Button Bantam Books

This summer author Luanne Rice will take readers on a journey to Ireland, back to the States, and once again back to the Emerald Isle. As I finished Ms. Riceís newest book I came to fully realize that sometimes life is a cycle and that for many people to feel fulfilled they must complete, or at least attempt to complete, their circle of life.

Honor and John Sullivan took their three children to Ireland, so that John, a sculptor and photographer, could complete a sculpture he felt compelled to build, photograph and then let nature destroy. The plan sounds grand, and will allow the Sullivan family a chance to be in the land of their ancestors. However, as we all know, the best laid plans of mice and men often fall apart. John and Honor could never have foreseen the tragedy that would soon tear their family apart and keep them apart for years. Nor could they begin to comprehend how this tragedy would affect their children.

With the tragedy many years behind them, will Honor and John be able to set the past aside and rebuild their family? Will the past's present effects be too big an obstacle for the family to overcome? What will it take for the Sullivan family to be fully healed and able to step into the future as a fully intact family?

Ms. Rice concentrates on Honor, John, and their girls, but she also writes the story of Johnís sister Bernadette, and his good friend Tom Kelly who also felt the need to travel to Ireland. They too had a life changing experience while in Ireland, and it affected their future.

Ms, Rice has seamlessly woven the tale of two separate tragedies into one gripping family tale. I believe that as you read Sandcastles you too will begin to feel a new understanding for the phrase the "circle of life."

Reviewed in June 2006 by Sandi.

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