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Monday, January 21, 2019

LSBBT BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: Aransas Evening by Jeff Hamptom (Contemporary)


ARANSAS EVENING
Sequel to Aransas Morning
by
JEFF HAMPTON

Genre: Contemporary Literary Fiction
Publisher: Jeff Hampton, Writer
Publication Date: October 4, 2018
Number of Pages: 346 pages


  SCROLL DOWN FOR THE GIVEAWAY! 






Life in Port Aransas was looking breezy and bright for Sam and his friends at the Dream Bean coffee shop. Shelly and Dave were talking marriage, Allie and Bo were tightening their family ties, and Sam was welcoming newcomers to town and falling for a new singer at the Sea Garden. But storms are never far away on the Texas Gulf Coast, and there would be none more destructive than Hurricane Harvey. Would Sam and his friends survive Harvey’s awful fury? And would life in Port Aransas ever be the same again? Find out in Aransas Evening, the sequel to Aransas Morning by Jeff Hampton.






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PRAISE FOR THE ARANSAS SERIES:

“Hampton’s characters pulled me in; hook, line, and sinker.”

“The pace of the book is slow and easy, and I slipped into its rhythm like the ebb and flow of the water lapping against the shoreline.”

“A lovely story about community, and how family isn’t always the one you are born into."

“Isak Dinesen once wrote, ‘The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.’  Jeff Hampton has illustrated that with grace, elegance, and excellent coffee.”




I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.

"The summer sun pressed down hard on the Aransas shoreline, turning the loose, dry sand on the beach into a pale, gritty ash that burned the bottoms of even the toughest feet and sent the tourists retreating to the cool of their condos and restaurants."

As a native of Corpus Christi, I am quite familiar with the Port Aransas area and this book immediately set a strong sense of place along the Texas coast that I call home. The entire time I was reading, I couldn't shake the sensation that I been thrust back there again! The author beautifully and meticulously captured the setting in such incredible detail that I could feel the salty breeze blowing through my hair, the gritty sand between my toes, and hear the cawing of seagulls, the waves lapping, and the ferry's metallic drone! His picturesque descriptions are utterly breathtaking and definitely enhance the mood of this intensely atmospheric story.

While the first book, ARANSAS MORNING, is the story of how a discordant group of individuals comes together to create the family they ultimately need, this book returns to their lives and delves deeper into those forged bonds. Each is tested again through some tragic or unfortunate circumstances, culminating with Hurricane Harvey's arrival. I had anticipated the hurricane to drive the tension and plot; however, it crept in quite suddenly, as these things tend to do, near the end. Regardless, I thoroughly appreciated the author's use of storms as a metaphor to place perspective throughout the story on their own unique and personal pain especially when a literal storm rages down on them. Ranking as the second most costly hurricane to hit the U.S. mainland, it is a visceral reminder that such devastating storms are both terrifyingly life-quenching in the moment yet pregnant with possibility in the aftermath. In stark contrast to its violent and fierce nature, the hurricane brought out the nurturing and supporting force within this community to solidify friendship and love even in the most unlikely places. 

'It may look to you like we're all longtime friends, but we're not...What I'm trying to say is that none of us woke up one day and decided to create this...this family...that we seem to have. It just happened.'

I really appreciated how authentic, realistic, and quite contradictory this cast of characters was portrayed.  They were all hardworking, friendly individuals who found themselves facing struggles like anyone else and picked themselves up using their healthy connections and relationships with one another to keep moving forward. None of them was perfect and they didn't always make the best choices, but they continued to push themselves as well as each other towards redemption and happiness, and in the end, I believe that's really all any of us can do. 

As with much of island life, the pacing is much slower, strengthening that sleepy vibe of tourist centered locales. This heavily drawn character study is immersive, heartwarming, masterfully relatable, and delightfully engaging. 




Jeff Hampton has based his life and career in Texas writing for newspapers, magazines, businesses, and institutions. His interest in observing the people around him has led him to write essays, short stories, and novels that explore relationships and communities in their many forms. Aransas Evening is his sixth book, following Aransas Morning, Grandpa Jack, Jonah Prophet, When the Light Returned to Main Street, and The Snowman Uprising on Hickory Lane

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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

Grand Prize Winner: 
2 Winners:
Signed Copies of both Aransas books + Grandpa Jack + a pack of Texas Themed note cards
2 Winners:
Signed Copies of Aransas Evening & Grandpa Jack + a pack of Texas Themed note cards

JANUARY 17-26, 2019
Best of luck!

Many thanks to Lone Star Book Tours and Jeff Hampton! It was a pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting! And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions and extras!

VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
1/17/19
Author Interview
1/17/19
BONUS Promo
1/18/19
Review
1/19/19
Excerpt
1/20/19
Playlist
1/21/19
Review
1/22/19
Guest Post
1/23/19
Review
1/24/19
Review
1/25/19
Scrapbook
1/26/19
Review

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1 comment:

  1. Wow! What a fabulous review -- sounds like an excellent book to capture that beach/beach town community vibe. Thanks for the post!

    ReplyDelete

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