March 2011 -
4-star Red Adept Review -
I received The Legend of the Seahawk, by Adele Clagett, as a review copy submitted to “Red Adept Reviews” by the author.
In a small Connecticut seaside town, David Parker, a young newspaper reporter, takes a short leave of absence from his job in New York City to settle his elderly aunt’s affairs after her death. While examining a memorial to the town’s fishermen who were lost at sea, David is approached by an old man who has a story to tell about a lighthouse keeper named Danny and the loss of the fishing vessel Seahawk during a storm in 1956. David finds his life and the lives of others forever changed by this tale and the spirit of the Seahawk’s captain, Scott Spear.
Overall: 4 stars
Plot/Storyline: 4 stars
After reading the first chapters, the story was beginning to resemble Sebastian Junger’s 1991 bestseller “The Perfect Storm.” But then the story took an entirely different direction. Were the spirits of the Seahawk’s crew still lost at sea, trying to find their way home a half-century after being shipwrecked? Strange things were happening each year on the anniversary of the Seahawk’s sinking, and David Parker and a local woman, Claire Reid, were determined to solve the mystery.
The story centered around an old historic lighthouse, and the author worked in some fascinating historical material about lighthouses. There was also a bit of New England colonial history, notably the Salem witch trials.
There was one key plot development that was not very logical. At a critical juncture, an old marine radio in the lighthouse was inexplicably sold to a collector, despite the fact that the lighthouse was historic and was being preserved as it was when the lighthouse ceased operations several decades earlier. This incident did serve a purpose – to add tension and to bring David and Claire closer together – but it was simply too implausible, and it was not necessary to keep the story moving.
Overall, the story was original, enjoyable reading, and the ending was very satisfying.
Characters: 4 1/2 stars
The principal characters were well developed, and it was easy to feel empathy toward them. David Parker was an ambitious young journalist from New York City. Claire Reid was a local woman who served as a volunteer guide at the town’s historic lighthouse. They made a good team as they worked together to solve the mystery of the Seahawk and its captain, Scott Spear.
Writing style: 4 stars
The author’s writing style was polished and was generally of professional quality. The characters’ dialog was realistic. The story bounced back and forth from the present time to the 1950s, but the author handled the transitions well, and I was never confused about which period the story was in.
My biggest problem with the story was that page one included a few paragraphs in italics that seemed to have nothing to do with the rest of the story. As I read on, I assumed that this was some kind of prologue or backstory that would be tied to the main story at some point. It was not until the epilogue that I realized that the italics were from a novel that David Parker was writing. This was confusing, and I kept waiting for this snippet to make sense in the context of the story. Overall, this did not add anything to the story and it would have been less confusing to have simply omitted it.
Editing: 4 stars
Editing was good, but there were a few typos and word usage issues. For example, “peak” was used instead of “peek.” The phrase “get a hold of” was used often enough to be a bit annoying. I would have suggested using the words “contact” or “get in touch with” some of those times.
January 2011 -
4-star Goodreads Review - The author Adele Clagett is my co-worker, and she gave me this book for Christmas. It was an enjoyable read with an engaging storyline and likeable characters. Adele meticulously described several scenes; you can tell that she took care researching the setting. While reading this book, I remembered time I spent in Cape Cod and it made me want to go back for another visit. I didn’t know much about the mechanics of lighthouses before, but this was brought to life in the narrative. Overall, a fun read.
August 2010 -
5-star Amazon Review – Adele Clagett’s The Legend of the Seahawk comprises the elements of fiction and a narrative style that makes it an ideal story for a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. While few seafaring ghost stories have the substance to hold my interest very long – because they all seem to focus on the same elements of the genre – characters feeling cold whenever visited by a ghost- or spirit-like energy, Clagett’s narrative is different from many others that I have read. Skillfully combining facts about lighthouses, the life of lighthouse keepers and their families, and the story of the Seahawk with its paranormal aspects – psychic readings, residual haunting, non-intelligent ghost entities – Clagett has created a seafaring ghost story that is interesting, compelling, and illuminating.
As I delved into the text, I was reminded of the other ships that had been lost in the 1950′s – My Lady in 1952, and The Echo III in 1955 – and the movie The Perfect Storm. Like The Perfect Storm, Clagett gives the reader a basic seafaring tale: On August 1, 1956, while trawling for fish, a storm unexpectedly shifts its direction and catches the Seahawk out at sea before it can return to port at Stuart Cove, a small New England town situated on the coastline of Connecticut. Captain Scott Spear and his crew of five are lost to the sea. His wife, Helen, his daughter, Cynthia, his brother-in-law and lighthouse keeper, Danny Pierce, and the townsfolk were deeply affected by the incident.
I thoroughly enjoyed Clagett’s milieu of Stuart Cove, which included Saint Margaret’s Church, the fishermen’s memorial – a small circular area, consisting of a flower garden, a few benches, a granite tablet etched with the names of those from Stuart Cove lost at sea – the Fishhook Pub, the Stone Ridge Lighthouse, and Main Street. I particularly enjoyed Father Kealy’s prayer and the blessing of the fleet, the description of the waterfront, the feast, the floats, and Saint Andrew’s statue – the patron saint of fishermen. Here, everyone knows everyone else’s business – there are no secrets in Stuart Cove – creating a sense of closeness, friendliness and intimacy.
Hence, it isn’t very long after David Parker, an investigative reporter who works for a newspaper in New York City and who returns to Stuart Cove to sell a house on Kings Creek he had inherited from his Aunt Gina and Uncle Walter, that you’ll come to realize that, aside from a seafaring ghost story, Clagett has fashioned a delightful tale of romance -Removed spoiler
The scene at the Fishhook Pub, where David and Danny Piece share a few beers, is hauntingly mysterious. Later, at the fishermen’s memorial, Danny approaches David, as he is reading the memorial, and proclaims, “That don’t tell the whole story.” David agrees to meet Danny at the lighthouse the next day, at which time, Danny reveals a portion of the truth of what happened on the night the Seahawk was lost. Intrigued by the old fisherman and his legend, David believes he might write a story about the Seahawk for his newspaper.
Realizing that he would have to conduct his own investigation, David solicits Claire’s help and together they work to uncover the truth behind the paranormal occurrences surrounding the Seahawk.
To help him solve this paranormal mystery, David solicits the assistance of Owen Skinner, a paranormal investigator who lives in New York City, and Emerson Hathaway, an expert in lighthouse restorations.
The anticipation of what was to follow is electrifying, and as I read the narrative, I felt goose bumps running up and down my arm, and the excitement David and Claire must’ve felt as they approached the shoreline the day after the storm. I shan’t reveal the ending, but you will certainly enjoy and appreciate Clagett’s resolution and the closure it brings for Helen, Cynthia, and the townsfolk of Stuart Cove.
Overall, I highly recommend Adele Clagett’s book, The Legend of the Seahawk, to all readers, and I’m sure that, after you read this story, you will feel as strongly as I do, that this story is a wonderful tale – one that might easily lend itself to a wonderful Hallmark Hall of Fame movie.
July 2010 -
4-star Goodreads Review – This was a giveaway book I received thru Goodreads! The story was well written and kept my attention. I am a lighthouse enthusiast, so thoroughly enjoyed the historic details about the lighthouse, the surrounding area and the characters. Danny’s quote, “There’s more to the story” kept me up reading late into the night!
July 2010 -
5-star Goodreads Review – Thank you Goodreads for this wonderful free book which I won. Adele, Many thanks for writing this fantastic novel, and mailing it out quickly. Thank you so much!!
It’s the story of Danny(the light house keeper) and the Seahawk and it’s crew lost at Sea. Danny dies before he can tell David the whole story. David is hooked and researches the back ground and life of Danny. Lots of paranormal themes and it hooks you as fast as you can turn the page.
The true history of the light house is what hooks you immediately and holds your attention through all the following pages.
I hope each and every one of you has the chance to read this novel. It’s suitable for all ages and all interests in reading.
July 2010 -
2-star Goodreads Review – I got this book as a Goodreads first-read.
It was a quick read.
I’ve always wanted to visit Connecticut…especially in the fall. I’ve never been, but through Clagett’s beautiful descriptive writing of the setting, I could feel the atmosphere.
I didn’t expect the non-typical ghost story, but I liked it. I was taken in by Danny and his story.
I found some of David’s story predictable…and I was intrigued by the Camelia Wright story that I could really get into…but understandably did not get the chance to enjoy.
If you are interested in lighthouses and the history behind them, pick this up for a fun easy read.
5-star Amazon Review – Oh my gosh, you are a GENIUS! I just finished this book, it took me a day to read it. I LOVED IT!!! I keep recommending it to people saying it was the best book I’ve EVER read [and I do read a LOT]! Any suggestions on books I might like since I liked this one so much? I can’t seem to find many good ones. The Legend of the Seahawk really made me think though – it was great!!! I wanted to be an author but I was never creative enough to come up with a good story, most of mine are unfinished. How did you think of this amazing story??? ♥
5-star Amazon Review – The Legend of the Seahawk is an wonderful, engaging read. The setting of the story just seemed to draw you in and made it so easy to “picture” the action. I normally don’t read the paranormal, however, this book was so well-written that I didn’t mind that aspect at all. I couldn’t put the story down once I started it and I was sorry to see it end. I look forward to reading more from this author!
5-star Amazon Review – The Legend of the Seahawk is an entertaining read. The setting is a small fishing village. David is a journalist, and came to the small town to settle his aunt’s estate, but becomes caught up in the mystery of the Stone Ridge Lighthouse.
This is a delightful read. There is romance without allowing it to take possession the story. At times it was difficult to know the difference between fact and fiction. The descriptions are vivid. The characters have depth and definition. The setting is exquisite. This story will stay with you long after you read the last page. Fans of mystery will not want to miss the Legend of the Seahawk.
5-star Amazon Review – I bought this book for my Kindle after reading a blurb about it. This is a great story set in a small fishing village. The village boasts a decommissioned lighthouse that now offers tours of the keepers living area and the lighthouse itself. The lighthouse is at the heart of the mystery.
I enjoyed getting to know the well drawn characters who are immediately likable. The inhabitants of the small fishing village will make you feel welcome from the start. The main characters will engage your interest and never let it go.
I don’t want to give away the wonderful plot, so I’ll just give a short summary: the village, as all fishing villages, has suffered losses to the sea. The lighthouse boasts a mystery and the main characters are driven to solve it. The love story never stoops to romance-style story telling, it’s well done and moves the story along at a brisk pace.
Don’t miss out on a wonderful read!
5 star Amazon Review – This author has a great knack for detail, both in description and historical aptitude. It was a pleasant blend of fact, folklore and fiction with plenty of endearing characters. When David hears the radio…great stuff! Throughout this whole tale, I could envision everything the writer was conveying in text, and what a neat ending it had! Good job, Ms. Clagett
I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Legend of the Seahawk. It tore at my emotions and left me hoping for a sequel…and a movie. You find yourself rooting for, or against, many of the characters. The climax had my heart pounding. The story is beautiful, haunting, and engaging. – Susan
Thanks Adele for the privledge of an early read of The Legend of the Seahawk. The fact that this was inspired by a dream you had is amazing. You have certainly created a believable story with interesting characters – and the paranormal twist, even though I was expecting it, still surprised me!. I can’t wait until it is published officially so I can give The Legend of the Seahawk to my daughter for Christmas. I hope there is going to be a sequel, I want to hear more about David and Claire and the whole Stuart Cove clan. – Linda