Sunday, 6 April 2014

Review: The Plover by Brian Doyle

Declan O Donnell has left Oregon aboard his boat, the Plover, to escape the life that’s so troubled him on land. He sets course west into the Pacific in search of solitude. Instead, he finds a crew, each in search of something themselves, and what at first seems a lonely sea voyage becomes a rapturous, heartfelt celebration of life’s surprising paths, planned and unplanned

Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: April 8th 2014 by Thomas Dunne Books 
Kristine's Thoughts:
I received an advanced readers copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The expected publication date is April 8, 2014.
I had very high expectations for this book after seeing all of the positive reviews on Goodreads. I couldn't wait to dive into it and see for myself.
Unfortunately this book fell short for me. I struggled to get through it and found that I could only read a little bit at a time, often putting it down to read something else. The characters were unique but I found I couldn't connect with them and because of that the story was quite dull. There was a lot of talking in circles and if I heard "feck" one more "fecking" time I thought I would scream!

I'm going to keep this short because it was obviously not for me. It is apparent that this style of writing is not my cup of tea but if it sounds like an interesting read I would encourage you to read it as it appears that numerous people really enjoyed it.


About the Author
Doyle's essays and poems have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, The American Scholar, Orion, Commonweal, and The Georgia Review, among other magazines and journals, and in The Times of London, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Kansas City Star, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Ottawa Citizen, and Newsday, among other newspapers. He is a book reviewer for The Oregonian and a contributing essayist to both Eureka Street magazine and The Age newspaper in Melbourne, Australia.

Doyle's essays have also been reprinted in:

* the Best American Essays anthologies of 1998, 1999, 2003, and 2005;
* in Best Spiritual Writing 1999, 2001, 2002, and 2005; and
* in Best Essays Northwest (2003);
* and in a dozen other anthologies and writing textbooks.

As for awards and honors, he has three startling children, an incomprehensible and fascinating marriage, and he was named to the 1983 Newton (Massachusetts) Men's Basketball League all-star team, and that was a really tough league.

Doyle has delivered many dozens of peculiar and muttered speeches and lectures and rants about writing and stuttering grace at a variety of venues, among them Australian Catholic University and Xavier College (both in Melbourne, Australia), Aquinas Academy (in Sydney, Australia); Washington State, Seattle Pacific, Oregon, Utah State, Concordia, and Marylhurst universities; Boston, Lewis & Clark, and Linfield colleges; the universities of Utah, Oregon, Pittsburgh, and Portland; KBOO radio (Portland), ABC and 3AW radio (Australia); the College Theology Society; National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation," and in the PBS film Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero (2002).

Doyle is a native of New York, was fitfully educated at the University of Notre Dame, and has been a magazine and newspaper journalist in Portland, Boston, and Chicago for more than twenty years. He and his family live in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Bummer, the premise of this one sounded good :(

    1. According to Goodreads lots of people liked it a lot so you may still want to give it a chance. It just wasn't for me.