Review: The Lady of Tarpon Springs by Judith Miller

The Lady of Tarpon Springs by Judith Miller
Hannah's Rating: 4 out of 5 bookmarks

This book was my first story by Judith Miller. I'd avoided her work for a long time under a nebulous idea that her books might be underwhelming or saccharine. However, I grabbed a copy on impulse after my friend kept telling me how much she was loving the book.

I was wowed by a colorful story of Florida life and Greek culture that is sure to stick with me for a good long while. Zanna Krykos could easily be the stereotypical modern heroine: a historical woman discontented at home, hesitant to marry, following a mostly-male career, and very sure of her own opinion and perceptions. But Miller takes all that and goes beyond stereotype by plopping her right in over her head: her dear friend Lucy inherits a fledgling sponging business and needs some help. Zanna to the rescue! She is a lawyer and most importantly she speaks Greek. Lucy's new employees are arriving from Greece (which was apparently the sponging center of the universe) to try to start up a company to harvest the numerous sponges in the Bay. Lucy doesn't speak a word of Greek, the workers don't speak a word of English, and Zanna's her only hope.

Single master diver Nico Kalos is leading his men to a new land to ply their trade and send money back home to loved ones. He can hardly believe it when he finds the promises made to him about the job are false and the man who promised them newly dead. Two women who haven't the slightest clue about the job or the essential safety requirements are the leaders now, and Nico's stuck: there's no money for fare to return to Greece. The last thing he'll do is let these headstrong women endanger his men or refuse to live up to the promises that drew his group away from the families and homes they loved. He can't speak enough English to communicate with his new boss, Lucy, but he can sure speak to fiery and pretty Zanna. Sparks fly fast between these two.

Wow, I learned so much about sponging and diving! I was fascinated by all that went into it and amazed by the dangers that the divers faced. This part of the book was really well done and interesting.

What held it back from a five-bookmark rating for me was just a couple of things. Zanna is a lawyer, but we aren't told much about her job or what made her want to go into it. Not much about how she learned it or anything about her other clients. She has some kind of office but I kept waiting to really see her helping people there. Also, we get lots about Greek culture but very little about historical Tarpon Springs itself. I'd have like a more detailed city setting and a bit more about the job/calling that drove Zanna.

In terms of a content advisory, there isn't much to say. There are a few kisses, a death, and an attempted drowning. I'll definitely be seeking out more by Miller now!

Hannah Gridley has been a dedicated bookworm since the age of 4. By day she works for a local nonprofit; in her spare time she works in a bookstore, teaches music, plays violin in two local orchestra groups and in her church, and enjoys hiking. Favorite reading genres include Christian, historical fiction, suspense, and vintage/classic novels. When she isn't working, writing, or reading, she spends money adding books to her home library or collecting fountain pens and fancy inks.

Disclosure: The publisher provided us with a free copy of this book for promotional purposes. This post contains affiliate links.

Hannah Gridley

No comments:

Post a Comment