Book Review: Cry for the Strangers By John Saul

Book Review: Cry for the Strangers By John SaulClark’s Harbour is not a good place for strangers. The locals all come from family’s that have lived there for generations and strangers are an intrusion that they don’t appreciate. Even if someone has lived there for 20 years they are still a stranger in Clark’s Harbour and, over the years, it always seems to be the strangers that have the accidents, commit suicide or are murdered.

Cry for the Strangers is a good story, but it is written in omniscient viewpoint and I found it a little uncomfortable when I seemed to hop from one character’s thoughts to those of another and then back again. Either I haven’t read many novels that are written using this viewpoint, or the ones that I have read were written in such a way that I didn’t notice the switching. Reading Cry for the Strangers, I did notice. It annoyed me.

The main characters in the book are strangers to the harbour: Brad and Elaine Randall, and Glen and Rebecca Palmer and their two children, Robby and Missy. The Plamers moved to Clark’s Harbour because of their son. Robby suffers from hyperkinesis and can get very out of control. While visiting the harbour Robby’s parents noticed that his symptoms vanished, so they decided to stay and make it their home.

Brad Randall is a psychiatrist and he plans to take a year out to write a book about biorhythms and where better to do it than at the peaceful harbour town?

The town might not be very welcoming to its new residents, but at least they have each other. Strange things are happening though; and a storm is coming in.

I liked most of the characters in Cry for the Strangers, but I disliked the police chief, Harney Whalen. He hated strangers to the point that it interfered with his effectiveness as a police officer.

I read the paperback version of the book. It was 320 pages long and contained packed full of reasons for strangers to cry at Clark’s harbour.

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