Rating: 4/5 stars
Can you think of a better book to read right as we are in the middle of summer than a book about historic shark attacks on the Jersey Shore?? Me either!! As a loyal Shark Week watcher, when I saw the summary for this book, I knew I had to read it. While I was a Division I college swimmer, I will admit that the ocean has always been a very scary place for me-not because of the waves, but because of the things in the ocean. So, learning about sharks and reading books such as this has always been fascinating to me, but also serves to support my fear of the ocean; at least to me!
In 1916 along the Jersey Shore over the span of about 2 weeks, 5 individuals were killed by shark bites. Most Americans either did not know what a shark was or thought sharks to be relatively harmless. Because of this, some theories ranged from a sea monster like Loch Ness to the Germans-not so farfetched as WWI was already underway and the Lusitania had recently been sunk-for these attacks instead of a shark or of “bringing the shark to American shores”. Told through the eyes of people connected to the case-Dr. Halsey, the girlfriend of a victim, the townspeople impacted, etc. we really see the fear that this incident caused in such a short span at the Jersey Shore.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book-specifically the history of the incidents and the way the author took a real event and turned it into a fictionalized novel. What was lacking for me, was I felt the way the book was written was a bit like a forced fiction novel when it could have been truly intriguing as just a nonfiction book. I understand that the goal was to write a fictionalized story on a non-fiction event, but there was just some piece missing for me. That being said, I did really enjoy this book and would recommend it to anyone! In fact, several members of my family are currently reading it at my recommendation! So why not take a bite of this novel yourself?!
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