Sea Cliff: Mary Deal
Barriers and walls replace the sunshine and freedom of life and relationships in Rachel’s life. Fear of getting hurt and finding herself once again at the mercy of someone’ hands and having her heart broken into more pieces, she covers herself in a veil of darkness only to come when the clouds are high in the sky and the sun can no longer be seen. Rachel lived her life in fear of her father who used physical abuse on her, her brother and mother in order to prove that he was in control. Now, years later she has created a successful writing career for herself but when Matthew enters her life will she allow him into her heart? Sea Cliff is beautiful and the author describes the landscape in such vivid colors, smells and descriptions you want to get in your car and drive there to see it for yourself and never leave. Rachel always works as an accountant for her brother, Brandon who when you get to know him better and hear their interactions, you realize that he too is not much different than their father when demanding her help to close the books on his business but fixing them and dealing with his abusive attitude is where she strongly draws the line.
Matthew meets her and together they seem to be at a steady flow with conversations about their jobs, interests but when things get a little closer to reality she explains what her father did to her but will that deter him or will that bring him closer to her? Rachel can be standoffish and their relationship although both seem to like each other is more on than off as both are busy and do not want to take calls while working. At times Matthew seems distant and leaves her without looking back as he walks to his car. Meeting Cameron his father and Mona , you can see that Rachel relates to her but that Cameron’s thoughts about her need time to develop. Only wanting his son to be happy the author shares Rachel’s past relationships which she can’t seem to get past and let go and we meet Linda who seems bent on interfering in Matthew’s life and who Matthew would like to disappear but she won’t. He just wants his ring back from her and she keeps hanging on to him and won’t let go.
Rachel accepted work quite a distance away from her home and Matthew seemed embroiled in renovations in different homes. Distance and learning that Matthew was interested in someone else drove Rachel to burying herself in her work as author Mary Deal takes this one step further by having Hunter and Melissa the characters in her new book, mirror both her and Matthew. Things change at times and the characters evolve in her own mind and on paper as Rachel sees Matthew at a yoga class and things seem to be turning around in a different direction but will they learn more about each other or will they drift away once more?
Life takes its own wicked turns and so the lives of Matthew and Rachel would tumble into disaster as someone disorderly, on drugs and drunk takes away his freedom, his mobility and more as a tragic accident would disable him, make him unconscious and the person who did it was once close to him but the end result would change it all. While Matthew remains unconscious for two months, Rachel, Cameron and Mona bond as they joined together in prayer to pray for Matthew’s recovery and Rachel realizes that this man just might be the right one for her but first he needs to wake up. Within the real story of Rachel and Matthew is the fictionalized account of Hunter and Melissa and just how much will the final ending mirror their story?
As Matthew and Rachel become close and the tragedy that struck him takes hold it’s up to both of them to sift through their own worries, qualms and begin to heal as she realizes how she feels about him but obstacles come in their way and at times she retreats. Jealousy overtakes her when anyone tries to get closer to Matthew and she uses these times in her writing. A party that she had for New Year’s Eve turned sad when she saw Brit coming up against Matthew. Innocent it might be and yet she ran away and did not confront the situation. Tensions always rise when she’s with her brother Brandon but how will these stories and threads mesh at the end?
Within her book titled Sea Cliff by Rachel Daye, Melissa and Hunter are parallel in their lives with Matt and Rachel. Her father’s words lingered in her mind as she refuses to allow love within her real life, tossing Matt aside and drowning herself in her writing creating novel after novel but what about her reality. Even with Richie her ghostwriter who was her savior, the signings and Matt finishing the renovations on her house, then asking her to do commercials to promote his business, Rachel seemed unfulfilled.
Author Mary Deal presents the issue of abuse that we come to understand the reasons in Rachel’s mind as to why she pushed anyone aside and refused to love anyone and be close to them because it said it was wrong. His abuse took its toll on her and the author allows readers into the mind of someone who seems lost at times within her own world of sadness and resentment. Even learning that what she thinks Matt was doing with Brit was not in reality what really happened will she realize that he is meant to be for her or will she lock her door from the inside and not anyone in?
With her brother’s relationship in tatters and Matt still having physical problems will he give up on her or will the romance created within her novel Sea Cliff be the reality? What about in real life? Author Mary Deal weaves a story filled with hope, despair, tragedy, deceit and two young people that need to open their eyes to the world around them and each other.
“Melissa the adult, had no choice but to try to appease and protect, Melissa the child, who had not been. When the child would be allowed to experience, express and mature, would be when the child and adult merged and became a whole person. Then the whole person would respond in mature ways. That explained some of the curious childlike qualities she often expressed in their happier moments. How much Hunter might learn would help?” We can parallel these two characters in her book and apply what is said to Rachel and Matt. Rachel as Melissa needed to experience her own transformational shift from within. But will she ever? Read Sea Cliff and learn what happens when a father’s words linger too long.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ network/MJ magazine