Homeport (Nora Roberts)
Dr. Miranda Jones lives in Seaport, Maine, working in her family’s Institute of Art. She is aided by her brother, Dr. Andrew Jones, who is a developing alcoholic. The Jones’s of Seaport are revered in the community, but nothing is as happy as it seems. Miranda and Andrew’s parents, Elizabeth Stanford-Jones and Charles Jones remain married yet live on separate continents, and both are uninvolved in their children’s lives. Elizabeth is particularly cold hearted and continuously finds fault with both her children, while Charles is simply uninterested in anything other than the next dig he can be on.
Miranda returns home after a lecture and is attacked by a man with a knife. He only steals her bag with all her ID documents in and nothing else and slashes her tires, something that perplexes the police because the jewellery on her is worth far more than the contents of the bag. When her mother calls, ordering her to fly to Standjo, another of the Jones institute’s arms in Florence, she is unable to do so because of her lost documentation. Her mother is obviously displeased, enraged that her daughter is stalling and never checking what actually happened.
A few days later Miranda arrives in Florence and is ordered to immediately start working on authenticating the Dark Lady, a possibly priceless figure either made by Michelangelo or a student of his. Even though she is furiously excited, she remains objective in her tests before she confirms it is highly probable that it was of that origin. A few days later, Miranda’s name is shattered. Her mother tells her the Dark Lady is a fake and that Standjo lost the artefact contract, and Miranda returns in shame to her home.
Ryan Boldari arrives in Maine. Outrageously charming and powerful, he visits under the pretence to loan three of his paintings to the Institute in exchange for some of theirs. Miranda thinks this is a great idea and she and Ryan immediately hit it off. What she doesn’t know is that Ryan, while being the owner of the above-the-board Boldari galleries, is also secretly an art-thief, acquiring (stealing) art for paying customers. Ryan breaks into the Institute one night, and within fifteen minutes removes the Bronze David from its enclosure and disappears.
Stunned, Miranda deals with yet another set-back in the past few weeks. Elizabeth blames her and Andrew again, and Andrew continues to drink his troubles away. Ryan returns to New York without any suspicion, and he thinks it is the last they will see of each other, something necessary although it saddens him.
Ryan returns at night a few nights later, sneaking into Miranda’s bedroom and confronting her because the bronze is a fake. She is furious, because firstly he is the thief and secondly he claims another bronze she tested is a fake when she knows both the David and the Dark Lady was real when she authenticated it. They sneak into the lab to check her data, but the papers authenticating the work is missing and some tests immediately shows her that the David is a fake.
As more and more people turn up dead and more questions being raised, Miranda and Ryan set out to find the truth. Everything points to Miranda being discredited being the main point of the forger of the bronzes, but who is it? Will Andrew be able to fight his alcoholism? Will Ryan and Miranda be able to move on from the fact that he stole from her?
I am so happy to be doing a book review again. I have been rereading a lot of material the last few months so there wasn’t anything new to put on here sadly. This book I’ve only ever read as a Reader’s Digest version so I jumped at the chance to read the full book. I preferred the full book because it covers so much more details than the Readers Digest that gives only the essentials through.
I enjoyed Homeport. It is well written by its ever delightful author, with good characters and an interesting story. I always learn some fun fact from Nora Roberts. The woman is an ocean of information and her books are always excellently researched.
Homeport focuses on the dynamics in families, comparing what they show to the world and what they really are, the fascinating field of authenticating lost art and the obsessive passions people have when it comes to priceless artefacts.
The villain is once again a surprise and the reasons behind the madness quite entertaining. I really didn’t see it coming and that is something I like – I hate it when the killer is immediately revealed!
An excellent work for the Roberts fans, although I am not sure if people dedicated to hard crime will appreciate it.