Sandcastles Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Sandcastles

Honor and John Sullivan are living a contented life in Connecticut with their three young daughters - 14 year old Regis, 12 year old Agnes and youngest daughter, Cecelia. John is a talented artist who creates temporary installations, then photographs them. Their family lives at a school/convent called Star of the Sea Academy. When John travels to Ireland in order to work on a new installation, the Sullivans' lives are changed. When Honor and the children fly over to Ireland to reunite with John, a startling tragedy unfolds. When Honor spies a man on their property John informs her that he hired an unstable transient to help out with his work. When the transient argued with John over payment, he began to destroy John's installation, leading to a heated argument with John. Against Honor's wishes, John runs outside towards the installation to confront the transient, certain that he is bent on destroying his installation. When 14 year old Regis follows her father to the installation site, John is forced to kill the transient when he threatens Regis' life. For reasons that Honor cannot fathom, John refuses to fight the charges and pleads guilty to murder, earning himself a six year sentence in an Irish prison. Although Honor and the girls visited John a few times over the years, Honor's anger towards John has festered through the years. It is now six years later and 20 year old Regis is engaged to be married, much to her mother's chagrin. Having blocked out the memory of the transient's death, Regis yearns for her father's return home. Middle child Agnes is a whirlwind of emotions, desperately clinging to the belief that she has "visions" and that a red haired angel visits her on her nightly trip on the grounds. Youngest daughter Cece has vague memories of her father and refuses to talk on Tuesdays, the day of the week when the transient was killed. When word comes via letter that John has been released early from prison, the girls are overjoyed while Honor is wary of John's return. As the family struggles to reconnect with their father and Honor grapples with her resentful feelings towards her husband, John must deal with his own guilt and remorse over the events of six years ago. And as Regis' wedding plans unravel and her murky memories rise to the surface, the Sullivans must band together as a family to deal with the wounds of the past.
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The review of this Book prepared by Sandra Calhoune

Chapter Analysis of Sandcastles

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   2000+ (Present Day) Family, struggle with    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   Husband Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   actions leading to death of someone Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Coping with loss of loved one(s)    -   Yes Loss of...    -   father

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   artist Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   8 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Ireland

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Luanne Rice Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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