Inner Harbor is the third novel in Nora Roberts’ sweeping the Chesapeak Bay Saga and the original end to the story. It chronicles the love story between the last of these 3 strong men, who honoured the legacy of love shown to them by the couple who adopted them, Raymond and Stella Quinn, by taking care of Seth, the youngest boy Ray Quinn took in to save.
Phillip Quinn left the harsh realities of his life behind in his teens, but this novel shows that old scars can still run deep beneath the surface and that trust can be difficult for someone who has been badly hurt before. Now he has given up his comfortable life in Baltimore to commute back and forth to Maryland’s Eastern Shore and the home in which he grew up. Phillip and his two brothers are trying to raise Seth and get their fledgling boat-building business off the ground. The insurance company is trying to claim that Raymond Quinn committed suicide by driving his car into a telephone pole and Seth’s biological mother is threatening to take Seth back unless the Quinn brothers pay her more money than their father did.
Into the fray of this trilogy story line comes the heroine, Dr. Sybill Griffin. Sybill not only happens to be a renowned urban anthropologist and psychologist, she is also Seth’s aunt and may hold the key to keeping Seth safe. The only problem is that for all her perfect appearance and upbringing, she is hiding scars of her own that cause her to withdraw to the role of observer. Will Philip hate her once he discovers who she truly is? Will she find the courage to get involved? Will she finally see her sister, Gloria, for the manipulator everyone else knows her to be?
Inner Harbor is the perfect example of how strong a writer Nora Roberts can be. She handles some of the most troubling scenes with a wry sense of humour that can soften life’s harsher realities for the reader and portray truly strong characters who refuse to give up against incredible odds. Perhaps this is why so many of her books take up space on my shelves. When the news of the world seems to get too somber, I can pull out one of her incredible stories and remind myself that hope and love go a long way to lighting up the darkest night.
Inner Harbor, Paperback format, 324 pages, published in 1999 by Jove Books