David A. Wimsett

Artist Margaret Talbot has overcome prejudice, discrimination and assault to become a magazine illustrator in the male dominated world of publishing at the end of the nineteenth century. She and her husband, John, have traveled the world creating magazine articles that he writes and she illustrates. The articles and Margaret’s artwork have garnered praise and awards as John supports her illustrating and painting, even when he loses his membership in a prominent club because of it.

In 1898, Margaret suffers a stillbirth and nearly dies. From that point, John withdraws all contact, physically and emotionally, without explanation or justification. At the same time, Margaret finds that she can no longer express that certain special something in her art and begins to question if she is an artist at all.

The Talbots travel to a small fishing village for an article where Margaret meets many people who help and hinder her. One of these is a young woman named Sara who skips and sings nonsense songs and has trouble understanding everyday things, like how wagon wheels go around. Margaret fears Sara suffered a childhood trauma and is hiding from the real world but some in the village say that Sara is a selkie, a magical being from Celtic mythology who walks on the land as a human and swims in the sea as a seal. With the influence of the villagers, and her own self-determination, Margaret strives to discover who she is and want she wants from life.

Now with authentic engravings from the Victorian era in an illustrated edition. (Summary via Goodreads)

Beyond the Shallow Bank by David A. Wimsett is enchanting, fasinating and alluring…..as well as emotional.

In Beyond the Shallow Bank readers are introduced to Margaret and John Talbot. John writes articles for a magazine and Margaret draws the illustrations to go along with the article. They have traveled all over the world working together. Unfortunately there is heartbreak and pain between them. Margaret lost their child when it was a stillborn birth and John withdrew from her and their marriage. They continued to travel and work together but it was like they were strangers to each other.

Everything changes when they travel to Glasen in Canada where they will be staying for a while to interview the residents and get a feeling of the seaside town. Sadly when they arrive in town the hotel where they were to be staying has burned down so they will e staying with a couple. Ian and his wife Sara take the couple in but Ian isn’t very hospitable at first. However Margaret finds herself drawn to Sara but doesn’t know why……and when readers find out why, it will blow your mind !!

Readers cannot help but feel Margaret’s pain and loneliness. She is struggling still with the death of her child as well as her work. Her true desire is to paint but John practically forbids her to paint and wants her to concentrate on the illustrations for the article. Margaret has to sneak in her painting time and she lies to John, Sara and Ian. Margaret is also torn between loving John and hating him for the way he has treated her. But when a storm comes in and John is out to sea with Ian fishing, Margaret’s truth will come out and readers will be flabbergasted !!

Beyond the Shallow Bank is a very captivating story and when you get to a certain part in the story, you will know when you get there, you will be unable to stop reading. You will feel like you are right there along side Margaret and I’m pretty sure you will agree with her life changing decision…..all in the name of love.


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