When Miranda inherits from her grandmother’s estate, she bids on an auction property in Miranda Bay, in the sunny Bay of Islands, New Zealand, sight unseen, simply because it bears her name.
But it is not at all what she imagined it would be.
Now Miranda is faced with turning this run down old sanatorium into a viable tourist resort or lose everything. She has no idea how to even begin.
Brace yourself for a hilarious, tragi-comic romp, full of intrigue and even terror. Miranda’s roller coaster ride in the face of impending financial ruin will make you laugh and make you cry.
I spent some years working in the tourism industry both in New Zealand and overseas. And I part owned an international yacht charter company.
MIRANDA BAY was birthed from some of these experiences, but more particularly from the time when I was managing a tourist resort in the glorious Bay of Island, New Zealand.
Miranda’s character is based a lot on my daughter, who is similar in age. And on myself, when I can only imagine I am similar in age.
But whoever said running a tourist resort would be a glamorous and fun experience? Who said I would adore all the clients?
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Miranda decided to buy what had been an old mansion and turn it into a resort. When she and her cousin Pansy arrived at the old mansion they saw that it was in a shambles. Miranda had used almost all her money to buy the giant house on the bay. Now she had to find money, so she took out a mortgage with a banker named Hamilton Sofbotham.
With Pansy, an old ex-cop named Neville as groundskeeper, a possum named possumroo and a parrot named Florisa, Miranda set about to make the resort into a lovely place to stay. She tried to set it up as a health spa, when that didn’t work, she began giving lectures and charging for them.
Unfortunately, the dreaded old man banker, Hamilton, would not leave her alone with his slow and torturous ways like showing up unannounced, calling at all hours, and sexual intimidation.
Miranda began drinking, and smoking, and feeling very bad about herself and whether her venture into the hotel and resort business had been incredibly stupid.
What happened to all of these characters and especially to Miranda is what you must read the book to find out. I found that I laughed out loud in places and in some places I cried. Susan Tarr is that kind of brilliant writer.
“We have passed a mauvais quart d’heure”:
“Miranda Bay” by author Susan Tarr, is incorrectly described as “an uncomfortable, but brief, experience”. On the contrary, we encounter the full emotional range of the human experience. There is humor, and it is comfortable. There is love, and it is long lasting. Susan Tarr has written a novel that can be enjoyed by a wide diversity of readers, male and female, of all ages, from all walks of life. There is sure to be someone in this story who reaches inside you, grabs your heart, and holds you captive for the entire duration of this exquisitely well-written book. I freely admit that the protagonist, Miranda has human qualities that I admire and adore in my own lovely wife.
Obviously, Ms. Susan Tarr is an excellent wordsmith. She clearly understands both human nature and the power of words. For example, in the fifth century B.C., the Greek philosopher Democritus taught that “word is a shadow of deed.” Plato said the same thing, only negatively, “False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.”
The biblical letter of James tells us that those who can master their tongues can master anything. And Shakespeare warned, “In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt / But, being season’d with a gracious voice, / Obscures the show of evil?”
Susan brilliantly weaves Shakespeare’s warning into the flow of her narrative at a very critical moment in court. (Source: The Merchant of Venice) The protagonist, Miranda, is very fortunate to have such brilliant rhetoric used in her behalf.
What should these words, this rhetoric do? It should present a case or a story that allows listeners to see anew, to gain a fresh perspective on the matter at hand. Read more ›
The plot: Miranda decides to invest in a beach resort but the realisation of her dream is far from rosy. Obstacles need to be overcome by our head strong heroine and her cousin Pansy.
Out of their depth with the business side of things and many other problems the book provides great entertainment in form of situational humour but it also has some fascinating characters you will end up caring and rooting for. A very compelling and enjoyable read.