Abby Rhodes is just starting to get her life on track. After her fiance's unexpected death, she returned with her young son to the small village where she grew up and threw herself into helping her ailing grandmother run the town's beach cafe. Then one evening, her mother, Laura, shows up in Hartley-by-the-Sea and announces her plan to stay. After twenty years away, she now wants to focus on the future--and has no intention, it seems, of revisiting the painful past.
Laura Rhodes has made a lot of mistakes, and many of them concern her daughter. But as Abby gets little glimpses into her mother's life, she begins to realize there are depths to Laura she never knew. Slowly, Abby and Laura start making tentative steps toward each other, only to have life become even more complicated when an unexpected tragedy arises. Together, the two women will discover truths both sad and surprising that draw them closer to a new understanding of what it means to truly forgive someone you love.
Kathryn - 4 Star
This book took me through so many emotions from empathy to frustration but ultimately I felt joy. The bond between Laura and Abby was tragically broken at the start and though I mostly bonded with Abby I was also surprised that I liked Laura's voice and wanted to know how they had ended up in this situation.
I wasn't too sure about the grandmother's voice (the only mother Abby had known). While I applauded her raising of her grandchild there was also something tough about her that I felt needed some softening. Throughout the story we find out why she's a bit guarded but I still didn't get the typical "grandma" persona others have felt.
Their story is complicated and it takes a long while to unravel their shared past but I admired Laura's persistence in trying to forge a new relationship with her daughter. Her attempts, though sometimes clumsy, appeared to be sincere. It certainly made me ponder how else she could have tried to reach Abby and also made me wonder how she stayed away so long. Abby's son is actually the force that really seals mother and daughter. I enjoyed the village life throughout the book too, the villagers, friends and acquaintances rounded out the novel well and I was entirely absorbed throughout- a great tale of family and tragedy.
Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group for our review copy. All opinions are our own.
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