Format: eARC & Paperback
Source: Publisher & Purchased (& Won!)
Read: March 2018
Two families, three generations and a lie that almost destroys them. Is their love strong enough to heal old wounds?
Mae Summers and Gabe Broadbent grew up together in the idyllic Summers’ Inn, perched at the edge of the St. Lawrence River. Mae was orphaned at the age of six and Gabe needed protection from his alcoholic father, so both were raised under one roof by Mae’s grandparents, Lilly and George. Their childhood friendship quickly developed into a first love–a love that was suddenly broken by Gabe’s unexpected departure. Mae grew up, got over her heartbreak and started a life for herself in New York City. After more than a decade, Mae and Gabe find themselves pulled back to Alexandria Bay. Hoping to find solace within the Summers’ Inn, Mae instead finds her grandparents in the midst of decline with their past unraveling around her. A lifetime of secrets stands in the way of this unconventional family’s happiness. Will they be able to reclaim the past and come together, or will they remain separate islands?
From the bestselling author of Mating for Life comes a powerful story about guilt, forgiveness and the truth about families: that we can choose them, just as we choose to love.
Thank you to Harlequin and Graydon House Books for sending me an eARC of this book for review! I also purchased a copy AND then won a signed copy in a contest, so I guess I’m set!
This was my first Marissa Stapley book and I thought it was very good! It wasn’t quite what I was expecting – I think what I wanted was something a bit lighter, something with a bit more resolution, and something that would stick with me a bit more.
The first thing I will say is that I loved how this book was laid out – the different parts with the raindrops on the pages were so beautiful, and I loved the inclusion of Virginia’s ideas of things to do at the inn when it rains. I also really loved the setting – I will always enjoy books that take place at inns or by water. I read this book in the winter, but it would be a great book to read in the middle of summer by a lake.
I enjoyed the characters in the beginning but started to feel frustrated by them. This story is a perfect example of something that would be resolved if people would just talk to one another. Actually, when I finished reading, I couldn’t help but think of lyrics from a song by The National that go “you said we’ll only die of lonely secrets” because that seemed to be how everything was going – no one really talked to each other, so nothing was really resolved.
I’m fairly certain that most people will love this book, but it just wasn’t a book for me. I had a hard time really connecting with any of the characters, mainly because they drove me nuts for most of the book. Not only that, but everyone had their own story and with no one talking to one another, it just made for a very frustrating read.
As I mentioned in the beginning, I won a signed copy of this book, but I also received a signed copy of Stapley’s debut book, Mating For Life. This book might not have been what I was expecting and probably not my favourite of the genre, but I still enjoyed Stapley’s writing and plan to read her debut book soon.