I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Bookstore on the Beach by Brenda Novak
Published by MIRA on April 6, 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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For fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Mary Kay Andrews, comes New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak’s newest standalone work of women’s fiction, a big, sweeping novel about family and the ties that bind and challenge us. In this novel, three generations of women from the same family share a house and work together at a bookstore in Colonial Beach over the course of a summer.
How do you start a new chapter when you haven’t closed the book on the last one?
Eighteen months ago, Autumn Divac’s husband went missing. Her desperate search has yielded no answers—she still has no idea where he went or why. After being happily married for twenty years, she can’t imagine moving forward without him, but for the sake of their two teenage children, she has to try.
Autumn takes her kids home for the summer to the charming beachside town where she was raised. She seeks comfort by working alongside her mother and aunt at their quaint bookshop, only to learn that her daughter is facing a life change neither of them saw coming and her mother has been hiding a terrible secret for years. And when she runs into Quinn Vanderbilt—the boy who stole her heart in high school—old feelings start to bubble up again. Is she free to love him, or should she hold out hope for her husband’s return? She can only trust her heart…and hope it won’t lead her astray.
The Bookstore on the Beach is my first Brenda Novak novel, and I enjoyed the different storylines and dramas that interwove throughout. Featuring three generations of women in one family, this book follows their dramas, the fears, and their high points over a summer on the beach in North Carolina.
Grandmother Mary owns a bookstore with her best friend, living an enjoyable yet regionally-isolated life. Mary’s had some really horrible things happen to her as young teen, and she keeps that time and events close to her vest. She hasn’t even told her daughter Autumn about that dark time in her life.
Autumn and her two kids have had a tough 18 months. Her husband went on a business trip and never returned home. Not knowing whether he’s dead or alive, Autumn continues to hold onto hope that her husband is out there, somewhere. Her children, Taylor and Caden are reacting differently to their father’s disappearance. A summer away at their grandmother’s house just might be what they need.
And then there’s Quinn, whose family owns a restaurant in town. His marriage was far from perfect, and now his mother has cancer. When he sees Autumn again after all these years, can this be the chance at happiness that Quinn has been hoping for?
The Bookstore on the Beach has a great mix of drama, unrequited feelings, heartbreak, and secrets that have been waiting years to come out. Grandmother, daughter, and granddaughter tell this story in alternating points of views, giving a well-rounded and intimate view of the plot. There are quite a few characters to keep track of, but after that initial getting to know who was who time, the story was seamless.
I give The Bookstore on the Beach a 4.5 out of 5. The beach setting along with the beach town was the perfect backdrop for this family drama. I really felt for all of the characters and the situations that they were in. Brenda Novak’s writing was descriptive, relatable, and full of emotion without being over the top. However, the ending was a bit abrupt. I’m definitely open to reading more from Brenda Novak.
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About Brenda Novak
Brenda Novak, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, has penned over sixty novels. She is a five-time nominee for the RITA Award and has won the National Reader’s Choice, the Bookseller’s Best, the Bookbuyer’s Best, and many other awards. She also runs Brenda Novak for the Cure, a charity to raise money for diabetes research (her youngest son has this disease). To date, she’s raised $2.5 million. For more about Brenda, please visit www.brendanovak.com.
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