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The Bookstore on the Beach

por Brenda Novak

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Mostrando 1-5 de 6 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
At the center of the story is Autumn, whose husband has been missing for 18 months. After exhausting all efforts to locate him, Autumn acknowledges that it may be time for her to move on without him. Her mother Mary has been hiding a secret from the time that Autumn was three years old. But now there is a private investigator nosing around and it is making Mary very nervous. And finally, Autumn’s daughter Taylor has her own secrets. Taylor was left so confused after her father’s disappearance that she made some unwise decisions and may now have to deal with the consequences of her actions.

The strength of this book lies in its overall strong family bonds. Autumn has brought her two teenagers to visit their grandmother at Sable Beach for the summer. I really liked the interactions of the teens with their grandmother. Also at Sable Beach is Autumn’s first love Quinn who has moved back to care for his mother who is dying from cancer. The devotion Quinn has toward his parents is admirable.

Both Mary’s and Autumn’s storylines left me feeling unsatisfied with their conclusion. Mary’s horrific storyline was the most interesting and deserved a much stronger conclusion. Autumn’s storyline of the missing husband and her struggle with her attraction to Quinn did not ring true to me at all. I don’t want to spoil the story here so I will just say that another outcome to that story would have been much better. Taylor’s storyline was the most satisfying, although not very realistic. The endings to all three storylines were abrupt and incomplete.

Novak did maintain a good separation of the three women’s storylines while interweaving them expertly at just the right times.

I think what was missing for me was the actual emotions the characters should have been exhibiting given their situations. They were all too perfect. Even Autumn’s son Caden was just too perfect. ( )
  BettyTaylor56 | Apr 13, 2021 |
Autumn and her family are struggling to come to terms with their missing husband and father. He has been missing for over 18 months. They decide to spend the summer at Sable Beach with her mom, Mary. However, this ends up being the escape they need but it opens up many different issues…like the past!

Autumn runs into her old boyfriend from high school, Quinn. Now, I did not like Quinn at first. I felt like he pressured Autumn. But, as the story moved along, he grew on me, especially with his interactions with her kids. Autumn and Quinn slowly create a great relationship until…and you guessed it… something happens to threaten their new relationship.

But her mother’s story is the one that really captivated me. Mary had been kidnapped as a child and held in captivity for years. Autumn is the result of this horrendous crime. And Autumn has no idea.

This novel has a lot going on and boy is it good. It has been a while since I have read Brenda Novak. I have missed out. I did feel the story was a little long but I loved the characters, the setting and the multilayered tale!

Need just an all around good book, THIS IS IT!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review. ( )
  fredreeca | Apr 13, 2021 |
This was an emotional roller-coaster of a book, a story of three generations of women at crossroads in their lives. Each woman faces a life-changing decision that will impact her and those around her. Though the combination of events stretched likelihood, I felt that each one was handled realistically.

Autumn, the mom, needs a break. Her husband Nick disappeared a year and a half earlier while on a business trip to Ukraine. She spent the time since then using every means at her disposal to find him but with no success. Nick's disappearance has been hard on their son Caden and daughter Taylor also. Autumn feels they need to get away from the memories at home and takes them to her hometown for the summer. Time at the beach and with their grandmother will be good for all of them. She never expected to run into her high school crush and feel the stirrings of old feelings.

Autumn's mom, Mary, loves having her family there for the summer, but this summer, she is on edge. A secret that haunted her for many years could hurt her family if exposed. She doesn't know whether to come clean about it or try to bury it even deeper.

Meanwhile, Autumn's daughter Taylor doesn't know what to do. She loves her father, and his disappearance left her feeling emotionally adrift. In an attempt to feel some emotion, Taylor did something she regrets but can't be undone. A chance to enjoy her summer appeals, but the consequences of her actions make that enjoyment problematical. A new friend both helps and complicates the turmoil Taylor feels.

The last central character is Quinn. After his divorce and his wife's imprisonment for attempting to kill him over imagined infidelities, he returned to his hometown. Quinn helps his parents with their restaurant as his mother battles cancer. Autumn's arrival brings some light to a dark time in his life.

I loved the interweaving of the storylines as the summer progressed. Each character and their problems were vividly portrayed with realistic thoughts and actions. I liked following each one as they slowly worked through their problems, knowing that their family would be there when needed. Mary broke my heart as she dealt with her past. The horror she survived and overcame was devastating and amazed me with what she accomplished. Her overprotectiveness with Autumn and the children made sense. I could feel her fear when she learned about the private investigator and her reluctance to do anything about it. There were some unexpected twists as she faced the past, but in the end, she was stronger than she knew.

Taylor's situation wasn't uncommon for a teenager but had some added complications. Depression over her father's disappearance led to drinking too much at a party and contributed to the mistake of sleeping with her brother's ex-best friend. Now she faces the consequences of that mistake and the potential of hurting her brother in the process. Never one to make friends easily, Taylor is surprised by how quickly she connects with a local girl, Sierra. Sierra is a bit of an outcast, rough around the edges but amazingly sensitive and supportive. It was easy to see where their friendship was headed, and I thought it was beautifully handled. Sierra's support also helped Taylor deal with the boy in question (a first-class jerk) and face her family. I loved how it worked out, though there were a few bumps along the way.

The most significant part of the story belonged to Autumn and Quinn. They saw each other for the first time since high school on Autumn's first day in town. Her memories of that high school encounter still embarrass her, but Quinn tries to put her at ease. She intrigues and attracts him, but her wariness forces him to be patient. Autumn is exhausted, mentally and physically, from long months of uncertainty. She doesn't know if she's still married or a widow, whether she should keep searching or let go and move on. The more time Autumn spends with Quinn, the more she realizes the differences in her feelings for him and her feelings for Nick. Quinn is a nice guy, patient, and kind, but also determined to show Autumn how much she means to him. Autumn's internal battle with herself was hard-fought, but she couldn't deny how he made her feel. I liked watching her slowly let go of her fears and open herself to the possibilities. Not everything was sunshine and roses, as various family issues added to Autumn's stress. Quinn has some great scenes with the kids, a couple of which have the potential for disaster. There was a bit of a hiccup when Quinn confessed a secret, but that was handled quickly. I loved seeing Autumn take hold of the future with optimism while wondering if fate was done with her. The intensity of the ending had me glued to the pages until it was all over. I wish there had been an epilogue as I would like to have seen them a couple of years down the road.

#netgalley ( )
  scoutmomskf | Apr 8, 2021 |
The Bookstore on the Beach by Brenda Novak

Three Women
Three Generations
Questions
Discovery
Choices
Three Futures
Which path will each one take?
….

Complex, well-written, thought provoking story that had me wondering what I would do if in the position(s) of any of the characters in this story. The book is nearly five hundred pages in length because there is much to cover and yet all of it was necessary to make this story what it is. I am not sure I would have made the choices that were made and yet, if any of the choices made had been different all three of their lives would have been different.

What I liked:
* That the story made me think, feel, and care about the characters and the outcome of the story.
* Mary: mother, grandmother, bookstore owner, secret keeper, strong, conflicted, survivor…
* Autumn: mother, wife, dealing with the disappearance of her husband while raising her teenage son and daughter on her own. Strong, resilient, focused on what is best for family
* Taylor: teenage daughter, worried, misses her father, dealing with more than one teenage issue
* Caden: teenage son, outgoing, caring, good brother and son, full of potential
* Laurie: business partner of Mary, friend, and more
* Quinn: caring, romantic, wants more from life than what he has experienced, a good son, kind, good with people
* The way the story was presented and how all the pieces linked together
* The quirks of the various characters
* The way issues were faced by the three generations…well…eventually faced and sorted out
* The small town setting
* The way the community pulled together for someone in need
* The strong friendships
* That the relationship between Caden and Taylor seemed believable
* Realizing that no matter how nice it would be to find a solution that would allow everyone in a situation to be 100% happy and satisfied…life doesn’t always provide that option…mixed feelings on this one…kind of a like and a dislike but also reality.

What I didn’t like:
* The issues that the three women had to face and deal with – it is central to the story BUT would hate to face the issues myself.
* Not a true dislike BUT I would have liked to have known more about the missing husband Nick and the relationship he and Autumn had together before he went missing…or…perhaps to have had an epilogue to see how everyone turned out down the road.

Did I enjoy this book? Yes
Would I read more by this author? Yes

Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin-Mira for the ARC – This is my honest review.

4.5 Stars ( )
  CathyGeha | Apr 6, 2021 |
I read for so many different reasons, but lately, I am reading books that will let me escape the horror that life has become. This book sounded like it would be right up my alley ---until I actually started reading. This is NOT a light beach read. Yes, the bookshop is set near the beach-yes the characters make use of the beach and that is where the 'beach read' ends.

All of this anguish just left me depressed.

SPOILER-ISH:

Grandmother (Mary)- when a child was kidnapped and held for years being abused. She had a child by the abuser. Now the abusers' wife is out of jail and the daughter of the abuser wants to get in touch with Mary about money.

Grandmother's daughter (Autumn)- husband goes on a mission and has been missing for nearly 2 years. She is now contemplating having a sex life with an old 'friend.

Daughters'friend' Quinn - his mother is dying from cancer and is very nearly stalking Autumn (the daughter!) He was stabbed several times by his ex-wife!

Daughter (Taylor)-17 years old is now pregnant and is now questioning her sexuality.

Son (Caden)- at the 50% mark he seems to have no issues.

I just couldn't do it. I could not make myself care enough about the people in this book to keep going. Maybe someday my curiosity will kick in and will finish this book. Maybe the ending will be worth it. Maybe.

*ARC supplied by the publisher. ( )
  Cats57 | Mar 21, 2021 |
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