I have read all of Robin Jones Gunn's Sisterchick novels and fell in love with her writing style through those books. She has such a wonderful way of taking you to the country in those novels and leaving you feel like you have been there and seen the same things that she has seen. Not many other writers leave me actually thinking that I've traveled the world! With that said, I was interested to see if this book would leave me with the same feeling. In my mind, I traveled to the cottage by the sea and traveled the highs and lows with Erin and her family. I struggled with my emotions of anger when Delores walked out on her husband when he was at his worst. I never thought that she might be going through something herself perhaps, so that was a surprise.
I felt as though I struggled with Erin on how to balance life in her new business, as a new mother-in-law, and then as a daughter to a father who has had a massive stroke and now can't speak and must be in her care. I could see the cottage in my head and picture her standing there and some of the feelings they must have felt. I've never been to a cottage by the sea, but if it's anything like my imagination has led me to believe, then I want to go!
This book, like most of hers, are light, fun books. This one deals with some heavy issues, but is still a book that is easy and fast to read and that you could easily read on the beach. In fact, she is one of my favorite authors to take along with me to the beach because of her style of writing. If you've read and liked any of her previous books, you'll want to read this one for sure. If you've never read anything by her, take a chance. You won't be sorry!
I received this book free from Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster, in exchange for my honest opinion.
Erin's dream of opening her own wedding planning business, The Happiest Day, is finally coming true when her step-mother calls and says that her father has had a stroke. She drops everything to help her dad. Balancing taking care of her dad, planning her son's wedding, running a successful business, and doing all the other normal mom and wife things, Erin quickly becomes overwhelmed. As she tries to mend her relationship with her father and step-mother, other relationships in her life spin out of control. Will she be able to find her "happiest day" in spite of all the turmoil in her life?
I've been a fan of Robin Jones Gunn since I read the Christy Miller series in middle school. I think this may be my favorite "adult" book of hers that I've read, though! Cottage by the Sea is a poignant story about relationships, forgiveness, and redemption. I loved how Robin explored the special relationships between mothers and daughters and fathers and daughters. At times I could see glimpses of my relationship with my own parents through the story. Erin's relationship with her husband was special as well. It was refreshing to read about a husband who faithfully and sacrificially loved his wife through a very difficult time. All of the relationships (Erin and her son, Erin and her best friend, her father and step-mother, etc.) in this book were so rich and deep. As a result, each scene was filled with emotion.
While this was one of the more emotional books by Gunn that I've read, she didn't leave me "down" for long. Instead, I ended the book full of hope and satisfied by a beautiful story. Longtime readers will also enjoy surprise encounters with some old friends. I loved every aspect of this book and will be adding it to my "keeper" shelf. [5 stars]
I received a free copy of this book from Howard Books in exchange for my fair and honest review.
But the two friends aren't prepared for the cloud moving in to cover the sunny, successful start of their business. Erin's father, who lives in a small coastal Oregon community with his brusque, downright odd second wife, Delores, develops a medical problem that puts him in the hospital. Erin responds by rushing from Southern California to her father'sâ€”and oh, yeah, Delores'sâ€”cottage by the sea.
What greets Erin when she arrives sends her tumbling down a bewildering path to a different kind of happiest day. Her journey tosses her through highs and lows of hurt and healing, betrayal and renewal, wrong assumptions righted, and the brightest future one could ever hope for. All just around the corner, at the cottage by the sea.
I do not know about you but I like the sea. I like the sound of the waves, I like to watch the tide roll in or out, doesn't matter. Hanging out by a beach or shoreline is immensely calming for me. That's why I like the title "Cottage by the Sea". One, it is the sea and a cottage brings up the idea of a warm, cozy little place. Everything that Erin needs. Erin gets tasked with having to take care of her invalid father who has suffered two strokes and cannot speak. On top of that the stepmother decides to quit as she feels she cannot deal with the husband's incapacitation. So in that environment Erin is tossed and needs all the help from the sea and cottage that it can bring. Ms. Gunn has given us a marvelous story of forgiveness, reconciliation and the special relationship between a father and a daughter. Every one of her characters seem to come alive and it feels as if we are intruding on this family as we watch the story unfold before us. "Cottage by the Sea" is all about families and relationships and that is what makes this book a winner. I enjoyed this book a lot and am looking forward to more from Ms. Gunn.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from Wynn-Wynn Media for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."