Verdict: This ultimately uplifting story of intermingling and connecting friendships, lives, and destinies is a perfect beach--or anytime read.
In her second novel, Joanne DeMaio takes readers to the Connecticut shore, where she introduces an intriguing cast of characters, all of whom are searching their pasts for both release and solace (her first, Whole Latte Life, was a 2012 IRDA winner).
Thirtyish Maris Carrington, a Chicago-based denim clothing designer, arrives in quaint shore town Stony Point to settle her father’s estate and ponder the death of her mother many years ago; little does she know that attractive but troubled architect Jason Barlow (who lost his brother Neil as well as part of his leg in a horrific motorcycle accident seven years earlier) will be waiting to pick up their high school summer romance exactly where it left off.
Maris’s childhood friend, Eva, is obsessed by a frustrating search for her birth mother; Lauren copes with a tumultuous marriage and shattered dreams while her husband, Kyle, struggles to keep the family afloat. As the friends reunite in this Big Chill-esque story, DeMaio explores the role of fate and destiny, revealing how life can change “in an instant.” And, as her characters interweave their experiences, dreams, and disappointments, she delves into the lure of simpler times and the secrets that may be buried within them.
In their early thirties now, these high school friends reconvene to sort things out, all the while wondering if the past will ever loosen its grip. But, as Jason’s dearly departed brother Neil was fond of saying, “The sea air cures what ails you.”
This ultimately uplifting story of intermingling and connecting friendships, lives, and destinies is a perfect beach read–or anytime read. With her captivating new novel, DeMaio’s fan base is sure to blossom.
Reviewed by Kathryn E. Livingston for IndieReader