The Denim Blue Sea
Women’s Fiction – Contemporary
Setting – Connecticut
Paperback: 370 pages
E-Book ASIN: B00RZOKJ64
New York Times bestselling author Joanne DeMaio returns to seaside Stony Point in this novel filled with beach friends, love, and the enchantment of a sandy boardwalk winding along the shore.
During two August weeks, denim designer Maris Carrington and coastal architect Jason Barlow prepare for their much-anticipated wedding. Guests arrive early, turning keys in charming cottage doors to begin their New England summer escape. The wedding is a reason for old friends to gather again; to meet in their shabby beach hangout and get the jukebox cranking; to walk that weathered boardwalk beneath a starry sky; to breathe the sweet salt air. “Cures what ails you,” one of the friends, Neil, always said long before his life was sadly claimed. But his legacy was not.
When Maris discovers Neil’s long-lost journal, its passages reveal a heartbreaking secret. Can truths be found within its timeworn pages? Can this leather-bound journal unite the friends as their lives begin to fray? A bittersweet family reunion, a surprising encounter from a devastating accident, a shocking confession leaving one marriage shattered–all will test the once close-knit circle. Suddenly this safe haven on the tranquil Connecticut shoreline churns with emotional turmoil, threatening even the beach wedding just days before it is to happen.
Yet like a silver cap on a breaking wave, love and friendship wash ashore with hope, ever shimmering, in The Denim Blue Sea.
I always seem to read Joanne’s book when my life is in flux. I read Blue Jeans and Coffee Beans, where we first traveled to Stony Point, right after we lost our home and had to move. I am reading this one just a month after my son passed away. I think losing someone so recently gave me a different perspective for my review.
Maris and Jason are getting married and they and all their friends are still mourning the loss of Jason’s brother Neil. Neil is the one that should be standing next to Jason as his best man and there beside him as plans are made. I was constantly thinking about my own children facing days in the future without their brother being by their sides.
The last lines of the book just took me breathe away.
An early evening star, just one, bright and twinkling, emerges in the violet sky, far, far out over the sea.
You see my 7 year old grandson was riding home with us that night after my son’s memorial service when he said “Nana, look up there” he was pointing to the sky out the window. “See those 2 stars really close together? That is Kris and Colossus (their cat that had passed away). They can see us and we can see them every night.” I will never look at the stars in the sky in the same way again.
There is much more to this extremely moving story but Neil does play a crucial part in several of the subplots. The real key to the whole story is friendship and these characters are written so well they become real to the reader incredibly fast. The Sea becomes a character all its own and effects each character in a profound way from its smell making things better and bringing back memories to its color painting pictures and giving Maris ideas for her designs to the waves mimicking life in its calmness or turbulent sides. I also loved all the hydrangeas blooming at the time the story was set. I could almost smell their scent and that of the sea from the pages of the book.
This book was difficult for me to read but that is on me. As always Joanne DeMaio has written an extraordinary story that will stay with you long after your turn the last page.
About This Author
JOANNE DEMAIO is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She enjoys writing about friendship, family, love and choices, while setting her stories in New England towns or by the sea. The bestselling novel Whole Latte Life, which won First Place in the 2012 Discovery Awards and was named a Kirkus Reviews Critics’ Pick. It has also been featured in USA Today, The Huffington Post and other outlets Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut and is currently at work on her next novel.
Find out more at her webpage here.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. 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.”