Setting – Connecticut
Self Published (March 8, 2017)
Paperback: 346 pages
Kindle ASIN: B06WD4QFZ2
After a heartbreaking summer on the Connecticut shore, a group of beach friends is as adrift as an unmoored rowboat. When a dismayed Jason Barlow drives as far away from the sea as he can, leaving behind his wife, Maris, as well as their stately cottage on the bluff, that news hits like a sudden wave. Gathering over an intimate meal in a coastal diner, the friends make a solemn pact to lean on each other and not make any more rash decisions.
Which is all well and good, until each friend wavers–testing relationships, commitments, and especially love in the little beach community of Stony Point. But can the magic of the weathered boardwalk, whispering lagoon grasses, and sweet salt air cure what ails them?
I have loved this series, in fact I have loved all Joanne’s books. I knew this book would pick up right where the last one left off from the synopsis but I never imagined how difficult it was going for me to read. As Beach Blues ends Sal DeLuca had just died and left the gang at Stony Point reeling. Elsa lost her son, Celia lost her true love, Jason lost a man that he had grown as close to as a brother and the rest lost their friend.
I clearly identified with Elsa, she has just lost her son. I know that raw pain and her grief brought mine careening back. I was shaken and found myself sobbing. At first I thought I need to just put the book away, I just wasn’t ready to read something so vivid that was making my responses so raw. But I kept on thinking just maybe Elsa would help me see a way through my own pain. We didn’t make it there yet but maybe as her story continues we will both continue to heal.
I was also moved by how each character dealt with their grief differently, just like in real life. My husband, my children, his child, his nephews, our extended family, and my son’s friends. Everyone of us is still grieving all in our own ways. By dealing with this close death so recently I can say the author has written this story so truthfully. People try to move forward, some making huge decisions that shouldn’t be made quickly or at a stressful time like this. Others want to just hide away and be alone, they is where I started my journey too. Others seem perfectly fine until something triggers a memory that can take you right back to the beginning all over again. These characters show how necessary it is to be there to support each other. It doesn’t have to be a major undertaking, sometimes a hug, a little joke that can bring a smile. You may not always get it right but it is important to keep trying.
Joanne DeMaio has taken us on a journey with these characters that is far from complete. She takes us through the good times, this group has had many good times. But she also takes us through the bad. They have had their share of those too. This is the first book though that was dealing with a really bad time for the entire book. Yes, there is just a little bit of uplifting at the end. Like real life though the death of someone special sticks with you forever. You hear all about the stages of grief but I now know they do not stay true to any order and you do not work through them and get over it. I know this author will remember that as the series moves forward.
A moving, heartfelt story. Have the tissues ready.
About The 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. Currently at work on her next book, Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut.
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.”