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#Review / #Giveaway – Barefoot Beach by Toby Devens

barefoot beach

Barefoot Beach
Women’s Fiction
Setting – Maryland
New American Library (July 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Paperback: 400 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451418999
E-Book ASIN: B00G3L13K6
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Spend a summer at the beach with this enchanting and emotional story about love, loss, and the powerful bonds of female friendship…
The beach house carried some kind of spell, concocted of—I don’t know—salt air, sea grass and Old Bay seasoning that over the years had permeated its walls and floorboards. Whatever it was, the place cast fabulous magic.

For Nora Farrell, Tuckahoe, Maryland, isn’t just a summer refuge, it’s home—where she married the love of her life, decided to have a child, and has remained connected with her two closest friends. Even now, long after her husband’s passing, Nora reunites with Margo and Emine every June….

But this year, challenges invade the friends’ retreat. Even as Nora delights in teaching at her dance studio, she is shaken by the possible loss of her beach house…and by a tentative new romance. While Margo directs a musical at the Driftwood Playhouse, she finds her marriage on rocky ground. And Em, who relishes running her family’s café, struggles to handle her rebellious daughter.

With their personal dramas reaching a fever pitch, the women will discover that it isn’t only the beach that brightens their lives. Their bond with one another provides the ultimate magic.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Nora, Margo and Emine come together every summer at the beach.  This summer it seems each of their lives are in flux. Nora faces a job loss which could mean losing her summer home. Her son also takes a huge step in his life.  Margo thinks her husband is cheating on her. Emine is dealing with a rebellious teenage daughter and her husband brings his mother from Turkey to help get the girl in line much to his wife’s distress. She and her mother-in-law have never seen eye to eye.

I really enjoyed the way author Toby Devens writes but the book didn’t not have the easy flow I suspected it to have. It started slow and built to a comfortable pace but then it started to drag a bit in places. There was one truly exciting moment for a missing girl, but then it slowed again. Yet the ending seemed rushed and story lines were tied up quickly in a very predictable way.

All of the characters were realistic, flawed in their own way. I liked that. While Nora was the main character and things focus around her, I found Emine story almost more interesting. She and her husband are from Turkey and own a restaurant. Emine and her daughter are more Americanized than her husband. He believes in the old ways. Seeing this marriage and family life played out was compelling. I just couldn’t get into Margo’s story. The drama there was mostly self inflicted. Nora’s foray back into the dating world after her husband’s death was amusing and moving at times.

I also appreciated the descriptions of the scenes from the beach to the abandoned house. It was super easy to picture everything clearly.

This is a friendship story. After being friends so long these women knew how and when to support each other. When to butt in and when to let things settle themselves. All three were dealing with emotional issues and together they got each other through the summer.

This was a nice escape to what sounds like a gorgeous place.

satisfactory 2016

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 To find out more about Toby Devens and her books visit her webpage here

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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.”