By the water
These are Grace’s mother’s last words – left behind on a note. A note that Grace interprets as instructions for her memorial service. And so her far-flung clan will gather at their inn on Little Island, Maine, to honor her.
Twenty years ago, a tragedy nearly destroyed the Little family – and still defines them. Grace, her husband Gar, and their three grown children, Joy, Roger and Tamar each played a role in what transpired. But this weekend, they will discover that there is more than pain and heartbreak that binds their family together, when a few simple words lift the fog and reveal what truly matters.
My thoughts: This novel is a study of family dynamics at its finest. The book cycles through different points of view as well as shifting back and forth through present and past. While for some, it may be confusing, I felt that the author handled the transitions very well. As someone who enjoys reading about various family struggles, secrets and the aftermath, I connected with the characters right away and thoroughly enjoyed this story.
The setting of coastal Maine is a beautiful backdrop for a family gathering that brings about drama, strife, old feelings, and the struggle of moving forward from ghosts of the past. Britton brings the reader into the world of Joy, the eldest sibling, who is at odds with her role in life and her marriage now that her child has gone off to college. Roger, one of the twin siblings who drinks to drown out the past and Tamar, the working mother of twins who spends more time with her career than her family. Their parents are struggling with the loss of the family matriarch who leaves the instructions for her memorial service which has brought the family back to the Little Inn.
This book is wonderfully written and the story engaging. I loved reading and if books about family drama set amid the coast appeal to you, I would definitely recommend this novel.
Disclaimer: I was provided this book for review from TLC Book Tours and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.