“Sometimes you had to leave home to finally find it”.
Bonny Blankenship – Married and the mother to nineteen year-old Piper, Bonny works as an Emergency Physician in Charleston, South Carolina. Since she was an adolescent Bonny has loved her best friend’s brother but she married another man instead. Deeply unhappy in her marriage and reeling from a disastrous medical decision, she finally decides to leave her husband. She goes back to the river house in South Carolina where she once spent so many happy days with her family and best friend, Lainey.
“Sometimes we tell our stories and sometimes our stories tell us.”
Lainey McKay – Very happily married and the mother to two young children, Daisy and George, Lainey is an artist who lives in California. When her childhood friend calls her and asks her to return to South Carolina, she immediately packs up her children and goes to Bonny’s side. This is a difficult decision for Lainey because this small town is where her alcoholic mother disappeared many decades ago…
Piper Blankenship – At the tender age of nineteen, Piper has made many poor choices in her life. She has dropped out of college, she drinks too much, and she has just escaped from a toxic relationship. When her mother asks her to accompany her to her childhood summer home, “Sea La Vie” in South Carolina, Piper is of two minds. She wants a chance to get away from everything that is making her unhappy, yet she is not looking forward to babysitting her mother’s friends’ two small children.
The small town of Watersend works its magic on Piper. She finds herself loving the two children, the town, and especially the town’s bookshop, “Title Wave”, and the bookshop’s owner, the wise Mimi.
“Life was so fragile, everything easily broken – a mood; a chance; a life.”
Some readers might call “The Bookshop at Water’s End” literary fiction, while some might term it ‘Women’s Fiction’. Both would be correct.
The house in the book, situated as it was between a tidal river and the ocean, was so easy to picture that one could almost smell the marsh and the salty tang of the sea.
This book is about human nature. How we sometimes make disastrous choices, how we are sometimes our own worst enemies. How we sometimes love the ‘wrong’ people. How we have to forgive ourselves and others in order to ultimately be HAPPY.
With astute and well rendered characters, the book comes alive in a vivid way in a truly beautiful setting. Female friendship, parenting, and self-acceptance are the themes running throughout the book. The importance of human connection and community also feature predominately. This is a novel that can ground you – making you re-evaluate your choices and the people you choose to include in your life – just as the characters did within the book.
In summation, “The Bookshop at Water’s End” was an enjoyable and emotional read, one that I’m happy to have experienced.
This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Berkley via Edelweiss.ISBN: 9780399583117 – ASIN: B01MCV2ISO – 352 pages
Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of fifteen novels. In addition, she is the recipient of The Christy Award—A 2019 Winner “Book of the Year.” ; The Harper Lee Distinguished Writer of the Year for 2020 and the Alabama Library Association Book of the Year for 2019.
Patti Callahan is the co-host and co-creator of the popular weekly Friends and Fiction Facebook Live Show and podcast, featuring the five bestselling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Kristy Woodson Harvey, Kristin Harmel, and Mary Alice Monroe with endless stories, special guests, and a way to connect readers and writers.
Patti attended Auburn University for her undergraduate work and Georgia State University for her graduate degree. Once a Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, she now writes full time.
A full-time author and mother of three children, she now resides in both Mountain Brook, Alabama, and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband.