For many years, it’s been the Bennett family tradition to spend their summers together at the shore house in Dewberry Beach. But for the past three years they’ve been absent. Kay’s husband Chase suffered a near-fatal heart attack and his health hasn’t allowed them to leave the safety of their home and the proximity of his doctors to travel to their beloved beach getaway. This year is going to be different though, as this year is the first one since his health scare that they’ll be able to return, and Kay Bennett is determined to make it a summer to remember. So determined is she, in fact, that she will go out of her way to manipulate every single family member (including her husband) and activity to ensure that things go according to plan.
A few pages in and I must be honest, Kay was already stressing me out and setting my teeth on edge … to call her a Control Freak would be an understatement! The way she spoke to people really bothered me. She didn’t ask them to do things, she instructed them, expecting them to do as they were told, and understandably this immediately got their backs up. As with her daughter Stacy with whom she’s always had a rather tenuous relationship. Stacy has her own frantic life: married to lovely Ryan with two young children and another on the way. But as easygoing as Ryan is, he too is having difficulty with the start-up he owns with his two best friends, and although he’s trying to focus on devoting this summer to his family, there are problems that keep taking him away from the family time he’s desperately trying to focus on.
And then there’s Brad, Kaye’s beloved son. He’s always brought a certain balance between Kaye and Stacy but interestingly, there’s tension between him and his father. Brad hasn’t quite ‘found’ himself yet. He’s a bit of a wanderer and can’t settle down.
Ah … families, memories and trying to re-invent the way things were … impossible really isn’t it, especially as the years march on, everyone grows older and changes? As the summer unfolds, will the Bennett family be able to find their common ground a comfortable footing again? Will Kaye learn to loosen her grip on everyone else’s lives? As each of the adult members of the family gradually relaxes into the summer, holiday mode, they start to give themselves the time to really think about who they are and what they want from life and from each other.
The first in the Dewberry Beach Series, I certainly am looking forward to reading more about where the Bennett family go to from here, and also about the various members of the community of this little town where everyone has known everyone else since forever! Oh, for the days when life seemed so much simpler! The author has managed to inject a bit of that old-world charm into this little enclave where there’s a mix of those who live there all year round, and others who are summer regulars.
This is a lovely holiday read that many will relate to. All families have their unique dynamics and readers will each find the character/s that relate best to them. It’s a gorgeous 4-star read. Thank you to Bookouture for once again inviting me to tour with you! Look at what other bloggers are saying about The Shore House …
Heidi Hostetter grew up in New Jersey and spent summers at her grandparents’ house on the shore. Every magical thing was there, from sparklers and fireflies at night to whole days spent swimming in the ocean and exploring tide pools. She and her family have recently moved back to the DC-area and live in a one hundred-year-old house that’s definitely haunted.
When she’s not writing – or reading – you can probably find her digging in her garden, ripping back a knitting project, or burning dinner. Her writing partner, a labradoodle named Emmett shares her office, keeping a careful watch for errant squirrels and neighborhood shenanigans.