Author: Robert Barclay
Publisher: William Morrow
About the Book: Though she and her grandmother had always been close, Chelsea Enright never expected to inherit her Gran's cottage in the Adirondacks. No one had been to the cottage since Gran mysteriously closed it decades ago. A letter accompanying the will makes it clear that this is no simple bequest. The cottage holds secrets that go back decades -- secrets that Chelsea must uncover before she can decide whether to keep the place or sell it.
But a short trip becomes an entire summer in which she gets to know the cottage's caretakers and the rest of her neighbors -- including local doctor Brandon Yale -- who make her realize that this cottage and her family's past are not so easily put behind her. As the truth unfolds, the repercussions will be felt far and wide. . . if Chelsea lets them.
My thoughts: While this book had a somewhat predictable outcome, I enjoyed it nonetheless. After inheriting the cottage, Chelsea receives instructions through her Gram's lawyer, that she must visit the cottage and retrieve and read something that her Gram hid under some floorboards there before she decides to sell it. She honors these wishes because of her close relationship with her Gram, even though she considers herself a city girl. She is not sure what she will do with herself at a lake cottage.
Soon after arriving she meets Brandon, her next door neighbor, and an attraction develops. From this point the story actually becomes two parallel stories. Chelsea finds under the floorboards a journal that her Grandmother kept in 1942, soon after she was married and her husband was off preparing to go to war. As she begins to read the journal and discovers that her grandmother was a more complex woman than she ever knew, she is soon immersed in the summer of 1942. Inherintly knowing that what her grandmother has to say will probably change her life, she invites Brandon to read the journal with her.
As she learns of her grandmother's attraction to her lake neighbor in 1942, Chelsea and Brandon's relationship also deepens. I particularly liked the way that the story went back and forth between 1942 and the present. Her grandmother's name was Brooke and the neighbor's name was Greg - and even though those names aren't anything like Chelsea and Brandon, I would sometimes get confused as to who was the grandmother and granddaughter. I think it is because I don't picture "Brooke" as living in the 1940's! Once I was able to keep the characters clear in my mind (definitely my issue - not the author's) the story moved along very quickly.
This was my first time reading Robert Barclay, even though he has a previous book, If Wishes Were Horses. I will be adding him to the list of authors that I enjoy reading and his previous book has already been added to my huge TBR list!
~I received a copy of this book from William Morrow in exchange for my unbiased review.~
Publisher/Publication Date: William Morrow, January 2012
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