Title: The Cottage at Glass Beach
Author: Heather Barbieri
Summary: Married to the youngest attorney general in Massachusetts history, Nora Cunningham is a picture-perfect political wife. But when she learns of her husband’s infidelity, Nora packs up her daughters and takes refuge on Burke’s Island, the craggy spit off the coast of Maine where Nora spent her childhood—until her mother disappeared at sea. By their cottage on Glass Beach, Nora succumbs to grief, her tears flowing into the ocean; days later an enigmatic fisherman named Owen Kavanagh washes up on the rocks nearby. Could he be a selkie—a mythical being of island legend—summoned by heartbreak? Or is Owen simply someone trying, like Nora, to find his way in the wake of his own struggles?
My Thoughts: Generally, this was a very good book. It grabbed onto me and held on through my reading. It’s the first book in a long time that I finished in only a couple of days (and I would have read faster if my kids didn’t have weekend activities).
There were things that drove me nuts – the way Nora was at times, especially with Ella, her oldest. I thought she let her get away with way too much. Her attitude, the way Ella spoke to others – Nora especially, Ella using her cell phone to contact Malcolm (the unfaithful husband) without permission, her manipulation of Owen, among other things. Nora’d barely react. I get not wanting to lose it in front of – or in this case at – your child, but regardless of circumstances, a child shouldn’t have little to no repercussions after behaving in many of the ways she does throughout this book. Of course, it’s easy to think that without ever having been in a similar situation. But, still, Ella made me want to smack her – even knowing how young she is. I loved Annie, though. And Maire. And even Owen. Also couldn’t stand Malcolm, for obvious reasons.
Be prepared to cry a little – or at least have a heavy heart at times. There are some sad things that happen, and some are unexpected. Even with possible foreshadowing happening beforehand, there’s one event in particular that actually caught me by surprised. It’s written very, very well.
There are lots of questions raised that aren’t given clear answers. I think the reader is left to decide for herself what she believes. Are Selkies real, or are there logical explanations for everything? There’s enough shown on either side of the argument that really one could draw their own conclusion. I could see this being a discussion as part of a reading group. Not contentious, but definitely with different sides.
So, overall, I enjoyed this book. It’ll be a great summer read for those of you who like to read at the beach or by the pool in the warmer months while catching some summer sun.
Source: Received as part of a blog tour promotion on TLC Book Tours.
Read It: Get your own copy HERE. (This is a Book Depository link, and purchase through this link will result in my receiving a small commission at no cost to you. Your support is appreciated!)
About the Author: The author of two previous novels, The Lace Makers of Glenmara, and Snow in July, Heather Barbieri has won international prizes for her short fiction. She lives in Seattle with her family.
Tour Info: For the main page for this blog tour, including more reviews of this book on other blogs, visit TLC’s post.
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