The idea of buying a beach cottage and renovating it all summer has always appealed to me: Painting the deck rails white, power washing the cedar shingles, planting hydrangea, gutting the tiny kitchen and installing beachy-chic cupboards. How great would it be to paint the walls sea beeeze blue, shop for the right outdoor pillows at HomeGoods and commission a beach scene mural? The great thing about The Summer House is you get to have all the fun of a beach cottage reno… without all the work… and with a handsome guy taking you to lunch all the time… and finding an old diary… and a wonderful artist who just needed to reacquaint himself with his muse.
See, we might not get all that in real life – not in one summer anyway, but Callie and Olivia do. They share their summer with us, beach cottage, romance, family secrets, happily ever afters, and all.
Whitney owns a restaurant up north and has an inheritance to deal with down south. She has enough on her hands without the addition of old letters from her grandmother’s family, a sleazy real estate developer trying to cash in on her building, a possible romance with a conflict of interest, and an Outer Banks legend being brought to light.
I liked the mystery, the history, and the family dynamics. Adding a love interest and townie in trouble added authenticity to Whitney’s life. The constant reference to her restaurant struggles took me out of the main story and kind of ruined it for me. I was happy just being in North Carolina, with the shop downstairs and the old coot upstairs, the developer coming around each week, and the visits to the museum.
Too many points of conflict blurred the focus of The Sea Keeper’s Daughter. But when I concentrated on the events in OBX, I was rewarded with a beautiful tale that illustrated lots of love coming full circle.