Barbara Delinsky is one of those books that I want to read curled up by the fireplace. Her writing reminds me a lot of Kristin Hannah and Patti Callahan Henry. All three authors write about characters and stories you can relate to -- love, family, and friendship. This is my first go-round with Barbara Delinsky, but I know I'll be back for more.
Growing up, Charlotte Evans and Nicole Carlysle were the best of friends. They spent many summers on Quinnipeague, a small island off the coast of Maine. So close they were like sisters. But now they're adults and after 10 years of semi-estrangement they are reuniting. Nicole, who has made a name for herself as a blogger, is working on a cookbook full of the recipes and sights of Quinnipeague. In the last 10 years, Charlotte has become a jet-setting travel writer. A painful secret has kept her from returning to the island. Not even the death of Nicole's father could bring her back. She has kept in touch with Nicole via e-mail, but it's been years since they saw each other in person. But when Nicole asks for help with the cookbook and cleaning out the family home, Charlotte knows it's time to go back. I wish Nicole had been just a little mad at Charlotte. No matter how big the secret or how much it can hurt, who doesn't show up for the funeral of their best friend's father? Nicole seemed to make excuses for Charlotte.
Nicole is going through a lot in her own life. She's struggling to save her husband Julian and their marriage. Julian is a renowned surgeon, who is now stricken with Multiple Sclerosis. He's afraid to let anyone -- outside of Nicole and his doctors -- know about his diagnosis. He can't let his image suffer. Nicole wants to do more for him. In my opinion, his character is like a lot of men -- he's afraid to show vulnerability.
Of course no book like this would be complete without a little romance. Leo Cole is the town bad boy. You know he's just right for Charlotte. They both have their issues to deal with, so why not deal with them together?!?!? I found myself rooting for them.
Overall, I liken this book to reuniting with an old friend or a long-lost love. You might have some struggles along the way, but in the end you're glad you went through the journey.
Note: I received a copy of the book from the publisher (St. Martin's Press) at the request of Wunderkind PR