The Bookshop at Water’s End by Patti Callahan Henry
Expected Publication: July 11, 2017
Publisher: Berkley Books
Bonny Blankenship's most treasured memories are of idyllic summers spent in Watersend, South Carolina, with her best friend, Lainey McKay. Amid the sand dunes and oak trees draped with Spanish moss, they swam and wished for happy-ever-afters, then escaped to the local bookshop to read and whisper in the glorious cool silence. Until the night that changed everything, the night that Lainey's mother disappeared.
Now, in her early fifties, Bonny is desperate to clear her head after a tragic mistake threatens her career as an emergency room doctor, and her marriage crumbles around her. With her troubled teenage daughter, Piper, in tow, she goes back to the beloved river house, where she is soon joined by Lainey and her two young children. During lazy summer days and magical nights, they reunite with bookshop owner Mimi, who is tangled with the past and its mysteries. As the three women cling to a fragile peace, buried secrets and long ago loves return like the tide.
In The Bookshop at Water’s End, we meet Bonny and Lainey two best friends who spent their childhood summers together in South Carolina and who have experienced the highs and lows of their lives. Bonny is a doctor who wants out of her marriage but when an accident occurs on her watch her whole career is put on the line. She has a teenage daughter who is going through some growing pains and Bonny thinks spending the summer at her childhood beach house will straighten Piper out.
Lainey, on the other hand, is forever trying to overcome the one summer her mother left her and her brother to never return again. She is married with children and although she promised her husband she would let go of looking for her mother she just can't. She is secretly still searching desperately to know why her mother could just leave and never look back. Lainey is forever chasing the love only a mother can give.
When Bonny asks Lainey to join her for one last summer in the summer home they shared as kids Lainey doesn't want to go back. She promised herself she wouldn’t after the pain she suffered that summer but she also promised Bonny if she ever needed her she would be there for her so she returns. Lainey’s brother is a carefree guy who is always looking for the next adventure so when he shows up Lainey is excited. She is always missing her brother but little does she know that he showed up for Bonny, the one girl he has always loved and never got over. Needless to say, this will be a summer no one will forget.
I loved this storyline! While Bonny was a bit of heavy-handed character for my taste I loved Lainey. I truly felt compassion for her and for her quest of finding her mother. When she finally gets her answers the pain I felt for her was real. All those summers again and her mom leaving forever stayed with her and altered how she saw and felt things. It made her wait in life to have children thinking she would be the same way with her kids and she didn’t want that. The Piper storyline was good, I loved how she found herself in her new surroundings and how she finally grew up and how she finally found real love with someone who could appreciate her.
This was a very enjoyable read of coming back home. Though some didn’t want to go back it was needed to face their demons and to ultimately find out the answers they needed. This shows you that family doesn’t always have to be by blood but by those who love you the most.