Review: Sailing Lessons by Hannah McKinnon

Sailing Lessons by Hannah McKinnon
Expected Publication: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Atria Books
Format: via NetGalley
Rating: 4/5

Wrenn Bailey has lived all her life on Cape Cod with her mother Lindy, older sister Shannon, and younger sister Piper. Growing up, life was dictated by the seasons with sleepy gray winters where only the locals stayed on, followed by the sharp influx and colorful bustle of summer tourists who swept up the elbow of the Cape and infiltrated their small paradise.

But it wasn’t just the tourists who interrupted Wrenn’s formative years; her father—brilliant but troubled photographer Caleb—has long made a habit of drifting in and out of his girls’ lives. Until the one summer, he left the Cape and did not return again.

Now, almost twenty years later, Caleb has come back one last time, suffering from pancreatic cancer and seeking absolution. Wrenn and her sisters each respond differently to their father’s return, determined to find closure. But that means returning to the past and revisiting old wounds—wounds that cause the tightknit Bailey women to confront their own wishes and wants and admit to their own wrong-doings over the years. In a place that brings both great comfort and great pain, the Bailey sisters experience a summer on the Cape that promises not only hard endings, but perhaps, hopeful new beginnings.

My Thoughts
Focusing on family, love, and forgiveness, Sailing Lessons shows us that love can heal all wounds. We get to know three sisters Wrenn, Bailey, and Shannon all who are dealing with their issues unknown to other members of the family, come together when they realize their father who hasn’t been around in decades wants to come and visit them for reasons that are later revealed.

Shannon, the oldest, is the protector of them all. She doesn’t want anything to do with their father who left after a terrible accident years ago and she is the most like him for many reasons. She presents everything as perfect, her life, her family and herself. She wants to be the “fixer” yet beneath it all everything is less than perfect. With the news of her father coming back she must confront her demons and deal with her past or risk losing it all.

Wrenn is going to open her own business which she has worked hard for. She has a beautiful daughter and has tried to make their lives better but the one thing her daughter wants, to know her father, is the one thing Wrenn doesn’t need in her life right now. Not to mention her long-lost dad coming back into the picture is another thing she doesn’t need. She finds herself in the middle between him and her sisters.

Bailey the youngest, she just trying to find her way in life. She is constantly in school getting degrees after degrees but never settling down and truly starting her life. She is scared to enter the real world and has found herself in a relationship that isn’t the best, to say the least. She’s in love with someone who can't give her want she wants and when she realizes her father is back in the picture she couldn’t be happier. She's the one sister that doesn’t remember him or exactly what happened that day. 

I enjoyed this wonderful relatable tale especially the relationship between the sisters and their mother. The way their mother never put her feelings about their father on them was good, she let them make up their own minds about him. I also liked how each sister had their own time with him and each came to terms with him on their own time. This is a true story of forgiveness. I felt that while each sister was going through things in their lives some of it does stem from the past, maybe more than others but it was there. In seeing their father I felt it wasn’t so much for him but for them. They’ve had to come to terms with the past and let go in order to let that negativity free them. This is great read and one that has multi-layers that is a gift to unwrap. This is one book that is well worth the read.

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