Friday, August 17, 2018

Cottage by the Sea: An Emotional Novel by Debbie Macomber

Cottage by the Sea is the latest novel by Debbie Macomber.  Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, and Annie Marlow’s mother wants her to come home to Seattle, Washington for the holiday.  She is unable to change her schedule and Annie knows she will be home for Christmas.  Annie regrets her decision when she receives a call from Aunt Sherry on Thanksgiving that the continual rains have caused her parents home to slide off the hillside.  Annie has lost her entire family in one day.  Sixteen months later, Annie has spiraled into intense depression and is suffering from survivor’s guilt.  A counselor suggests Annie go somewhere that made her happy.  She remembers family vacations in Oceanside and decides to visit.  Annie feels at peace in the small town and decides to make a change.  With the help of local painter, Seth Keaton, Annie is able to rent her family’s old vacation cottage and obtains a job.  Annie wants to make a difference in people’s lives and starts with her curmudgeon of a landlord.  In Oceanside, Annie finds a way to heal along with new friends and an unexpected romance.  What happens, though, when Annie is presented with a wonderful opportunity?

Cottage by the Sea is an engaging and emotional novel.  My attention was captured right away, and it was held until I finished the story.  Annie is devastated when she loses her parents, brother, sister-in-law and niece all in one day.  She feels guilty for not joining them for Thanksgiving and sinks into a deep depression.  Grief is a terrible thing and it is something a person can understand unless they experience it themselves (unfortunately).  Cottage by the Sea is not your typical romance novel.  It is a story of healing.  Be prepared for your emotions to go on a roller coaster ride while reading Cottage by the Sea (you will need a hanky nearby).  There is love, heartbreak, joy, hope, grief, guilt, humor and despair.  Debbie Macomber created realistic characters who have real world problems.  I enjoyed the small-town setting in the Pacific Northwest and the various animals in the story.  Mellie Johnson is Annie’s landlord whose past continues to haunt her.  Annie decides to befriend Mellie and her collection of romance novels help get her foot in the door.  The secondary characters along with their story are as captivating as the main characters.  Cottage by the Sea is different from this author’s other works (in a good way) and it does not end as you would expect.  I was left with an unanswered question at the end of Cottage by the Sea (which I find frustrating) and the pacing could have used work in the second half.  My rating for Cottage by the Sea is 4 out of 5 stars.  If you are looking for a compelling new novel to read, pick up Cottage by the Sea.

Thank you for reading my review today.  I am going to share my thoughts on Murder on Memory Lake by J.D. Griffo tomorrow.  May you have a contented day and beat the heat.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader


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