Author: Pamela M. Kelly
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin on Jun. 6, 2023
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: St. Martin's Press
Book Rating: 8.5/10
The Bookshop by the Bay is a breezy, escapist beach read from powerhouse bestselling women’s fiction author Pamela Kelley.
Two lifelong friends. One bookshop by the beach. And the summer that could change everything.
Jess loves her work as a high-profile lawyer in the respectable and austere city of Charleston. But when she finds her husband, Parker, has been cheating on her with his assistant, she retreats, with her thirty year-old daughter Caitlin for support, to her childhood home on Cape Cod, in Chatham. Caitlin has always been bright but directionless, looking for her passion but keeps coming up blank. And Jess needs to regroup with the help of good food and wine, the company of her best friend, Allison, and come up with a plan for the future.
Allison’s career has hit a low. After twenty years as an editor for the Chatham magazine, circulation is dwindling and though her boss and long-time friend, Jim, does everything to keep her, she has no choice but to take a step back. With a career on hiatus and her main relationship being with Chris, her ex-husband who is still a good friend, Allison is at a pivotal point in life. Her daughter Julia opened her own artisanal jewelry shop a year prior, and she has the kind of day-to-day fulfillment Allison yearns for.
When Allison stops into her beloved local bookstore one day and learns that the owner wants to sell, a long-held dream turns into a reality, thanks to Jess. Allison and Jess set a plan in motion and what was once a place that held warm childhood memories is now theirs to run. As the two friends, along with the help of their daughters, reopen the doors of the cherished bookstore and adjacent coffee shop to the community, they also open themselves up to the possibility of romance, the bonds of mothers and daughters, and the magic of second chances.
Heartwarming, optimistic, and tender!
The Bookshop by the Bay is a delightfully compelling tale that takes us into the lives of two main characters. Jess, a successful lawyer who, after discovering her husband’s infidelity, heads to their second home in Cape Cod to regroup and think about what to do next, and Allison, an editor with a dwindling career who, after learning of the upcoming sale of her beloved local bookstore, decides with the help of her best friend and their two grown daughters to take a chance on a dream she’s always had.
The prose is reflective and sweet. The characters are genuine, kind, and dependable. And the plot is a charming mix of life, love, family, friendship, generosity, self-discovery, support, consideration, happiness, taking chances, companionship, new love, and the special bonds of mother-daughter relationships.
Overall, The Bookshop by the Bay is a cosy, uplifting, perfect beach read by Kelley with its idyllic setting, small-town charm, heartfelt storyline, endearing characters, and a reminder of how important it is at any age to find that place that truly feels like home.
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Thank you to SMP Romance – St. Martin’s Press for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.