When globetrotting photographer Magdalena Henry loses the only man she’s ever loved, she risks her stellar career to care for his widow and young children on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest.
Free-spirited and fiercely independent, Maggie adores her life of travel and adventure. But she has a secret. She can’t let go of her first and only love, renowned architect Marco Firelli, now married to her best friend Lena.
When Marco drowns in a kayaking accident, Maggie rushes to the Firelli family’s summer home on San Juan Island. Once there she discovers that Marco was hiding something that could destroy his family. As fragile, perfectionistic Lena slowly falls apart, Maggie tries to provide stability for Marco and Lena’s three young children.
When Maggie is offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to compete in the world’s most prestigious photography competition, she thinks she’s found the answer to their problems. Then Lena makes a choice with unexpected and devastating consequences, forcing Maggie to grapple with an agonizing decision. Does she sacrifice the golden opportunity of her career or abandon the Firellis just when they need her the most?
Gradually the island begins to work its magic. A century-old ritual to beckon loved ones home offers hope in the midst of sorrow. And a guilt-ridden yet compelling stranger hiding on the island may offer Maggie a second chance at love, but only if she can relinquish the past and move forward to find joy in unexpected places.
I didn’t connect with this book at all. I was intrigued by the blurb, but it never engaged me. Honestly, the blurb above shows you everything that happens in the book. The rest of it is pages and pages of introspection, description, and explanations about what happened in the past to lead up to the present, but then the present situations are just kind of glossed over and rushed through. Nothing about it made me relate to or empathize with the characters.
Actually, the only character there’s a chance of connecting with is Maggie – the entire book is in her point-of-view. Unfortunately, instead of walking through the events of the story with her and experiencing her emotions and reactions with her, the book is full of (in my opinion) irrelevant details and backstory – I didn’t care what time her flight was, the name of the cab company that drove her around, or about her college professors.
One of the things that really bothered me about the book is how it was presented. It was pitched as women’s fiction, but it’s not. This is much more literary fiction than genre fiction. If I had known that, I wouldn’t have agreed to read it (nothing against the author or genre, it’s just not what I like).
I received a free copy of this book from Booklook Bloggers. The opinions are my own.