Lyndie St. James is thrilled that her best friend, Elle, is getting married but unprepared for the emotional storm of the wedding week and returning to her childhood summer home of Sweethaven. The idyllic cottage community harbors some of her best—and worst—memories. It’s not only the tragic death of her childhood friend Cassie that has haunted her for ten years, it’s the other secrets she’s buried that have kept her from moving on.
But Lyndie isn’t the only one with secrets.
Cassie’s mother, father and brother, still struggling with the loss, have been drifting further and further apart. And Elle herself, the last to see Cassie alive, carries an impossible burden of guilt. Now reunited, each of them has a choice: to reveal the truths of that night or continue to live in its shadow. That means embarking on a personal journey of the heart—to escape the darkness and all its regrets and to finally come to terms with the past and, especially, with each other.
Full disclosure — I didn’t read the whole book. I read the first eight chapters and just couldn’t read any more. The writing’s not bad, but it was eight chapters of the characters thinking about their pasts and how they’re all either phonies or miserable or barely surviving. It kind of felt like having dinner with a group of people where everyone was complaining about their lives. Essentially, in the first eight chapters there’s one dinner and a couple of people get on planes; not much else happens. I wanted to give each character the number of a good therapist.
I didn’t know anything about this book going into it, so I didn’t realize how angsty it was going to be. I know a lot of people like that type of story, but it’s not my thing. For some reason I thought this author wrote lighthearted stories; if I had know she didn’t, I probably wouldn’t have picked up the book.
I DID skip to the last chapter to see if I’d like the ending (definitely a satisfying ending), but I couldn’t finish the whole book. Again, it’s NOTHING against the author or her style — this just isn’t the type of book for me.