As the story begins Bonny Blankenship is about to make a dramatic change in her life. She’s just accepted a new job in Atlanta. She’s leaving her old life behind. Finally. After all, her abusive husband has been making her life miserable for years. She’s an active ER doctor in Charleston, South Carolina. He’s a big shot attorney in town. They have a troubled teenage daughter between them. And Bonny has had enough of this… That is, until a tragic error in the ER one night shifts her life once again. Is it possible she is responsible for a death? Did a sudden shock rock her judgment?
Bonny takes off for her childhood home in Watershed, South Carolina, daughter Piper in tow. Bonny’s told her husband she needs space. She’s also called on her lifelong best friend Lainey McKay. Lainey is an artist living in California with her husband and two small children. It’s a difficult decision for Lainey to make. After all, traveling across the country with two little kids is challenging enough. But, and it’s a big but, there’s baggage in the past. You see, Lainey’s mom disappeared from Watershed when she was 13 and none of them has ever returned to the town. Not Bonny, not Lainey’s brother Owen. Nada.
And how does a bookshop fit into this mix? The lovely eclectic little bookshop run by Mimi is filled not only by shelves and shelves of books, it’s got some history. This is the same shop that Lainey and Bonny used to hang out in when they were kids. In fact, they made up a special mystery Nancy Drew detective club, just for them. Although Mimi seems to be only a small character in the story at first, you quickly see that there is more to her story and the bookshop than meets the eye.
The novel is told in three voices that alternate in chapters and go back and forth in time. I love a really good summer beach read. This is a bit more than that. But it’s got all the stuff I adore: the beach✓swimming✓markets✓gardens✓ and a great little bookshop✓✓….
“Bookshops are sanctuaries,” begins New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan
Henry as she reflects on a difficult time during childhood, “When I was twelve years old, my family moved from the Northeast to South Florida. The shock and imbalance sent me running to a place where I had already found solace through most of my childhood: books. The best bookshops offer not only what is on the shelves, but also a sense of community, a place to gather and share, a “home” that settles the heart.”
Last year, I left Barnes and Noble after eighteen years. I left because a wonderful opportunity fell into my lap at a time when I was tired of working in a corporate dog eat dog world where the books had become shoved aside to make room for everything else. Now I work at Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, Florida. What a gem of a store. It has all that stuff Patti Henry just mentioned. We have used and new books. We are definitely a community haven for all people from all walks of life. We have bookclubs, author signings and readings, and gatherings large and small. And, most important of all, we are a HAPPY place.
My review copy of THE BOOKSHOP AT WATER’S END by Patti Callahan Henry, came to me from Berkley a division of PenuinRandomHouse in exchange for an honest review. Yes, it was super! A great book to add to your beach bag. And don’t forget to visit an Independent bookshop whenever you find one!