Tranquil cover. However, I can almost feel the underlying tension behind the lovely scenery.
HAVEN POINT begins in 1944 when we meet Maren, a blonde beauty from the farm country of Minnesota. Wanting to do her part to help the war effort, she became a cadet nurse and started working at Walter Reed Army Hospital where she worked tirelessly for endless hours each day. She had no time to even contemplate a romance. Until she did. She met Dr. Oliver Demerest whose pedigree family hailed from old Boston. It was during the war and they got married quickly like most people did back then. She had not met Oliver’s family. Oh boy. My mother told me many years ago that you may not realize it but you always marry the entire family. So right. There is something not quite right about Oliver’s mother. And then we meet Oliver’s father. A bully. The entire community of Haven Point is very close-knit and not open to strangers. And Maren was a stranger. You can see where this is going.
a There are three time periods in this book and Hume goes back and forth in time. We meet Annie next who is Oliver and Maren’s daughter. We move to the 1970’s during the Viet Nam War. She’s a spirited and troubled girl from childhood. She rubs her dad the wrong way even though he loves her fiercely. And when she falls for the wrong guy, well, you can only imagine the explosive atmosphere. And it will not end well.
Then we meet Skye who is Annie’s daughter by artificial insemination because Annie decided long before that she would never marry or even have a serious relationship…..This puts us in the 2008 time period.
When Skye returns to Haven Point to scatter her mom’s ashes her grandmother, Maren, opens up and long held secrets begin spewing forth. Not one moment too soon.
I really got into these characters. Hume does a fabulous job letting us know exactly who they each are. And why they make the decisions they have. I felt as if I knew Haven Point inside and out. The quirky people who lived in the stuffy community each held long time grudges. Each were so darn interesting. And then she throws in a scene with a pet monkey and I almost peed my pants. We needed that laughable moment.
Families are all complicated. Each in their own way. Family’s have secrets. All of them do, you know. In this wonderful novel we see fathers and daughters who are like oil and water. We find sons and mothers who disagree vehemently. And we watch as total opposites marry against all odds.
This is a big family drama filled with complex people who you will love and hate. I hope you love the story as much as I have.
I want to mention that the Cadet Nurse Corps was a program cooked up in Washington to address the shortage of home-front nurses High school graduates were fast-tracked through nursing school, with the government picking up the tab for tuition, books, and uniforms.
I borrowed my copy of HAVEN POINT from the local library. I loved it.