By Mary Alice Monroe
Pub Date: 22 May 2018
The Rutledge family has quite a history in the town of Charleston SC. This, book 5, picks up the history with Linnea graduating college and starting out on her own, and Cara reopening the beach house as her permanent home. While this is the fifth book In the series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone novel. Yes, some secrets are revealed that would otherwise be told in sequence, but Mary Alice Monroe’s writing keeps you engaged in the story regardless.
I’ve always been a fan of beach stories. They are for good beach reads. They also are for brightening a winter day. Since this series revolves around the house and those who have inhabited it, the house becomes a central character of the story. I loved that Linnea is a kid of lost soul upon graduating college. How many of us have been in those shoes? While she has a degree in something she loves, she has no idea how to use this degree in the real world. The book clearly can resonate with those of us who have either been in that situation, or have kids going through that.
Cara is suddenly a new mom her 50s. A single new mom trying to figure out how to manage a career and a child and a relocation back to the place of her youth and life before being single. Many women today are juggling all those balls trying to keep nay from dropping. Cara also needs to figure out her path, so it is only fitting that this book focuses on the two of them.
Cara and Linnea are real people with real issues in a fabulous location. The characters are convincing, not fairytale people. The supporting cast are also well fleshed out. I felt as though I could actually picture these people and their lives.
The addition of the sea turtle information was amazing. I enjoyed learning about sea turtles and their current plight. This adds to the realism of the story. I loved that the sea turtles had bound Rutledge women to them and the beach for years.
I escape into this kind of fiction because I know that likely everything is going to work out In the end. It is almost what you would call “happy ending fiction.” Trials and tribulations abound for everyone, but the story ends on an upbeat note. I’m not left with a feeling of wanting when the book is over.