I looked at the cover and was enticed. I read the blurb and got excited at the prospect of reading this book. I read the first few pages… I sighed. I read further… I was confused. Then I closed the book and thought back at the lines I have read. And I realized I understood parts of the story. Now what…? Go back and re-read or DNF…?
I didn’t want a DNF in the new year, so I went back into the book but with a new technique. I hopped, I skipped, I jumped on the stepping stones to cross the pond. And that’s how I finished the book. I read only the important parts.
Mae and Gabe loved each other as teenagers, till grandmother Lilly, drives Gabe away, believing him not to be good enough for her granddaughter. Lilly has her own secrets of her past, but suffering from dementia, she reveals one of them to her husband, George. George leaves her (BTW the grandparents are in their 80s) and stays in a hotel. There is a secret/mystery of their daughter Bae’s mother. Gabe’s father, Jonah, an alcoholic and abuser, dies. Gabe comes back home, Bae comes home after 17 years. And the story and secrets unravel….
My first book by Marissa Stapley, and probably my last. I didn’t like any of the characters. All of them were morose and living in their heads, rather than in real life. There was an aura of depression and guilt surrounding them. Instead of being thankful of what they had, their thoughts were all into what they had done or the injustice they had faced. None of them knew the meaning of Enjoy the Present or Count Every Blessing.
The narration of the story wasn’t clear, I got confused, whose story I was reading. And there was no gradual inclusion of characters. I stopped trying to remember who was who or their relation and just read about the 4 characters. I found the pace slow and the ending abrupt. The epilogue was better than the main story, not sure if it was because I was glad the story ended or the 2 main characters seemed to be in love.
This is the book, where I found one of the character telling the other I Love You, and the other replies Thank You, and it was supposed to imply that the other also loves. Did I get that? Nahhh!
I received an ARC from NetGalley and publisher Graydon House, and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
My rating : 2.5 stars
About the Author
Marissa Stapley is a writer and former magazine editor who contributes to Elle, The Globe and Mail, and The National Post, among others. She also teaches writing at the University of Toronto and editing at Centennial College. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two young children.
Mae Summers has it all: a loving fiancé, Peter, a job at the flourishing company he owns and a beautiful New York City apartment. But Mae’s life shatters when she wakes up one morning to discover Peter gone—leaving only a cryptic note behind him—and the company in shambles, its investments founded on lies.
There’s only one place for Mae to go: home to Alexandria Bay, the small tourist town in upstate New York where she was raised by her grandparents in the inn they own. And not all is right in Alex Bay, either: Mae finds her grandmother struggling with dementia, separated from Mae’s grandfather thanks to a terrible secret she never meant to reveal.
She also finds Gabe, her childhood best friend who became the love of her young life—now a handsome if brooding adult, working through a private trauma that still haunts him.
A lifetime of secrets stands in the way of Mae and her family’s happiness. Home may be where the heart is, but sometimes it takes equal parts love, forgiveness and will to mend that heart.
Publication date : 6th February, 2018
Publisher : Graydon House
Language : English