Author: Kristin Harper
Series: Dune Island #2
Format: Print ARC
No. of Pages: 320
Date of Publication: January 25, 2022
My Rating: 4 Stars
Clearing out the attic, Zoey opens the carved trunk and smiles as she picks up the small, leather-bound diary hiding inside. Curious, she leafs through the pages, and realises this will change everything…
All Zoey’s happiest childhood memories are of her great-aunt Ivy’s rickety cottage on Dune Island, snuggling up with hot chocolate and hearing Ivy’s stories about being married to a sea captain. Now, heartbroken from a breakup, Zoey escapes back to the island, but is shocked to find her elderly aunt’s spark fading. Worse, her cousin—next in line to inherit the house—is pushing Ivy to move into a nursing home.
With the family clashing over what’s best for Ivy, Zoey is surprised when Nick, a local carpenter and Ivy’s neighbor, takes her side. As Zoey finds comfort in his sea-blue eyes and warm laugh, the two grow close. Together, they make a discovery in the attic that links the family to the mysterious and reclusive local lighthouse keeper…
Now Zoey has a heartbreaking choice to make. Nick’s urging her to share the discovery, which could keep Ivy in the house she’s loved her whole life… but when Zoey learns that Nick and her cousin go way back, she questions if the man she‘s starting to have feelings for really has Ivy’s best interests at heart. Will dredging up this old secret destroy the peace and happiness of Ivy’s final years—and tear this family apart for good?
Just thinking about her great-aunt Ivy's cottage brings very warm feelings to Zoey. She couldn't have asked for better summers as a child. Ivy is not only up in years, her cottage is not in great shape. Zoey's cousin Mark wants Ivy moved into a nursing home and intends on selling the cottage. Not only is Zoey reluctant to have Ivy moved, she wants to make any necessary repairs on the cottage. She quickly discovers that she has an ally, Ivy's neighbor Nick, who is also a local carpenter.
Beyond that, as Zoey begins to examine the contents of the house, she discovers a connection to the past that just might change everything. Zoey hopes that Ivy can stay in the house, and does what she can to learn about a reclusive lighthouse keeper. All the while, she and Nick begin to grow fond of one another, which just might change her future as well.
As touching as this story was, there was a very unpleasant character, and that was Mark. His attitude towards Ivy and her heritage left a lot to be desired. This was very relatable because so many people today don't want to care for their older relatives. As venemous as he was, Zoey, Nick and Ivy gave the story levity, balancing out his character. Although the ending could have been fleshed out a bit more, it was an enjoyable story.
Many thanks to Forever and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
After moving around the country and working in all sorts of professions, including roles in education, philanthropy and healthcare, I'm glad to be living in Massachusetts again, writing women's fiction set in fictitious oceanside locales.