Up in the attic, with views across the sparkling bay, she opens the lid of the carved trunk. Carefully moving aside the delicate linen wedding dress once worn by her great-aunt, she unpacks all the smaller boxes inside until she finds the leather-bound diary. She knows this will change everything…
All Zoey’s happiest childhood memories are of her great-aunt Ivy’s rickety cottage on Dune Island, being spoiled with cranberry ice cream and watching the tides change from the rooftop. Now, heartbroken from a recent breakup, Zoey can see her elderly aunt’s spark is fading, and decides to move to the island so they can care for each other.
When she arrives to find her cousin, Mark, sitting at the solid oak kitchen table, she knows why Aunt Ivy hasn’t been herself. Because Mark—next in line to inherit the house—is pushing Ivy to move into a nursing home.
With the cousins clashing over what’s best for Ivy, Zoey is surprised when the local carpenter who’s working on Ivy’s cottage takes her side. As he offers Zoey comfort, the two grow close. Together, they make a discovery in the attic that links the family to the mysterious and reclusive local lighthouse keeper, and throws doubt on Mark’s claim…
Now Zoey has a heartbreaking choice to make. The discovery could keep Ivy in the house she’s loved her whole life… but can Zoey trust that the carpenter really has Ivy’s best interests at heart? And will dredging up an old secret destroy the peace and happiness of Ivy’s final years—and tear this family apart for good?
A stunning and emotional read about old secrets, new love and never forgetting the importance of family. Perfect for fans of Mary Ellen Taylor, Robyn Carr and Mary Alice Monroe.
Read what everyone’s saying about Kristin Harper:
‘Absolutely loved… completely unable to put this one down… perfect… Absolutely gorgeous.’ Little Miss Book Lover 87, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘5 big stars! I loved everything about this book... The setting, the story, the characters, and the writing were all beautifully done. Perfect read.’ Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘I loved this book! I laughed and cried and was full of emotions the whole time I read it… wonderful characters… I highly recommend this book!’ It’s My Life, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘This is such a lovely book! A truly heart-wrenching story… really brought a smile to my face… a great read and a classic example of a beach book with a heart.’ Goodreads Reviewer
‘Moving and wonderfully romantic… enchanting and engrossing… a poignant, immersive and emotional page-turner set in an idyllic setting… a wonderful tale… written straight from the heart.’ Bookish Jottings, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Such an emotional book about family, loss and love. Will touch a chord in everyone’s heart.’ @thebookishbanker
‘Beautifully written… a roller-coaster… The plot is filled with love, friendship, loss, secrets, romance, sand, art and seals!!!… a perfectly romantic beach read that ticks all the boxes.’ BookWorm1986
Old family secrets and new love form the core of Harper's enticing second Dune Island novel (after Summer at Hope Haven). Zoey Jansen comes to stay with her Great Aunt Ivy following the death of Ivy's sister-in-law, Sylvia. Zoey is wary of starting a relationship after her ex duped her into a financial investment that wiped out her savings, so though she's attracted to local carpenter Nick Armstrong, she fights their chemistry. She especially distrusts Nick because of his apparent friendship with her callous cousin Mark, who's trying to convince Ivy to move to an assisted living facility. But as Zoey hunts for work, cares for Ivy, and prepares for a visit from her 14-year-old niece, Gabi, she and Nick grow closer. When Nick finds Sylvia's diary in a wall during remodeling and gives it to Zoey, she discovers earth-shattering secrets and must decide whether to share them with Ivy and Mark, whose lives would be most affected. Harper reveals the intricacies of shared family history and rewards readers with plenty of emotion and authentic characters. It adds up to a heartwarming story of love and loss. Agent: Kathryn Taussig, Storyfire.
Families and Secrets
Aunt Ivy’s Cottage is a heartwarming story about complicated family relationships, and long-buried secrets. Zoey returns to the house where her aunts live after losing her job, and along with taking care of them, she also becomes guardian of her troubled young niece. I enjoyed spending time with the characters in this book, as they overcame conflicts with love and understanding. The setting of this family drama was lovely, and the story is warm and uplifting. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Love this cover
I love this cover! I had read a previous book by this author so I was really excited to have the opportunity to read an early copy of this book.
It’s kind of a slow moving book but it works in this book. There’s several side stories going on in this book. One has a bit of a mystery to it. I enjoyed the book!
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the early copy
This was an enjoyable read that took me on an emotional roller coaster ride at times. Zoey has lost her job, so she doesn’t hesitate to return to Dune Island to take care of her Great Aunt Sylvia and her Aunt Ivy. I’m not going to leave any spoilers, but I will say if you enjoy reading about families that love whether related by blood or not, you will love this story. If you’re looking for a book with a strong romance element, then you may be disappointed. There is a romance, but it’s drawn out. With that being said, grab your copy and see what you think for yourself.
I received an advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley and Bookouture and this is my voluntary and honest review.