On the coast of Alabama, there is a house cloaked in mystery, a place that reveals the truth and changes lives...
Ellie Calvin is caught in a dying marriage, and she knows this. With her beloved daughter away at college and a growing gap between her and her husband – between her reality and the woman she wants to be – she doesn't quite seem to fit into her own life.
But everything changes after her controlling mother, Lillian, passes away. Ellie's world turns upside down when she sees her ex-boyfriend, Hutch, at her mother's funeral and learns that he is in charge of a documentary that involved Lillian before her death. He wants answers to questions that Ellie's not sure she can face, until, in the painful midst of going through her mother's things, she discovers a hidden diary – and a window onto stories buried long ago.
As Ellie and Hutch start speaking for the first time in years, Ellie's closed heart slowly begins to open. Fighting their feelings, they set out together to dig into Lillian's history. Using both the diary and a trip to the Summer House, a mysterious and seductive bayside home, they gamble that they can work together and not fall in love again. But in piecing together a decades-old unrequited-love story, they just might uncover the secrets in their own hearts…
Middle-aged Alabama mom Ellie Calvin is trapped in a loveless marriage, but finding and reading her deceased mother's secret diary gives her the courage to choose a different life and take control of her future. Janet Metzger fully embodies the role of Ellie: she sounds as though she's thinking out loud, trying to understand her own feelings, piece together the meaning of both her mother's diary and her own life, and explain the choices she's made. Although the book's characters are all Southern, Metzger gives each one both male and female a unique voice and makes it abundantly clear which character is speaking, even during conversations between multiple characters. Additionally, Metzger reads the secret diary entries in another distinctive, pitch-perfect voice. This audiobook is an excellent choice for female listeners who enjoy character-driven fiction. A St. Martin's Press hardcover.
Coming up for air
Loved it!! Loved the balance of romance with identity and a hint of historical mystery. Especially those of us from the south can understand.
This book is boring. Nothing of interest happens. The characters are so dramatic in the way they speak of love. It feels trumped up and a bit silly. However, I can see someone else enjoying it, the kind of person who likes a good musical may also enjoy this book. Perhaps I'm just not the right audience.
Best read ever
The author provides an engaging story with beautifully written prose. Several times while reading, I had to stop and write down lines from the book that were so meaningful and poignant. I'm not sure I have ever connected with a book like I did with this one. My husband even read it, and he thoroughly enjoyed it. This is a must read!