The 2007 novel Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes, the bestselling author of Me Before You and two-time winner of the RNA Novel of the Year award.
Liza McCullen will never escape her past. But the unspoilt beaches and tight-knit community of Silver Bay offer the freedom and safety she craves - if not for herself, then for her young daughter, Hannah.
Until Mike Dormer arrives as a guest in her aunt's hotel, and the peace of Silver Bay is shattered. The mild-mannered Englishman with his too-smart clothes and disturbing eyes could destroy everything Liza has worked so hard to protect: not only the family business and the bay that harbours her beloved whales, but also her conviction that she will never love - never deserve to love - again.
For most of her 76 years, Kathleen Whittier Mostyn has run the only hotel in the sleepy town of Silver Bay, on the east coast of Australia. In recent years, the town's visitors have mostly been whale-watchers who charter boats to see humpbacks and dolphins during migration season. One such boat is captained by Kathleen's niece, Liza McCullen, who emigrated from England six years ago with her young daughter, Hannah. When London-based real estate developer Mike Dormer arrives in town to scout a location for a new resort, he's immediately taken with the area and with Liza and Hannah. But it's soon clear that development would have severe consequences on the annual visit of the whales and dolphins, and Mike is suddenly moved to save the bay. He needs Liza to help raise awareness back in England, even though the trip there would force Liza to confront the tragic past that drove her to Australia. Moyes brings polished prose and well-rounded characters to a setting with abundant appeal. Unfortunately, she doesn't quite infuse new life into the well used plot device of small business versus developers, and Liza's secret is unveiled without any particular regard for timing, which causes it to land with minimal effect.