Mini-Review — The Bookshop at Water’s End

19 Jun

My book club chose The Bookshop at Water’s End by Patti Callahan Henry as a recovery read following our discussion of a particularly difficult and emotional novel. It looked like a fun summer-y read featuring our favorite — a bookstore. It is summer-y, since its setting is a vacation home — the River House as it is known to those who spent summers there. This Southern women’s fiction explores mother-daughter relationships, dreams both fulfilled and unfulfilled, and romantic relationships within and outside marriage. The opinions on this book were mixed — some loved it, others said it was okay, while I am in the really didn’t enjoy it camp. For those who have read Surviving Savannah or Becoming Mrs. Lewis, this book is a departure from faith-based themes. Henry’s writing style is easy and her descriptions of emotions are beautiful. I just didn’t care very much for any of the characters. Was it my mood? I don’t really know. I just found them tiring. 😉 I also didn’t care for the adult language and situations used and described. It has an overwhelming favorable rating on Amazon, so you need to judge it for yourself.

(I purchased the Kindle version of this novel from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

The women who spent their childhood summers in a small southern town discover it harbors secrets as lush as the marshes that surround it…
Bonny Blankenship’s most treasured memories are of idyllic summers spent in Watersend, South Carolina, with her best friend, Lainey McKay. Amid the sand dunes and oak trees draped with Spanish moss, they swam and wished for happy-ever-afters, then escaped to the local bookshop to read and whisper in the glorious cool silence. Until the night that changed everything, the night that Lainey’s mother disappeared.

Now, in her early fifties, Bonny is desperate to clear her head after a tragic mistake threatens her career as an emergency room doctor, and her marriage crumbles around her. With her troubled teenage daughter, Piper, in tow, she goes back to the beloved river house, where she is soon joined by Lainey and her two young children. During lazy summer days and magical nights, they reunite with bookshop owner Mimi, who is tangled with the past and its mysteries. As the three women cling to a fragile peace, buried secrets and long ago loves return like the tide.

Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times, Globe and Mail, and USA Today bestselling author of seventeen novels, including her newest, The Secret Book of Flora Lea. She’s also a podcast host of original content for her novels, Surviving Savannah and Becoming Mrs. Lewis.

​She is the recipient of The Christy Award “Book of the Year”; The Harper Lee Distinguished Writer of the Year and the Alabama Library Association Book of the Year for Becoming Mrs. Lewis. She is the co-host and co-creator of the popular weekly online Friends and Fiction live web show and podcast. Patti also was a contributor to the monthly life lesson essay column for Parade Magazine. She’s published in numerous anthologies, articles, and short story collections, including an Audible Original about Florence Nightingale, titled Wild Swan narrated by the Tony Award winner, Cynthia Erivo. 

​A full-time author, mother of three, and grandmother of two, she lives in Mountain Brook, Alabama with her husband, Pat Henry.

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