Book Review: The Guest House

June 13, 2013 5 stars, beach, book review, Erika Marks, family, love, NAL, summer 1

Written By: Erika Marks

Published By:  NAL Accent an imprint of the Penguin Group

Length:  368 pages

Source:  Publisher

Along the coast of Cape Cod is the town of Harrisport, and as most small towns go, there are the year rounders, the people who live there all the time, the backbone so to speak.  Then there are the summer families, usually wealthy, often annoying and obvious in their larger than most summer cottages.  Edie Wright has lived in Harrisport all her life, seen the comings and goings of the summer people.  In 1966 she fell in love with one, Tucker Moss, handsome southerner with charm and a lifestyle she had only imagined.  When their short romance ended there was much mystery concerning their relationship, and what led Edie into the arms of Hank, her future husband.  Maybe it all has something to do with the Guest House, and the carving in the wood.
Fast forward to now, Edie’s daughter Lexi is home from studying architectural photography in London for two years. She has her own history with the Moss family.  She dated Hudson Moss, son of Tucker while she was in college.  When Hudson suddenly breaks off their engagement just before her senior year of college she’s devastated and wants no other contact with the Moss family.  That was 11 years ago now, and the Moss family is preparing to sell their cottage, and the guest house, but first it needs work and needs to be verified for registration as an historic home.  Younger Cooper Moss hires Lexi to photograph the house, sounds harmless…but there is mystery, and so much emotion with these families and mostly these two women.  A story woven so well, unraveling it is like a journey to happiness.

Erika Marks third novel is perhaps her best yet.  I enjoyed THE MERMAID COLLECTOR very much, but this book just seems to go deeper with the characters and the back story just details the whys so very well.  While Edie and Lexi are mother and daughter, and are very different, both women are likeable and the type of women I’d be drawn to for friendships.  They are both independent and a little pushy.

The Wright family is filled with unknown secrets.  Edie doesn’t openly share about her youth and the love that got away, though stories have floated around and there is animosity between them and the Moss family.  Her son Owen does not try to hide his distaste.  Owen is divorced, and his teen daughter is spending the summer with him…more secrets.  Lexi has never told anyone exactly what happened the night Hudson called off their engagement, or where she was for hours afterwards.  I read eagerly to find the answers.  This book is such a treat to devour.  Scenes of the beach along the Cape, images of a time passed and the smell of sand, salt and seafood filled me.

I hesitate to label this a beach read, because it’s not all light and fluffy as some might pigeon hole that term, but it is the kind of book that takes you away, whether at the beach or just dreaming of it.  I’ve given this book 5 out of 5 stars, I really loved it!  Grab this one up now while it’s hot!  Check out Erika’s website to see her book tour dates and more.

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