By Jane Green
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer jerjen
The New York Times bestselling author of The Beach House, Jemima J, and Summer Secrets presents a novel about the pleasure and meaning of finding a home—and family—where you least expect them.
When Emma Montague left the strict confines of upper-crust British life for New York, she felt sure it would make her happy. Away from her parents and expectations, she felt liberated, throwing herself into Manhattan life replete with a high-paying job, a gorgeous apartment, and a string of successful boyfriends. But the cutthroat world of finance and relentless pursuit of more began to take its toll. This wasn’t the life she wanted either.
On the move again, Emma settles in the picturesque waterfront town of Westport, Connecticut, a world apart from both England and Manhattan. It is here that she begins to confront what it is she really wants from her life. With no job, and knowing only one person in town, she channels her passion for creating beautiful spaces into remaking the dilapidated cottage she rents from Dominic, a local handyman who lives next door with his six-year-old son.
Unlike any man Emma has ever known, Dominic is confident, grounded, and committed to being present for his son whose mother fled shortly after he was born. They become friends, and slowly much more, as Emma finds herself feeling at home in a way she never has before.
But just as they start to imagine a life together as a family, fate intervenes in the most shocking of ways. For the first time, Emma has to stay and fight for what she loves, for the truth she has discovered about herself, or risk losing it all.
In a novel of changing seasons, shifting lives, and selfless love, a story unfolds—of one woman’s far-reaching journey to discover who she is truly meant to be… (Goodreads)
Emma has moved to Westport, Connecticut, to try to decide what she wants to do with her life. She moved away from England (and her high society family) and made a life for herself in Manhattan as a banker. And for a while she was happy and excited with her new life. But then she realized that she did not like the fast pace and the fake people that she had been associating with. So she moves to Westport to “find herself” and the life that she wants to lead.
First she has to find someplace to live. After checking many of the spaces that are available to her, she moves into a beach cottage that has seen better days. But she has a lot of ideas on how to spruce the place up and turn it into a lovely home. She just has to get her landlord, Dominic, to approve of the changes she wants to make. When she learns that he lives next door with his six year old son, Jesse, she realizes it will be easier to become friends with him and do the home improvements that she envisions before moving in. What she does not realize is how fast she will begin to like and care about Dominic and his son. But as is usual in life, things do not always go as planned and many obstacles present themselves: Jesse’s mother has returned to Westport after having abandoned him many years ago, Jesse’s back and forth feelings about Emma, and the difference between Emma and Dominic’s backgrounds. Emma again has to decide what it is she wants out of life and how much she is willing to work for what she wants.
The characters are well rounded, well developed and three dimensional. Emma is a strong woman and she is not afraid to do what it takes to live the life she wants. She has a lot of love to give, but she does not need a man in her life to define her. Dominic is a hard working, generous loyal person and he knows that there is nothing more important in life than his son. Raising his son by himself has not been easy but he knows that their father/son bond is unbreakable. If Emma and Dominic are going to make a relationship work, they are going to have to deal with the baggage they both bring. Most of that baggage has to do with their upbringing and their own parents.
The writing style flows smoothly and the book is an easy read. The author is very talented in her descriptive writing and through most of the book I felt like I was right there, watching the action going on all around me. She is also very talented in bringing emotions out of the readers and I felt a vast array of emotions while reading this book: happiness, sadness and anxiety, to name a few. I think it takes a special talent to bring all of these feelings out in a reader and this author definitely has this talent.
This review was difficult to write because there is so much more I want to say but I do not want to give anything away and spoil it for others. What I can say is that book is a great read and I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys well crafted women’s fiction. This is the first book I have read by this author but I look forward to reading more of the many books that she has written.