Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Book Review: The Seaside Sisters

By Melissa Smoot

One summer can change everything.

Brooklyn-based Hannah is a bestselling author struggling to write her second book after personal losses. Her older sister, Sara, still lives in Chatham, Cape Cod, where they grew up, and is married with four children. Once a dedicated librarian, Sara dreams of reviving her love affair with literature, but instead, she is stuck with too many family responsibilities and a fizzling marriage.

When Hannah gets the chance to retreat to her aunt's oceanfront house in Chatham for the summer, it seems like just the thing to get her creative juices flowing. And she’ll be able to spend more time with Sara, who is eager to find her way back into the workforce, to do something rewarding and book-related. The pair will spend the summer making friends, rekindling romance— especially Spencer, an old acquaintance from high school-turned very hot grump— and opening themselves up to the magic of books and the beach. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

The Seaside Sisters is the quintessential beach read. The story takes place on Cape Cod, in a town called Chatham. Kelley made sure to not leave out any minor detail so that the reader feels as though they have been there before. I have been there, and I felt like the author described it perfectly. It is a dreamy little beach town and that feeling definitely came through in Kelley’s writing.

I really enjoyed this book and that the plot centered mostly around family, specifically two sisters and their aunt. I am very close with my own sister as well as all my aunts, so it made my heart feel warm to read about the love these characters shared with one another. There was the perfect balance of humor and emotion and I identified with the main character, Hannah, and her tough decision on whether to leave NYC and move home to the Cape, or not. 

All the secondary characters were loveable and warm, which I always enjoy. It wouldn’t be complete without at least one antagonist, but I liked the unexpected drama that was thrown in. I was really rooting for Hannah and her neighbor’s grandson, Spencer, but I wasn’t sure how things would pan out until the end, and it worked well. Add this to your beach read list immediately because it is perfect in every way.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Pamela Kelley:
The Bookshop by the Bay

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