Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Book Review: The Cottage at Glass Beach

'The Cottage at Glass Beach'
Author: Heather Barbieri

Format: ARC
Published: Harper; May 2012
Pages: 320
Genre: Fiction
Grade: B
Source: TLC Book Tours

Synopsis: Married to the youngest attorney general in Massachusetts state history, Nora Cunningham is a picture-perfect political wife and a doting mother. But her carefully constructed life falls to pieces when she, along with the rest of the world, learns of the infidelity of her husband, Malcolm.
Humiliated and hounded by the press, Nora packs up her daughters—Annie, seven; and Ella, twelve—and takes refuge on Burke's Island, a craggy spit of land off the coast of Maine. Settled by Irish immigrants, the island is a place where superstition and magic are carried on the ocean winds, and wishes and dreams wash ashore with the changing tides.
Nora spent her first five years on the island but has not been back to the remote community for decades—not since that long ago summer when her mother disappeared at sea. One night while sitting alone on Glass Beach below the cottage where she spent her childhood, Nora succumbs to grief, her tears flowing into the ocean. Days later she finds an enigmatic fisherman named Owen Kavanagh shipwrecked on the rocks nearby. Is he, as her aunt's friend Polly suggests, a selkie—a mythical being of island legend—summoned by her heartbreak, or simply someone who, like Nora, is trying to find his way in the wake of his own personal struggles?
Just as she begins to regain her balance, her daughters embark on a reckless odyssey of their own—a journey that will force Nora to find the courage to chart her own course and finally face the truth about her marriage, her mother, and her long-buried past.

My Take: It's getting close to summer! Memorial Day is this weekend for Pete's sake. So it's time to start reading books with beaches on the cover thankyouverymuch! 

I love a good beach read as much as the next person and Heather Barbieri's new novel The Cottage at Glass Beach elevated the genre by being not so much a silly page turner as they sometimes can be, as a bit of a mystery and adult heart breaker for me. Centered around Nora, whose philandering politician husband has made her rethink her role in life, she packs up her two daughters and heads back to her childhood home. Upon arrival we learn that she hasn't been back her since the mysterious dissapearance of her own mother when she was but a little girl. The beach town is small though and everyone remembers her and is delighted to have her back.

Nora doesn't really remember much about the town though and her young daughters at first aren't too thrilled to be here. Although, Nora is happy to have a peaceful sanctuary away from the madness that was her life to think things through. While at this beach getaway her mind begins to wander and memories from her past begin to surface. Soon she starts uncovering things she had long forgotten. Along with her Aunt Maire who lives on the island, Nora and her daughters soon start to learn all kind of things about themselves and the island they are now living on.they were steeped in folklore, overall I really enjoyed this beach read to kick off my summer reading.

While there were some parts of this book that were so mysterious that I kinda didn't get them since they were steeped in folklore, overall I really enjoyed this beach read to kick off my summer reading.

I recommend it for all of you out there looking for your next (or first!) summer read too!

For other opinions on this book, please check out the full TLC Tour here!

Cover Lust: I think it perfectly fits the story (although perhaps it should be a little stormier and a little less sunny!).


  1. I shy away from books like this one because they do look a bit light for me, but you and one other blogger both said that there is a bit more to this one than fluff. Good to know.

  2. This sounds like a great book for the summer! I do like lighter reads in the summer because I tend to be more distracted.

  3. Wait..did I not read and like a book by her? Oh I am so bad with names. Anyway want this

    1. Perhaps it was The Lacemakers of Glenmara? A lot of people have read that book by her before ...

  4. I love Maine! This reminds me of another book about a lady running away to Maine to heal her soul. PERFECT summer read.

  5. Sounds like the perfect beach read! Fun, and with some heavier subjects that keep you involved. So glad you liked it! Thanks for bieng on the tour.

  6. So glad to see you enjoyed it. My friend brought me her copy yesterday to borrow, so I'll have to make time for it soon. I am so glad that it's almost time for beach reading!

  7. this sounds like a great book! i've already started my summer reads, but i'm adding this one to my list of books to read too.

  8. Oh, this looks good. A little fantasy is perfect for a summer read!

  9. Sounds like the perfect read for summer and that cover does make me crave a trip to the beach!


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