Debbie Macomber has, once again, produced a heartwarming story of loss and love, of friendship and respect. Due out July 17, 2018, Cottage By the Sea, may be one of her best yet, as it explores the recovery of well-developed, lifelike characters from a devastating loss, pain caused by a cruel parent, self-punishment by a young woman who believed she did not deserve to love again, and a mother and two siblings living with an abusive man.
Physician assistant, Annie Marlow’s world was turned upside down by unspeakable tragedy. After drifting through life for sixteen months, she returns to Oceanside, the small seaside town of her childhood family vacations. It was there that she had the happiest memories of her lost family.
Annie is quickly accepted into the community, and finds again and again that the best way to heal herself is to do what comes naturally to her – helping others. Keaton’s life has been cruel and lonely, yet he is a talented artist who rescues abused animals. Mellie has enclosed herself in her late grandparents’ home, and become an agoraphobic and a hoarder. Britt and Logan show bruises and broken bones from the man of the house, and their mother, Teresa, sees no way out of her situation.
Since childhood, Annie has wanted to go to medical school. Torn between leaving a budding romance and the community she had grown to love, when faced with chance to apply for an accelerated program for PAs, she struggles to make a decision.
As a public health educator, I am happy to see Macomber mention budget cuts that cripple social services, as well as her mention of a voice “that rattled after years of tobacco use”. Another important point raised in Cottage By the Sea is the fact that most battered women’s shelters do not accept male children above a certain age. Because of this some battered moms have no place to go.
What Makes This Book Reviewer Grumpy?
The usual things:
- ending a sentence with a preposition;
- beginning a sentence with a conjunction;
- split infinitives;
- misplacement of the word “only” within a sentence;
- having a character say “come” when he should have said “go”.