B&H Books (August 1, 2009)
I picked up and read all three of Julie’s Otter Bay books in the space of a week and a half. This introduces readers to a true small town life. Tara Sweet remembers growing up on the coast and when her mom takes off for a honeymoon in Europe she decides it is time to fulfill her dad’s last instruction before he passed away – take the girls home. She interprets that to mean Otter Bay, the California coast town they left for the Midwest when her sister and cousin were too young to remember much. Though her memories seem to all be happy ones, reality rarely turns out to be the paradise we imagine even our childhood joys. Her cousin comes along in lieu of being left behind and her sister wants to follow up some interviews she snagged in New York (state). However when things don’t pan out to be what Tara’s sister imagined, she shows up in Otter Bay with almost no warning. Despite the people who would rather forget the Sweet family ever existed in their town, there are others who try to welcome the girls and give them a clean slate.
Carobini’s characters and setting endeared the story to me almost immediately. Though this sat on my shelf for quite a long time, I was glad I had books 2 and 3 right there to grab. As Julie mentions, these are stand alone books but they do occur chronologically and you will snag a few glimpses of characters and places from this book in the other two.
(ISBN#9780805448733, 400pp, $14.99)
Visit Julie’s website and blog. Click the cover for more info and to purchase a copy. Stop by tomorrow for my review of A Shore Thing, Monday morning for an interview with Julie, and Monday night for a review of the most recent Otter Bay book Fade to Blue. Thanks to B&H for a review copy.