Monday, October 26, 2015

The Sea Keeper's Daughters by Lisa Wingate

Opening Senences: Perhaps denial is the mind's way of protecting the heart from a succker punch it can't handle. Or maybe it's simpler than that. Maybe denial in the face of overwhelming evidence is a mere byproduct of stubbornness. 

Synopsis: From modern-day Roanoke Island to the sweeping backdrop of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and Roosevelt’s WPA folklore writers, past and present intertwine to create an unexpected destiny. Restaurant owner Whitney Monroe is desperate to save her business from a hostile takeover. The inheritance of a decaying Gilded Age hotel on North Carolina’s Outer Banks may provide just the ray of hope she needs. But things at the Excelsior are more complicated than they seem. Whitney’s estranged stepfather is entrenched on the third floor, and the downstairs tenants are determined to save the historic building. Searching through years of stored family heirlooms may be Whitney’s only hope of quick cash, but will the discovery of an old necklace and a Depression-era love story change everything?

Review by Mirella Patzer
History and Women


Whitney and her cousin own two restaurants that are failing. As she struggles to keep them afloat, her attention is drawn by an old hotel she has inherited and her elderly, ailing stepfather who lives there alone. Could the hotel be sold to prop up her restaurants and save them from failure? When she arrives, she discovers old letters that when pieced together, provide her with details of an old romance and a long buried secret. 

Whitney is the protaganist and there are two men who she becomes embroiled with - each with different intentions regarding the hotel. All the characters were well drawn, their personalities and motivations clear throughout the tale. I especially enjoyed the cantankerous stepfather, Clyde, who evolves with the story. He added loads of fun and frustration. The real root of the story, however, are the letters. They were well done, revealing bits and pieces of the historical mystery as the story unfolds. Brilliant! And like all good novels, there is a love connection too that was really well done and comes about slowly, realisticaly. My favourite part of this book is the surprise ending I didn't see coming. 

Yup, there is definitely lots to like with this book. A definite recommendation for women's fiction, book clubs, and/or simply a good tale to fall into and forget the world for a few hours. 

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.