When her estranged mother wins a Jersey Shore bed and breakfast in a lottery and heads east to survey the prize, Faith Sterling fears her mother has fallen victim to yet another scam. Their visit to the B & B confirms her suspicions. Wave’s End is not as advertised—it’s nowhere near the beach, it’s sorely in need of an overhaul, and its finances are shaky. But despite Faith’s attempts to dissuade her mother, Connie Sterling is determined to try her hand at running the inn.
A frustrated Faith heads back to Brooklyn, dreading the havoc her mother’s proximity will wreak on her well-ordered and successful life. She doesn’t have to wait long. When a supersized hurricane pummels the East Coast, Faith reluctantly agrees to return and help her mother run Wave’s End…temporarily.
But just as inn life settles into a comfortable rhythm, a grievous secret about Wave’s End surfaces, threatening the inn’s future and fraying the already fragile mother-daughter bonds.
After reading and enjoying Donovan’s first novel, Deliver Her, I was excited to pick up At Wave’s End, which was released earlier this week. On the surface, it sounds like a very different book and I was a little worried that I wouldn’t enjoy it as a result. Thankfully, I was wrong because all the ingredients that made me like Deliver Her are here too (slight pun intended there as this is a book with a chef as a central character…sorry, couldn’t help myself!).
First up you have a great set of characters. The inn Connie wins in a competition (The Mermaid’s Purse) is full of them thanks to a hurricane that leaves them homeless. It must be an author’s dream to be able to portray so many types of people, all under one roof, and all having to figure out how to live together when otherwise their paths may never have crossed.
I especially liked Connie, Faith’s mom, and her free spirit and good heart. She’s the type of person I would like to have help me if my life had been turned upside down. Faith is a little harder to like, but she did grow on me as the story progressed and I began to understand why she was the way she was and also to see her grow into a kinder, warmer, person.
The why is one of the other reasons I liked the book – because before you can understand the why, secrets have to be revealed and I just love a book with secrets. Here, they go back to Faith’s childhood and to the inn itself, bringing depth to the story but all linking back to what, for me, were the main themes of family, love, and understanding (very much like in Deliver Her). There is the other type of love in here too, which isn’t my cup of tea, but it’s not front and centre for the most part so I managed to cope!
The secrets add a tension to the book I think it needed, allowing for twists and turns in the plot and keeping me turning pages. Otherwise, for me, this would have been too “gentle” a book as it’s definitely outside of my normal reading (no one gets murdered for a start!). It meant I went from liking it to liking it a lot as it progressed.
Other than that, there isn’t much to add other than a warning for those who do pick up a copy – do not read whilst you’re hungry. There is way too much talk of delicious food in here and I was left with a big old desire to go out and eat, eat, eat!
Note: I received this book in turn for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.