Author: Mariah Stewart
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Part of a Series: Chesapeake Diaries
Type of book: St. Dennis Maryland, complexity within simplicity, adoption, search for birth parents, 2000s, romance, nostalgia, summertime, psychic, wholesome romance, small town
Year it was published: 2015
Jamie Valentine is the wildly successful author of self-help books advocating transparency in every relationship. But when her widowed mother passes away unexpectedly, Jamie discovers her own life has been based on a lie. Angry and deeply betrayed, she sets out to find the truth—which may be in a small town on the Chesapeake Bay. Cutting her most recent book tour short, Jamie books a room at the Inn at Sinclair’s Point, just outside St. Dennis.
The death of Daniel Sinclair’s father forced him to take over the family inn, and his wife’s death left him a single parent of two children, so there’s little room for anything else in his life. His lovely new guest is intriguing, though, and he’s curious about the secret she’s clearly hiding. But in the end, Jamie and Dan could discover the greatest truth of all: that the search for one thing just might lead to the find of a lifetime—if you keep your heart open.
There are a lot of characters in the book, namely Jamie Valentine who is a self-help author and is best described as helpful, resourceful, but at the same time loyal to memory of her forever family and also curious. Dan Sinclair is a widower with two kids, a daughter and a son. He is struggling to understand his daughter and happens to be an intense workaholic who put work above everything else. I feel that I barely got to know him as a person, which is unfortunate because he seems to be very interesting. There is also Grace, mother of Dan, Ford and Lucy who is rumored to be a psychic and takes it upon herself to help Jamie.
Expect the unexpected
The story is in third person narrative from Jamie's, Dan's and, to some extent, from Grace's point of view. The impression that I got is that Dan and Grace were more of secondary characters rather than the main, and Jamie is the main character. The pace of the novel is very laid-back and slow with no rushing and no sense of emergency and I felt a warmth of home and some sort of nostalgia where time had little meaning. I think I would have liked a few more romance between Jamie and Daniel because while I enjoyed the slow built up, it seemed to lack the sparks.
Mariah Stewart is the award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. A native of Hightstown, New Jersey, she lives with her husband and their dogs amid the rolling hills and Amish farms of southern Chester County, Pennsylvania, where she gardens, reads, and enjoys country life.
I've only read one book by Mariah Stewart, and that is At the River's Edge. I remember meeting the delightful and wonderful characters within that book; namely the Enright family where the matriarch haunts a house by using gardenia scent. For some odd reason, I thought that 8th book would be the one about widower son and him finding the true love? Much to mine surprise, That Chesapeake Summer features the widower son and a woman destined to be his bride. I can imagine that some people might complain about how "slow" the book is because Jamie does nothing but walk around the town trying to find and discover the truth about her family. I actually liked the slow parts of the book because I felt that a very vivid picture for those not familiar with St. Dennis was being painted, welcoming the new and the old into the city. (Is the city real or fictional by the way?) What also impressed me is the complexity of emotions and the skillful way that the author handles them; namely that of adoption and the place of biological parents and forever parents. The romance aspect is slow and believable and not something that takes over the whole story.
Given by Melissa Gramstad
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)