Sailing Lessons by Hannah McKinnon

Sailing Lessons by Hannah McKinnon

Published June 5th 2018 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books

Review galley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description:  On the shores of Cape Cod, the Bailey sisters reunite with their long-lost father for a summer of hope and forgiveness in this heartfelt novel from the author of the “sharp and evocative” (Kirkus Reviews) Mystic Summer, The Lake Season, and The Summer House, sure to appeal to “fans of Elin Hilderbrand” (Booklist).

Wrenn Bailey has lived all her life on Cape Cod with her mother Lindy, older sister Shannon, and younger sister Piper. Growing up, life was dictated by the seasons with sleepy gray winters where only the locals stayed on, followed by the sharp influx and colorful bustle of summer tourists who swept up the elbow of the Cape and infiltrated their small paradise.

But it wasn’t just the tourists who interrupted Wrenn’s formative years; her father—brilliant but troubled photographer Caleb—has long made a habit of drifting in and out of his girls’ lives. Until the one summer he left the Cape and did not return again.

Now, almost twenty years later, Caleb has come back one last time, suffering from pancreatic cancer and seeking absolution. Wrenn and her sisters each respond differently to their father’s return, determined to find closure. But that means returning to the past and revisiting old wounds—wounds that cause the tightknit Bailey women to confront their own wishes and wants, and admit to their own wrong-doings over the years. In a place that brings both great comfort and great pain, the Bailey sisters experience a summer on the Cape that promises not only hard endings, but perhaps, hopeful new beginnings. (publisher)

My take:  A momentous event resulting in the sudden absence of their father shaped the lives of three young girls. Each had her own perception of the event and was followed into adulthood with the effect of their loss. The novel takes place on beautiful Cape Cod – a setting I love reading about. Sailing Lessons is a story of forgiveness – what can happen when one is allowed to forgive or be forgiven. I had no problem finding sympathy for all of these flawed characters – a credit to author Hannah McKinnon. Recommended to fans of novels about less-than-perfect families. Last year I enjoyed The Summer House and now I look forward to reading the rest of McKinnon’s books.


 

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The Summer House by Hannah McKinnon

  • Title:  The Summer House
  • Author:  Hannah McKinnon
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Pages:  336
  • Publish date:  June 6, 2017 – Atria/Emily Bestler Books
  • Source:  Publisher

My take:  The Merrill family is meeting at their summer house at the Rhode Island shore to celebrate their father’s 75th birthday. Flossy, their mother, has planned the perfect party that will take place on the last night of their week together. She only hopes her adult children won’t kill each other before that night. Each one brings their own drama with them and thinks nothing of reliving sibling rivalries, perceived slights, etc. Paige, the eldest, feels like she’s losing control of her life. Middle child Samuel and his husband lost out on a chance to adopt and worry they’ll never get another chance. Youngest daughter Clem, a widow of two years, is just beginning to feel like she can move forward in her new life as a single parent of two young children. I especially loved the parents, Richard and Flossy.

The Summer House takes place over the course of one week. I loved the setting, the messy family dynamics, and how easy it was to relate to Hannah McKinnon’s characters. One of my favorite scenes is when one of the children gives a speech at the birthday party – it was quite emotional. I really enjoyed my time with this novel and recommend it to fans of the author and family dramas. It makes my  2017 Favorites List, for sure.


About the Author:

Hannah McKinnon is the author of The Lake Season and Mystic Summer. She lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut, with her family, a flock of chickens and two rescue dogs.

FIND HANNAH McKINNON ONLINE:

Website: http://hannahmckinnon.com

Twitter: @hannahmckinnon

Facebook: Hannah McKinnon – Author

THE SUMMER HOUSE by Hannah McKinnon

Emily Bestler Books Paperback | ISBN: 9781501162800 | On-sale: June 6, 2017 | 320 pages | $16.00
eBook ISBN: 9781501162817, $9.99

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