Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Cottage at Glass Beach-Heather Barbieri

The Cottage at Glass Beach

Heather Barbieri

Harper, May 15 2012, $24.99

ISBN: 9780062107961

In the Boston area, forty years old Nora Cunningham knows she lives a charmed life as the wife of the youngest attorney general in state history and the mother of two precious children (seven years old Annie and twelve years old Ella). However, the magic ends when the media hounds her over her husband’s unfaithfulness. Nora, accompanied by her daughters, move to Burke’s Island, Maine where she lived as a little girl until her mom vanished.

Aunt Maire warmly welcomes her niece and grand-nieces to Glass Beach. Nora tries to keep a happy face for the sake of the girls, but one night alone on the beach she cries. A few days after her weeping fit, Nora finds fisherman Owen Kavanagh shipwrecked on the rocks. Her aunt Maire's friend Polly insists he is a selkie who was drawn by her tears. Nora thinks he is most likely a man running from personal tsuris. When her daughters go off on an adventure, Nora pursues them while she frets over their safety, her mom, her marriage and herself.

The Cottage at Glass Beach is a whimsical family drama starring a heartbroken protagonist struggling to regain her equilibrium. The entertaining storyline gets deep inside the soul of the heroine. Although the two children seem too mature way beyond their ages and adults treat them as emotional equals that seems implausible with things I (and I doubt anyone else) would not tell my adult child now let alone when he was a tweener or younger. Still this is an engaging tale of emotional healing as those she loves forces Nora to move past the infidelity that rocked her Boston Brahman world.

Harriet Klausner

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