Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Review: The Sea Keeper's Daughters by Lisa Wingate

The Sea Keeper's Daughters (A Carolina Heirlooms Novel) by Lisa Wingate
Paperback, first , 400 pages
Published September 1st 2015 by Tyndale 
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Wingate's third Carolina book follows the highly reviewed, The Prayer Box and The Story Keeper as well as related three novellas.

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
My Review:
The story started out a little slow for me, as I was trying to figure out how everything and everyone connected, but it quickly picked up pace and had me completely engrossed. Whitney owns two restaurants that are struggling and when she inherits an old hotel in North Carolina, she leaves, to not only try and figure out a way to save what she has, but to try and decide what to do with what she has been given. I could understand her temptation to just sell it all off to get the money to save her restaurants, but what she discovers along the way is more important than all that. So many livelihoods depend on her and her decisions and it's not an easy role to be in.

Whitney is a strong, capable woman, one who hasn't liked to put down roots for awhile. I love the transformation that happens when she discovers some old letters and a little mystery surrounding her family. She is so deep and real--I actually cared what happened to her. I loved that this book turns into two stories in one. We get the current situation and these letters take the reader back to the 1930s. Images are very vivid through wonderful descriptions. It made me think that it's a shame letter writing has fallen to the wayside, since we've now lost out on a way to keep memories alive.

There are several really great characters in this book. Whitney's step-father, Clyde, is a curmudgeon. In fact, I was a little fearful for her safety around him. These letters did more than just entertain Whitney--they brought many people together, formed bonds, and helped them see each other in new ways. Joel, a wayward teen who needs a little direction; Mark, a shop owner who wants to keep his business alive and who is deeper than he seems; and Denise, the cousin with whom Whitney owns the restaurants.

I found deep feeling and emotion within the pages and was caught up in the powerful storytelling. I love the way it comes full circle. The ending felt a little rushed, but I was completely satisfied.
Content: very mild romance (implied affairs, kissing); very mild violence (one character is beat up); no language; this book is published by a Christian publisher, but it's not religious--no religious elements. Clean!

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About the Author:
Lisa WingateLisa Wingate is a popular inspirational speaker, magazine columnist, and national bestselling author of several books, including Tending Roses, Good Hope Road, The Language of Sycamores, and Drenched in Light. Her work was recently honored by the Americans for More Civility for promoting greater kindness and civility in American life. Lisa and her family live in Central Texas.

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