Another great read!! I've been fortunate to have read a couple of really good books in the last 2 months and this one was one of them. The author is one of my favorites but I can't read hers right in a row......they tend to have similar themes and characters. I think most of the ones I've read have been set in the south but her descriptive words are excellent that it makes me feel like I'm right there. And I've never been to the deep south other than a quick flight to Atlanta to hop on another plane to CA. So....when I saw this book on the library shelf last week, I grabbed it because there was only 1 copy and her books tend to be popular.
Eleanor and Eve Murray grew up on Edisto Island, South Carolina. (It's an actual place but the novel is fiction). Their father, who passed away when Eleanor was 14 years old and Eve was 16, was a shrimper and pianist. Eleanor also had a passion for music, and was particularly good at the piano, under her father's teaching.
But now she only has memories of him. Along with the memories of her daddy are the guilt feelings she has for her sister's accident which left her legs paralyzed and in a wheelchair.
Both girls are in their 30's now and live in North Charleston with their mother, and Eve's husband, Glen. Eleanor has always had a crush on Glen and Eve knows this. Eve is not always a nice or kind person to Eleanor even though her younger sister works to help support her and her mother. Eleanor works at a downtown investment firm owned and operated by Finn Beaufain, who is divorced from Harper and is the custodial parent of their 10 year old daughter Genevieve (Gigi) who is in her 4th year of remission from cancer.
Eleanor also works at a neighborhood bar, playing piano late at night to earn extra money and to keep up her music. But.....one night her boss walks into the bar and offers her a different part time job being the companion of his great-aunt Helena back on Edisto Island. Eleanor sees this as a chance to go back to her hometown roots and revisit the past....where she was happy and content.
Helena is in the stages of grief and is 95 years old. She just lost her younger sister Bernadett who died mysteriously. The island has been a peaceful place of refuge for Helena and Bernadett ever since they escaped from the 2nd World War in their homeland, Hungary, which they left in 1944.
Eleanor will soon learn of their secrets and of their past......and these secrets will help her relationship with her own sister....and possibly set Eleanor free from her own secrets..............
This book was a quick and easy read! Just like all of the author's novels, I found myself really enjoying the character development and my absolute faves were Eleanor, Finn, and Gigi. I learned some new things about WW2 and Hungary and found it fascinating that the author wrote about piano composers that I used to enjoy playing and listening to. It made me want to dig out my old music and start practicing again!
The trials that Eleanor goes through pricked my heart. I felt as though I wanted to help her along with letting go of her past and perceived guilt. I had guessed a part of Bernadett's story and I found out later in the book that I was correct! I love when that happens.
I was sad to learn about exactly how Bernadett died......and I don't want to reveal it here in case you want to read this book, too!
I loved how Eve and Eleanor forgave each other and became friends again.
This book centers around love, family, forgiveness, trials, betrayals, strength, bravery, and perseverance/second chances.
This book is a definite "feel-good" story.
In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 14 and older.
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 9.