I just finished this novel last evening.
I needed an easy, light summer read and this fit the bill!!
I've read most of this author's books and have really liked her stories and the way she develops the characters.
The Cousins family is in an uproar. Birdie, the mom, has been throwing herself into all the preparations for a very lavish wedding for her oldest daughter, Chess. She has even ordered a floating island as a dance floor for the backyard pond! One night, however, Chess calls her mother, who is recently separated from Dad (Grant, a very wealthy career-minded man), that the wedding is off!! No one knows why Chess has broken her engagement to Michael Morgan one of New York City's most eligible bachelors! What happened??
And soon, another major upheaval in their lives arrives by way of a phone call from Michael's brother Nick. Michael is dead!! He died while rock climbing in Utah over Memorial Day weekend. Now Chess is in despair. She has quit her excellent career as a gourmet food editor with a leading magazine and has moved out of her apartment in NYC to live with her mother in the suburbs.
Birdie decides to go to the island of Tuckernuck where they have a family cottage. Tuckernuck is off the coast of Cape Cod, near Nantucket Island. They haven't been to the cottage in 13 years! The cottage has been passed down from generation to generation and there are alot of memories associated with the island and the house and some of the people there. Birdie calls the caretaker, Barrett Lee, to get the house ready.
Meanwhile, Tate, Chess's younger sister, calls her mom and says she would like to go to the island as well. They all decide to spend the month of July on Tuckernuck. Tate is a computer whiz and a very wealthy woman who flies all over the world fixing computer problems for major companies. She wants some time off and maybe help her sister deal with the tragedy and broken engagement. She is curious as to why Chess, who seemingly "has it all" would break up with Michael.
Birdie also gets her sister India to help. India is a well known art professor in the Philadelphia area and is the widow of Bill Bishop a very famous sculptor. India and Bill, along with their 3 boys, now all grown up with lives of their own, used to spend the summers on Tuckernuck as well, in the family cottage.
But India is hiding some secrets of her own. What are they??
All four head to beautiful, rustic Tuckernuck. There are no phones, no television, no internet, no grocery store. It's a place with no distractions where they can escape from these daily struggles.
Left on the island with the mix of sisters, daughters, ex-lovers and long held secrets, some dramatic truths come to light and old loves are rekindled. Even some new loves are made known.
Who is the caretaker? Who is Hank? Who is Anita? Who is Lula? What role will they play in the lives of Birdie, India, Chess, and Tate??
This was a quick read and if I wasn't busy with work and my youngest daughter's musical schedule, I would have finished this in about 3 days.
I loved this story because it felt like I knew the characters right away. I fell in love with Tate and Barrett right away. Chess drove me crazy because she is such a "princess" full of drama.....but...I did like the way her story developed and I liked that the ending was not predictable. In fact, by the ending, I was cheering for Chess and saying "good for you!".
Tate is very lovable and India is a fun character...she made me laugh! And she is bold...which I love!
This is a fun, light read for when you want a glimpse of summer and lazy days.......I highly recommend it!
In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 15 and older.
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 10.