Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Book Review: Beach Plum Island

Beach Plum IslandAuthor: Holly Robinson
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: NAL

“Your brother should know the truth.”

These are the last cryptic words that Ava Barrett’s father says before he dies. But Ava doesn’t have a brother, as far as she knows, so how can she tell him the truth? She dismisses the conversation and dedicates herself to bringing her family together for her father’s funeral. This is no easy task, since her sister, Elaine, has been estranged from the family and still harbors resentment against their stepmother and half-sister, Gigi. Ava, on the other hand, is a single mother who sees Gigi as a troubled teen in need of love and connection.

Ava, too, could use more love in her life and finds it where she least expects it. But the biggest surprise of all is that Gigi holds the key to the mystery surrounding her father’s dying words, and joins Ava in uncovering a secret that rapidly unravels the very fabric of their entire family…

But she knew some of his secrets, secrets so big that it felt like her skin might split right open trying to keep them inside.

The last line made her hand tremble as she lit a match to the page.

Or maybe that was the taste on her lips as she kissed him back, hard, holding on to Simon as if, at any moment, a rogue wave might carry them both out to sea.

Ava, Elaine, and Gigi unite once again when their father dies. Ava wants to honor her father’s last wish, which was that he wanted her brother to know the truth. Only Ava doesn’t have a brother, or at least she didn’t think she had a brother. The sisters come together in respect of their father, although all is not well amongst them. Elaine has been estranged from the family for quite some time because she holds a lot of resentment towards her stepmother and half-sister, Gigi. However, the mystery of finding a brother that they did not know about just might be enough to bring them all back together.

These three sisters sucked me in right from the start. I don’t have any sisters of my own, so I always love stories like this one where so much revolves around family, relationships, loyalty, and forgiveness. Their relationship felt so real and I became attached very quickly. This story was written very realistically because things like this happen in families all the time. I loved seeing the sisters reconnect, and they had something so powerful to bond over.

The mystery of finding their long lost brother was well-developed throughout the story. When I picked up this book I didn’t expect to have a mystery in my hands. I was sometimes more engaged in the mystery of this alleged brother unraveling than I was in their lives and their relationship together as a family. Needless to say, this book was finished in two days. I only put it down because I had to go to sleep so that I could get up and go to work the next morning!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at NAL in exchange for my honest review***

1 comment:

  1. Chelsea, I just wanted to tell you how much I loved your review--thank you for taking the time to read my book. You must be an amazing English teacher. Your comments are so thoughtful and heartfelt.