BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

The Bookshop at Water’s End by Patti Callahan Henry [in Library Journal]

Two friends return to Watersend, SC, to the childhood vacation house their families once shared. Bonny Blankenship, an ER doctor forced to take a break, needs to face her bitter marriage and stalled career. She’s hoping her teenage daughter Piper, who’s just failed her first year at college, might find some answers away from distractions. Lainey McKay, now a famous artist, arrives with her two children, overcoming her reluctance to revisit the place where she last saw her mother some 40 years ago.

“Sometimes we tell our stories and sometimes our stories tell us,” the local bookshop owner Mimi intones; this summer, those stories will finally lead to the truth.

Although Henry’s (The Idea of Love) latest gets the full-cast treatment – Andi Arndt as Bonny, Dorothy Dillingham Blue as Lainey, Shannon McManus as Piper, Lauren Fortgang as Mimi (that a ‘who’s-who’ is missing feels disrespectful to the narrators) – the voices are often hard to distinguish, especially Bonny and Lainey, as if they were chosen for their similarities, perhaps to emphasize their childhood bond.

Verdict: That said, whether via the ears or on the page, loyal Henry fans will likely seek to visit this astute Bookshop.

Review: modified from “Audio,” Library Journal, December 1, 2017

Readers: Adult

Published: 2017


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