The Cottage at Glass Beach by Heather Barbieri is a classic summer novel. Set in a quiet island town, it is the story of Nora Cunningham who brings her two daughters to the family cottage on Burke’s Island to run away from her husband’s scandal. She is married to the attorney general who had an affair that played out in the press. Nora chooses to run away to visit an aunt she has not seen in years.
The island includes a host of characters who add flavor to the book- especially the postmistresss who accidentally ties her hair purple. A mysterious man emerges from the ocean and recuperates in a shack near Nora’s cottage. A young boy fishes nearby and meets Nora’s daughter. These characters add a dash of mystery to the book.
Family secrets come to light as Nora is back at the home where her mother disappeared from. I especially liked that the ending is not fairy tale. Many “beach” books end all tied up with a bow. This book ends realistically- there is grief and hope but the story is not fully resolved. Many of the mysterious characters remain a mystery. Just like real life! I like that in a book. Quotes From the Book “She remembered a gauzy sun, wrapped in daphanous clouds, light seeping through the gaps. A God sky, that called it…” Of Nora’s mother, her aunt says, “She made things happen. I waited for them to happen.” Harper Collins provided a digital review copy of this book. All opinions are my own. What are you reading and where are you going?