Thursday, December 10, 2020

Book Review: Aunt Ivy's Cottage

Happy Thursday! This feels like it has been such a long week and it isn't even done yet. Ugh. I have so many things to do but I'm so overwhelmed I have no idea where to even start. If you're in the same boat, I suggest you drop all of your tasks and curl up with this one. 

Aunt Ivy's Cottage - Kristin Harper

Clearing out the attic, Zoey opens the carved trunk and smiles as she picks up the small, leather-bound diary hiding inside. Curious, she leafs through the pages, and realises this will change everything…

All Zoey’s happiest childhood memories are of her great-aunt Ivy’s rickety cottage on Dune Island, snuggling up with hot chocolate and hearing Ivy’s stories about being married to a sea captain. Now, heartbroken from a breakup, Zoey escapes back to the island, but is shocked to find her elderly aunt’s spark fading. Worse, her cousin—next in line to inherit the house—is pushing Ivy to move into a nursing home.

With the family clashing over what’s best for Ivy, Zoey is surprised when Nick, a local carpenter and Ivy’s neighbor, takes her side. As Zoey finds comfort in his sea-blue eyes and warm laugh, the two grow close. Together, they make a discovery in the attic that links the family to the mysterious and reclusive local lighthouse keeper…

Now Zoey has a heartbreaking choice to make. Nick’s urging her to share the discovery, which could keep Ivy in the house she’s loved her whole life… but when Zoey learns that Nick and her cousin go way back, she questions if the man she‘s starting to have feelings for really has Ivy’s best interests at heart. Will dredging up this old secret destroy the peace and happiness of Ivy’s final years—and tear this family apart for good?

A stunning and emotional read about old secrets, new love and never forgetting the importance of family. Perfect for fans of Mary Ellen Taylor, Robyn Carr and Mary Alice Monroe.
I thoroughly enjoyed this cozy book while I snuggled kittens under a fuzzy blanket. No shame in that! It has everything you'd expect out of a chick lit: a little home a bit run-down, a niece coming back to family after life events, aging, a greedy cousin, and of course, a good looking neighbor who we just aren't sure of. I didn't get originality out of this book, it's a standard trope we've seen done in a variety of ways, but the predictability of it was soothing and I've got a thing for older adults finishing out their lives. I'm a sucker for grandmas and old aunts, I can't help it. 

Issues for me were Nick and Zoey for sure, they were so... up and down. Falling in love, or ulterior motive? It was kind of all over the place between that and I had a hard time deciding how I wanted them to even end up. The aunts were maybe my favorite, but I kind of love old people, so... yeah. I wish there was more mystery, that was a bit misleading on the blurb, so that was a bummer. 

Things I liked though? I loved the setting, it made me want to vacation in Rhode Island, I loved the predictability of the story, and I loved that it comes together at the end and it feels like came together like a puzzle. It was a Hallmark movie waiting to happen. It really makes you appreciate older relatives more and maybe more now that we can't readily visit them. Maybe pick the phone up or go old fashion and write a letter to family. Overall? I'd give this one a solid 3 star, some of the characters weren't quite developed enough for me, but the story was heartwarming and really what I needed. This year is just so much and sometimes we just need this kind of story to give us a reset. If that's what you need, pick this one up. 
Thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for a copy for review! Kristin Harper is one of those solid authors that always gives us a story that makes you want to curl up and ignore our to-do list. I am always down for that. 

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