This novel is a multigenerational story of the Demarest family, who spend their summers at Haven Point, Maine, the backdrop for heartbreaks that permeate the generations. Maren is a young Wisconsin girl who becomes a nurse during WWII and falls in love with Oliver Demarest. She believes in happily-ever-after, until she spends her first married summer with him on Haven Point and quickly finds that newcomers are only vaguely accepted – if at all. Next comes her daughter, Annie, a rebellious teen who never recovers from the summer of 1970, when tragedy hits home at Haven Point. The third female member is Skye, who has come back to Haven Point in 2008 after her mother, Annie, has died. Skye comes back hoping to find peace among the haunting memories of her childhood.
Virginia Hume has woven the three generations of women seamlessly together, while respecting each woman’s unique part in the narrative. Haven Point, an enclave of wealthy New England families that have vacationed there for generations, becomes almost a character itself. It’s an insulated, sparkling, country-club lifestyle where territories were staked ages ago and long-held traditions take precedence over all else.
I found myself rooting for all three women as they learn to survive grueling situations and accept themselves. At the same time, I found the colony of Haven Point to be both enticing and foreboding. This is a well-paced novel with very believable characters that readers will identify with and keep reading about to the end, hoping for resolution. Recommended.