Bookshop by the Bay by Pamela M. Kelley is a women’s fiction novel set on Cape Cod. It has four main characters: Jess and Allison, and their daughters Caitlin and Julia.
Jess and Allison are childhood friends from the Cape, although Jess has been living in Charleston, South Carolina for her adult life. After she finds out that her husband has been cheating on her, she decides to spend the summer at the Cape. Since her daughter Caitlin has just been fired from her job and dumped (on the same day, no less), she decides to join her mother for the summer.
Allison has just gone part-time at her magazine job because the magazine isn’t doing well. When she finds out that the owner of her favorite book store is looking to sell the store so she can retire, Jess convinces her to jump on the chance of making her childhood dream of owning a bookstore a reality. They also end up re-opening the coffee shop next door. The novel is basically about all four characters’ growth over the summer.
Four main characters is a lot, and sometimes I found myself getting confused about who was who, especially since Jess and Julia start with the same letters! But in general I did like the storyline for all of the women. Caitlin was probably my favorite character, as she had the most growth within the story.
The writing was good, if not a little lackluster. Sometimes I felt like I was just reading one scene after another without any real emotion or feeling behind it. But it didn’t bother me enough to stop reading!
This is definitely a book I would recommend if you’re looking for something easy and light. A beach read, you might say. Although I did find everything a tad predictable, it wasn’t necessarily predictable in a bad way. The plot points were exactly what anyone would want from such a light-hearted read. If you’re looking for something with a little more substance to it, you should probably pick up something else.
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for sending this book for review consideration.
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐