The Lakey sisters are perfect opposites. After their mother died and their father was lost in grief, Willa had no choice but to raise her sister, Harper, and their brother, Lucas. Then, as an adult, she put her own life on hold to nurse Harper through a terrifying illness. Now that Harper is better and the sisters are living as roommates, Willa has realized her dream of running her own bakery and coffee shop, bringing her special brand of caretaking to the whole Oceanside community.
Harper, on the other hand, is always on the go. Overcoming a terrible illness has given her a new lease on life, and she does not intend to waste it. When Harper announces her plan to summit Mount Rainier, Willa fears she may be pushing herself too far. Harper, for her part, urges Willa to stop worrying and do something outside of her comfort zone—like taking a chance on love with a handsome new customer.
Sean O’Malley is as charming as he is intriguing—a freelance photographer whose assignments take him to the ends of the earth. Soon Willa’s falling for him in a way that is both exciting and terrifying. But life has taught Willa to hedge her bets, and she wonders whether the potential heartache is worth the risk.
Life has more challenges in store for them all. But both sisters will discover that even in the darkest moments, family is everything.
Title: A Walk Along the Beach
Author: Debbie Macomber
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction
Published: July 14, 2020
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine
My Rating: 4.5 stars
Sometimes books hit really close to home, to a reader’s life or simply the ups and downs of anyone’s life – no one is without tragedy or emotional events in their lives – no one. ‘A Walk Along the Beach‘ is proof of that universal fact. Make certain you have tissues close at hand, especially the latter part of this one for you will need them.
Willa has always been mother/nurturer/sister to her sister, Harper and brother, Lucas since their mother’s death and their father’s dive into alcoholism as he mourned and never got over the death of this beloved wife. She also saw her sister through a very serious illness, while now recovered, Willa always has an eye on Harper’s health.
These days she owns and operates a coffee shop (and I love the name of it – you’ll see) with Harper occasionally helping out, and Lucas married and off on his own life. Willa is content and doesn’t expect romance to fall at her feet but then who really ever does see love before it arrives. When a handsome stranger becomes Willa’s best customer – well, Harper will do a bit of matchmaking.
Although Willa is in love she’s also so leery of trusting in that emotion since Sean is a photographer who travels the world and is often out of touch because of the lack of internet or cell phone coverage. She’s holding part of herself back – and she’s also always waiting for the other shoe to fall concerning Harper’s health. And when fears become a reality, life for them all will change in a heartbeat.
‘A Walk Along the Beach‘ is a love story – although not always in the romantic sense. Yes, we have Sean and Willa falling in love in spite of the odds. We also have a strong love of family, the belief that anything is possible, the knowledge that life can change in an instant, and how we handle that defines both ourselves and our relationships.
I smiled, laughed at times… and I cried throughout this story. I cried for the characters, and for myself as memories of family members who have gone through something similar flooded my mind and heart. ‘A Walk Along the Beach‘ is emotional, realistic, and will stay with you long after the final page.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher, Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
Available in a variety of formats including your e-reader, mine is the Kindle