Publisher: Kensington Books
Publication Date: 10/28/2014
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Since the age of twelve, McKenzie Arnold has spent every summer at Albany Beach, Delaware, with her best friends Aurora, Janine, and Lilly. The seaside house teems with thirty years of memories--some wonderful, others painful--and secrets never divulged beyond its walls. This summer may be the last they spend together, as Janine contemplates selling her family cottage.
For now, all four enjoy morning beach walks and lazy evenings on the porch, celebrating Lilly's longed-for pregnancy and offering support during McKenzie's greatest crisis. It's a time for laughter and recriminations, a time to forge a new understanding of a long-ago night when Aurora sealed their bond with one devastating act. And as the days gradually shorten, events will unfold in ways that none of them could have predicted, to make this the most momentous summer of all.
In a deeply moving novel filled with heartbreak and warmth, Colleen Faulkner explores the complex ties between four very different women as they move through life together, and apart.
A special thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
A heartwarming and moving novel As Close as Sisters, by Colleen Faulkner of four best friends with a dark secret.
McKenzie Arnold has thyroid cancer and has worked its way into her lungs. Her best friends (Aurora, Janine, and Lilly) are set to arrive at the beach cottage (circa 1935) on Albany Beach, Delaware. She decides she will arrive a day early in order to rest up so can enjoy the visit, and open the house to prepare. The house sets empty during the year, and they are the only guests.
They all keep a journal of their annual visit, and she thinks she should get a pass on writing; however, Aurora disagrees, as she thinks I should take my turn, while the option is still available. They call themselves girls, even though they are forty-two years old. The house holds so many memories and this will most likely be the last visit, as Janine is thinking of selling the family cottages. Each time she walks in the house, she panics with past memories.
Mackenzie, former head librarian, is the mother of twin teen daughters (age 17), Mia/Maura divorced, and has thyroid and lung cancer. Her husband has remarried with a child and supports them; still has her humor even with the illness, and sometimes is not realistic about her condition. A keeper of secrets.
Janine suffers from sexual abuse as a child, now a cop, like her father; offers her control; something she did not have as a child; oldest of the friends, and protective.
Lilian (Lilly) is the only one in the group who is married and at age forty-two is expecting her first child. She handles the meals, the most sensitive of the group.
Aurora is the free spirited of the group, an internationally celebrated sculptor and artist, and appears to be the strongest of the group.
So many things have happened over the years, after Buddy died, (Sergeant at the Albany Beach Police Dept), after Janine cut her hair, after Lily lost her mom, after Mackenzie became an ordinary person she never wanted to be.
Now, the girls enjoy their time together, as each have their own tragedies, loss, loves, and joy with their own unique personalities. As they work towards renewing their friendship, and reinvention, secrets are revealed after a tragedy of one night years ago. A deeply moving novel exploring the complexities of relationships and friendships.
Fans of Holly Chamberlain, Elin Hilderbrand, and Nancy Thayer will enjoy. Nice cover!