By: Lisa Wingate
Series: Carolina #3
Publication Date: 9/1/2015
My Rating: 4 Stars
Wingate's third Carolina book follows the highly reviewed, The Prayer Box and The Story Keeper as well as related three novellas.
From modern-day Roanoke Island to the sweeping backdrop of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and Roosevelt’s WPA folklore writers, past and present intertwine to create an unexpected destiny. . .
Restaurant owner Whitney Monroe is desperate to save her business from a hostile takeover. The inheritance of a decaying Gilded Age hotel on North Carolina’s Outer Banks may provide just the ray of hope she needs. But things at The Excelsior are more complicated than they seem. Whitney’s estranged stepfather is entrenched on the third floor, and the downstairs tenants are determined to save the historic building.
Searching through years of stored family heirlooms may be Whitney’s only hope of quick cash, but will the discovery of an old necklace and a depression-era love story change everything.
A special thank you to Tyndale and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Set in idyllic coastal North Carolina’s Outer Banks, master storyteller, Lisa Wingate brings her captivating, beautiful Carolina Series, full circle with #3, THE SEA KEEPER’S DAUGHTERS – a multi-generational journey, from past to present – of history, family, and renewal.
As the book opens Whitney is struggling with her restaurant, fighting local politics, codes, and all sorts of things to stall her progress. She needs money. She also needs to protect the others she has involved.
She receives a call regarding her stepfather, Clyde from the Outer Banks. He is in the hospital, after falling and being trapped for four days. She feels she is safe enough returning home. There is a back story here, how he waived the will in their faces. It is time to go back, as her mom had begged her to go through her grandmother’s things years earlier. He is selfish, possessive, and mean. When her mother died, she left Whitney the hotel, with stipulations her husband could remain living here.
What will she do, go back and find heirlooms? What will she find? Sell them and put the money into her restaurant? What will she do with Clyde? Her family came from money and Whitney still has things left to her, if she can get through Clyde. What if he has sold everything? She hopes he will move into a nursing home or with his son. She has to keep a business head, and not be sentimental.
The hotel Excelsior, an old grand hotel—a place which holds her grandmother’s treasures from an era of wealth. From Michigan to the coast of North Carolina – seventeen hours away. She decides she will go and Denise says she will hold down the fort, but warns her to be careful, as she has no idea what she will be walking into. Why would Clyde want to remain here? Her mother would be upset at the poor condition, she finds. She has to keep a business head, and not be sentimental.
Memories start flooding back, upon return. If she knew when the end was coming, things said or done, would have been different with her mother. As she goes through her family history, she discovers letters, secrets, a gripping dark family mystery, and a necklace as well as other heirlooms. Treasures of the past, things which could change her future.
What a journey! So sad to see the series end, as having read all the books, you becomes invested in the characters, their lives, and their dreams.
Lisa writes beautifully, a storyteller which transports you in time and place---bridging the gap between past and present, with treasures, memories and heartwarming tales. From contemporary to historic-- and everything in between, for a remarkable story; an addictive series, keeping you coming back for the next. Wingate skillfully uses flawed characters, circumstances, and struggles to make their lives stronger, richer, and fuller. Inspiring—one of compassion, faith, forgiveness, and empowerment!
Highly recommend this entire series. You cannot stop with one. Start from the first, and read them all (do not miss any of the novellas in between). Assured to warm your heart and soul with lots of quotes to keep you bookmarking throughout.Rich in history, charm, and character!
Nothing better than old historic hotels (as enjoy working with them as a consultant), reminiscent of exciting and turbulent eras; always fascinating stories from prior owners, the property, as well as guests. A North Carolina native, I always enjoy revisiting familiar places and landmarks.
Buy the Book
About the Author
Lisa Wingate is a popular inspirational speaker, magazine columnist, and national bestselling author of several books, including Tending Roses, Good Hope Road, The Language of Sycamores, and Drenched in Light. Her work was recently honored by the Americans for More Civility for promoting greater kindness and civility in American life.
Lisa and her family live in Central Texas.
Website Goodreads Twitter
The Sea Glass Sisters
The Prayer Box
The Tidewater Sisters
The Story Keeper
The Sandcastle Sister