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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Pieces of Blue

Narrator: Barrie Kreinik

ISBN: 9781250900715

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Publication Date: 05/09/2023

Format: Audiobook

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)

From New York Times bestselling author Holly Goldberg Sloan, a compelling and heartfelt novel for fans of Maria Semple and Emma Straub about a family trying to restore a ramshackle beachside motel—and their own lives

What good was thinking the future only held cloudy skies? Wasn’t the reality that pieces of blue were always there, waiting to break through?

When Paul Hill drowns in a surfing accident, his broken-hearted wife, Lindsey, and their three children are left in huge financial trouble. Once Paul’s life insurance finally comes through, Lindsey impulsively uses the money to buy a charmingly ramshackle motel in Hawai’i, hoping for a fresh start. Teenage Olivia quickly develops a crush on a handsome but monosyllabic skateboarder. Twelve-year-old Carlos reinvents himself as a popular kid named Carl. And Sena, the youngest, will do whatever it takes to protect her beloved motel chickens.

But while the kids adjust, Lindsey is flailing, trying to pretend she knows how to bring a motel—and herself—back to life. Then a handsome stranger rolls into the motel parking lot, and she’s surprised to feel a long-dormant part of herself stirring. She accepts his offer to help, unaware that he may have secrets of his own. And all the while, out in the Pacific, the trade winds are fiercely blowing.

Funny and tender, full of twists and turns and heart, Pieces of Blue is a portrait of an irresistible family learning to start over.

A Macmillan Audio production from Flatiron Books.

My Review

NYT bestselling author Holly Goldberg Sloan delivers an inspiring nostalgic tale, PIECES OF BLUE—a young family attempting to start over after tragedy in Hawaii restoring an old beachside motel.

Sometimes, when you need a change in your life, the tide happens to pull you in the right direction.

Paul Hill, a former CEO, drowns in a surfing accident, and his wife Lindsey and three children are left with financial problems.

Lindsey uses the insurance company and impulsively buys a run-down cottage motel, and they move from Portland, Oregon, to the island of Oahu in Hawaii. (think Schitt's Creek).

Each of the children has their own individual winning personality and adds humor to the storyline. They dazzle! They are also overprotective of their mom.

Olivia -14 (highly intelligent)

Carlos -12 (man of the house)

Sena -7 (loves her chickens)

Soon after arrival, they realize there is much more to do to get this property in shape to rent out cottages and rooms. The mother is overwhelmed.

Then along comes a handsome man, Chris— who said he and his wife (now deceased) had stayed here on their honeymoon. He is the answer to their prayers. He knows how to do wiring and all kinds of handiwork to get this place in shape. He does not want money but will trade out the cottage for his work. It is a win, win!

Lindsey is drawn to this mysterious man; her daughter does not trust him and does her own sleuthing into his background. Is he who/what he pretends to be? Their world is turned upside down.

Unlikely friends thrown together by disaster get a do-over on life, love, and happiness.

The motel is a labor of love and, ultimately—a journey that takes this family to a place they never expected, an unlikely friendship and new beginnings.

PIECES OF BLUE is a charming story blended with humor, mystery, a lush atmospheric setting, and well-developed characters that come alive on the page.

My first book by the author, and I cannot wait to read more! Mary Kay Andrews, Elizabeth Berg, and Wendy Wax fans will enjoy PIECES OF BLUE. It would make for a great Hallmark movie.

I listened to the audiobook narrated by the talented Barrie Kreinik for a fun and satisfying listening experience.

If you love vintage motels and cottages as much as I do, you will love this one. A perfect summer paradise beach read! The healing power of friendship, second chances, and a sprinkling of romance.

Thanks to Macmillan Audio for a gifted ALC via #NetGalley for review purposes. I love discovering authors that are new to me.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: May 9, 2023

My Rating: 5 Stars


"Bursting with humor, chaos, and raw tenderness, Sloan’s portrait of grief is as refreshing as it is unflinching."

―Oprah Daily

“Empathetic yet flawed characters navigating deep, painful problems add authenticity to the resonant story, and the mystery of Paul’s disappearance keeps things tense. Readers will devour this in one sitting.”

―Publishers Weekly

“Sloan writes about the entire family with energy, insight, and humor.”


“Pieces of Blue is as propulsive as it is observant and atmospheric. Sloan understands her characters deeply, and makes us need to know what happens to them. In fact, a lot happens to them, and we want to know it all. This novel is a family story, a love story, and a mystery. I couldn't put it down.”

―Meg Wolitzer, New York Times bestselling author of The Female Persuasion

"Pieces of Blue is a brilliant and bighearted page-turner."

―Maria Semple, New York Times bestselling author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette

"I loved this book! Pieces of Blue is a poetic, lush and poignant portrayal of a wounded family seeking healing, love and redemption."

―Gigi Levangie, New York Times bestselling author of The Starter Wife

“Struggling with grief, daring to hope, and working to make a wild, gorgeous, and mysterious place their home, each beautifully drawn character comes alive and finds a way into your heart. Pieces of Blue is a powerful, tender novel with a mystery at its heart. Don’t miss it!”

―Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six

About the Author

“I have made a living as a writer since I was in my early twenties. I’ve worked in film and television. Family entertainment. I’ve put words in the mouths of angels and elephants–soccer players and crocodile hunters. But nothing has been as fulfilling as writing my books.“

HOLLY GOLDBERG SLOAN… was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and spent a peripatetic childhood (following her Professor father and architect mother) living in California, The Netherlands, Istanbul, Turkey (where she went to high school), Washington D.C. and Oregon.

She attended college at Wellesley in Massachusetts (with her junior year of study done at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire). After graduating, Holly went to New York City and took a job at Grey Advertising answering phones and writing at night and on weekends (and when no one was paying attention to what she was doing at work). A year later she had moved to Los Angeles where she sold her first screenplay at the age of twenty-four to Paramount Pictures. Holly continued to write but supported herself for the next ten years by working in commercial advertising as a production assistant, then a script supervisor, a producer, and finally as a commercial director. The year 1982 was a big year for Holly because that was also when she got married to Chuck Sloan. They were married for ten years and had two sons. While their marriage didn’t work out, their friendship did.

Holly is certain that none of the things that she has achieved would have been possible without his support.

Holly has written eight successful family feature films, three for the Walt Disney Company, including the baseball classic Angels in the Outfield, and the soccer movie, The Big Green, which she also directed (filmed in Austin, Texas). She also wrote the Universal Pictures comedy Made in America starring Whoopi Goldberg, Ted Danson and Will Smith, and the late Steve Irwin’s feature film for MGM called The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course.

Holly wrote and directed the children’s film Heidi 4 Paws where she put dogs in costumes in all of the roles of the famous children’s story. This film used the voice talent of Angela Lansbury, Stephen Rea, Richard Kind, Majandra Delfino, and Julian Sands and recently aired on Public Television in the United States and Canada.

The mother of two sons, Holly lives in Santa Monica, California with her husband, writer Gary Rosen. She is a sports fan, loves to cook (she is a contributing editor for Amy Ephron’s food blog, ONE FOR THE TABLE), and she has never met a dog she didn’t find captivating. Holly considers her book I’ll Be There to be the most rewarding thing she’s ever done in her work life. She believes a perfect day to be one where she writes in the morning, takes a long walk by the Pacific Ocean in the afternoon, and she spends the evening with her family and friends around her large dining room table. She likes to fall asleep reading a good book. To find out more about her career in Hollywood CLICK HERE.







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