Friday, August 7, 2020

Book Review: A Week at the Shore by Barbara Delinsky

Pages: 416
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: May 19, 2020
Source: Publisher for review
Publisher: St. Martin's 
Other Books By Author: Sweet Salt Air
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "In her new bestseller, New York Times bestselling Barbara Delinsky explores how lives and relationships are forever changed when three sisters reunite at their family Rhode Island beach house.  One phone call is all it takes to lure real estate photographer Mallory Aldiss back to her family Rhode Island beach home. It's been twenty years since she's been gone—running from the scandal that destroyed her parents' marriage, drove her and her two sisters apart, and crushed her relationship with her first love. But going home is fraught with emotional baggage—memories, mysteries and secrets abound.  Mal's thirteen-year-old daughter, Joy, has never been to the place where Mal's life was shaped and is desperate to go. Fatherless, she craves family and especially wants to spend time with the grandfather she barely knows.  In just seven watershed days on the Rhode Island coast three women will test the bonds of sisterhood, friendship and family, and discover the role that love and memory plays in defining their lives."

Mallory, a.k.a. Mal, Aldiss has been avoiding her family and her hometown for years.  It brings back too many painful memories and things are extremely complicated.  But that all changes when she gets a phone call from her ex-boyfriend who still lives in their hometown. He tells her that her aging father has been carrying a gun around town.  Well, this isn't good news.  Shouldn't her sister have been keeping an eye on him?  Mal's daughter, Joy, has always wondered about Bay Bluff, the small coastal community that Mal grew up in, as well as her extended family members.  When Mal announces they have to return home to check on things, Joy is excited for all the possibilities.  Mal really hopes to avoid her ex-boyfriend, Jack, but she runs into him pretty much immediately. Things between them are really not great.  Jack blames Mal's father for his mother's untimely death. Jack has his theories regarding her death and they all point to Mal's father.  Also, while visiting Bay Bluff, Mal hopes to reconnect with her father, her sister, and once her other sister shows up, things start getting real.  Mal also tries to figure out what happened to Jack's mother on that fateful night, but she knows her father is the only one with some real answers. The problem is that he is starting to show signs of dementia.  A Week at the Shore by Barbara Delinsky is a decent beach read for those who gravitate towards family dramas.

Mal is an interesting character in A Week at the Shore. I mean I understood why she avoided Bay Bluff. Her father treats her poorly as she is never good enough and things with her sisters aren't great.  So, I could see why she avoids Bay Bluff and all the drama.  Once she is forced to return home with her daughter in tow, she has to face not only Jack, but her family members too.  Plus, there's some secrets that she tries to piece together included what happened between her father and Jack's mother.  She also has the major problem regarding her father's mental health and the fact that he may or may not have a gun!  Mal, and her sisters, have to deal with her father's dementia and this proves to be difficult for the entire family. With that said, Mal's problems felt really heavy for a beach read.

I was a bit surprised by how much family drama A Week at the Shore covered. I was hoping for a bit more descriptions of Bay Bluff and maybe not as much heavy topics, but this novel is full of complex family issues.  If that's your thing and you love a good family drama, definitely check it out A Week at the Shore.

Even though I was hoping for a bit more fluff, I will admit once the secrets starting come to the surface in A Week at the Shore, I was very interested in Mal's story and how it would all play out for her.  But there's some major stress in this novel and that wasn't exactly what I was looking for at the moment. I wanted more of an escape, so if you are like me, keep that in mind.

Are you a fan of Barbara Delinsky? Is this novel on your TBR list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 


  1. This sounds a bit heavy, but I've enjoyed Delinsky's books in the past. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I look forward to your thoughts on it if you get around to it! Thanks for visiting, Angela!


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