The Beach House: Coming Home was an easy, breezy read and perfect for summer reading. This is the second book I've enjoyed by Georgia Bockoven. The first was Things Remembered.
Book Title: The Beach House: Coming Home by Georgia Bockoven
Category: Adult Fiction, 352 pages
Genre: Women's fiction
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Release date: May 16, 2017
Content Rating: PG + M (some language, includes child abuse, suicide, giving up baby for adoption)
After you’ve given your baby to strangers, what do you say when someone asks if you have children?
Fourteen years ago, Melinda Campbell was fifteen and a half, pregnant and terrified. Desperate to protect her baby from a malicious grandfather and needed at home to take care of her own critically ill father, Melinda makes the most generous, heart-wrenching choice of all: adoption. Now she’s living the successful life her father struggled to give her, but missing her daughter with a longing that shadows every joy.
Jeremy Richmond knows the beach house the way a painter knows his canvas, intimately and focused on detail. His life revolves around his adopted daughter, Shiloh, the girl who’s owned his heart from the moment he first held her as an infant. They were a picture-perfect family until Shiloh was diagnosed with pediatric lupus and Jeremy’s wife walked away.
When Shiloh tells her father she’s tired of fighting her illness and wants to meet her biological mother before it’s too late, Jeremy agrees to find a woman he has no desire to meet.
From the moment Melinda and Jeremy come face-to-face, they realize their worlds will never be the same. Will the beach house that has harbored troubled hearts for decades prove to be the balm they need to heal…?
Melinda was just a teenager when she gave up her baby (Shiloh) for adoption. Thirteen years later, she gets a call that her daughter wants to meet her. Melinda arrives at the beach house in California where she is to stay for two weeks while Jeremy, Shiloh's adoptive father makes up his mind about whether to let his ill daughter pursue a relationship with Melinda.
This is very much a character-driven story with a dual timeline, alternating between the present and Melinda's childhood. I enjoyed the well-developed characters and the themes of family, friendship and adoption. The prologue introduced the beach house but it didn't feel like a significant part of the book as described in the book's description. Instead, the mining town where Melinda grew up was much more significant and helped us to understand her background, her fears, her motivations and her past relationships, which is why I liked the dual timeline.
For most of the story, Melinda needs to get past the animosity of Jeremy who is overprotective of Shiloh and dislikes Melinda for having given up her baby. I understand his wariness because his own wife left him and Shiloh. But, it's clear he doesn't understand the challenges of being a teen mom from a small hick town with no financial support. I had a bit of a hard time liking him because of his lack of compassion. I could understand his fears if Melinda came in to town wanting to swoop his daughter away but that wasn't the case.
There is tension between Melinda and Jeremy because of his apprehension of her and her wariness of his mistrust, but I did not feel much romantic tension. The story takes place within the span of two weeks so when he is suddenly all over her, I just thought it happened too quickly and a little unrealistically. Overall, this was an enjoyable book. One of my favorite characters was Heidi, the stray kitten Melinda takes in. I simply loved the scenes between her and Melinda. I am always attracted to family stories that include children and pets.
To read more reviews, please visit Georgia Bockoven's page on TLC Book Tours.
Disclosure: Thanks to the publisher and TLC for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.
Georgia Bockoven is an award-winning author who began writing fiction after a successful career as a freelance journalist and photographer. Her books have sold more than three million copies worldwide. The mother of two, she resides in Northern California with her husband, John.
Find out more about Georgia at her website, and connect with her on Facebook.