Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Review: The Ocean in Winter by Elizabeth de Veer

The Ocean in Winter
by Elizabeth de Veer 

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Pages: 400
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  The lives of the three Emery sisters were changed forever when Alex, eleven at the time, found their mother drowned in the bathtub of their home. After their mother’s suicide, the girls’ father shut down emotionally, leaving Alex responsible for caring for Colleen, then eight, and little Riley, just four. Now the girls are grown and navigating different directions. Alex, a nurse, has been traveling in India and grieving her struggle to have a child; Colleen is the devoted mother of preteens in denial that her marriage is ending; and Riley has been leading what her sisters imagine to be the dream life of a successful model in New York City. Decades may have passed, but the unresolved trauma of their mother’s death still looms over them creating distance between the sisters.

Then on a March night, a storm rages near the coast of northeastern Massachusetts. Alex sits alone in an old farmhouse she inherited from a stranger. The lights are out because of the storm; then, an unexpected knock at the door. When Alex opens it, her beautiful younger sister stands before her. Riley has long been estranged from their family, prompting Colleen to hire the private investigator from whom they’d been awaiting news. Comforted by her unexpected presence, Alex holds back her nagging questions: How had Riley found her? Wouldn’t the dirt roads have been impassable in the storm? Why did Riley insist on disappearing back into the night?

After her mysterious visitation, Alex and Colleen are determined to reconcile with Riley and to face their painful past, but the closer they come to finding their missing sister, the more they fear they’ll only be left with Riley’s secrets. 

Kritters Thoughts:  Three sisters lives take a drastic turn when the oldest, Alex finds their mother dead in the bathtub and at the age of eleven, eight and four, these girls all react differently from the loss of their mother and while the book takes place in the current day as they are adult women and they are all dealing with different problems in each of their lives.  

One of my favorite things is when an author allows each character to narrate their own chapters and each get the chance to share the story from their point of view - I love how each women talks about the past, but they each share their own struggles.  And I am always here for a story about family.  I love to read books about siblings and their reactions to their childhood and how they can grow up in the same house and have different experiences.  I also love to read about birth order and how that can impact a person as to where they line up in the family and I was making all sorts of conclusions about these sisters!

I am going to keep it vague here because the synopsis does a great job of describing the story without giving away some of the big and small plot points which are best to experience in the story.  

I really enjoyed how the author built this story and the characters and was even more excited to find out after completing that this was a debut novel and have a lot of hope that there is more to come from this author!

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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