Review: On a Summer Tide by Suzanne Woods Fisher

On a Summer Tide by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Hannah's Rating: 4.5 out of 5 bookmarks

I haven't read anything by Suzanne Woods Fisher before because she's mostly written Amish novels, and I'm not a lover of "bonnet" fiction. So I really had no clue what sort of story I was about to read, but let's be honest: I chose this one for the cover.

Book Summary:
Sometimes love hurts--and sometimes it can heal in the most unexpected way.
Camden Grayson loves her challenging career, but the rest of her life could use some improvement. "Moving on" is Cam's mantra. But there's a difference, her two sisters insist, between one who moves on and one who just keeps on moving.
Cam's full-throttle life skids to a stop when her father buys a remote island off the coast of Maine. Paul Grayson has a dream to breathe new life into the island--a dream that includes reuniting his estranged daughters. Certain Dad has lost his mind, the three sisters rush to the island. To Cam's surprise, the slow pace of island life appeals to her, and so do the locals. One in particular: Seth Walker, the scruffy island schoolteacher, who harbors more than a few surprises.

This book is the first in the Three Sisters Island series and as soon as I opened that cover, I was swept away into the good kind of family drama: Mr. Greyson is ready to astound his three daughters with news that he has bought an island resort in Maine and will be moving there right away. He may be just getting to retirement age, but the three young women are very sure he's lost his mind and come down with early dementia. His health hasn't been great, and now it seems his mind is going. What are they to do?

Because of sudden job demands, it's Cam, the eldest, who ends up in Maine first. She's just planning on a short time there before heading off to her next assignment, but things are worse on the island than they ever dreamed. The Pepto-Bismol pink old house that greets them is in disrepair, and the electricity only works for a fraction of the day. That fact about the electricity was a funny one; I can't think of the last time I read a contemporary novel where the electricity hardly works like that--not just for their property, but for the entire small town, to the extent that it's a local joke. The lack of TVs and cell phones (no service) lent a neat retro feel to the modern story.

Suzanne Fisher Woods
Photo Credit: © Dan Davis Photography
On a Summer Tide has one of the most colorful casts of local characters that I've read about in a while. Peg Legg, who runs a diner and can't fix palatable food to save her life, was my favorite! I also really enjoyed Seth, the local schoolteacher, and loved his unorthodox methods of teaching (which, to my amusement, was almost like he'd followed an old novel about schooling that I read last year). He's not easily offended, and I loved that character trait.

It isn't a suspense novel, but with all the little daily things that happen, I almost felt the pace was similar: trying to fix up a camp on a deadline for the first guests and allay the worries of the locals at the same time; the sisters trying to figure out where life goes from here; and so on. I also loved that the romance wasn't the primary goal of the story, but that the sisters' complicated relationship with each other and their father was the main driver.

You'll be sure to enjoy this tale of a broken family who might just find healing in a battered town half-forgotten by time.

Content Advisory: There are tactful references to someone having a child out of wedlock and regretting the affair; nothing explicit at all.

Do I recommend it? Yes! Mainly a women's-interest story, it's great for lovers of family stories, contemporary novels, and outdoor tales.

Hannah Gridley has been a dedicated bookworm since the age of 4. By day she works for a local nonprofit; in her spare time she works in a bookstore, teaches music, plays violin in two local orchestra groups and in her church, and enjoys hiking. Favorite reading genres include Christian, historical fiction, suspense, and vintage/classic novels. When she isn't working, writing, or reading, she spends money adding books to her home library or collecting fountain pens and fancy inks.

Disclosure: The publisher provided us with a free copy of this book for promotional purposes. This post contains affiliate links.

Hannah Gridley

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