Robin Jones Gunn’s “Cottage by the Sea” was a book that I wasn’t sure I was going to finish. It’s the story of Erin, a 52 year old happily married woman on the brink of a new career. She and her best friend Sharlene have started a wedding help business for brides-to-be in Irvine, California. Her three sons are grown and gone, her oldest getting married in a week. On the opening day of the business as she is meeting a client, before she can get out of the garage, she receives a call from her stepmother that her father has had a stroke. He and his wife moved to the Oregon coast after their marriage and Erin never understood why. Not having bonded with this seemingly cold woman, Erin immediately flies to Oregon to be with her Dad. She finds her Dad to be in good spirits and seemingly overcoming the stroke. Erin and Mike enjoy their son’s wedding and that evening they receive another call. Erin’s father has had another stroke, this time with lingering consequences. She has to leave her new business and her husband for a few months to fly to be with her dad. During her time with him, her stepmother leaves Erin there as caretaker. She comes to love the area and the little cottage that her father and his wife have made their home. She also makes her peace with her dad and convinces her brother, who is estranged from his father, to come to see his dad before it is too late. This is a very good book, very heart-warming. It really gives one something to think about.
I felt quite moved by this book as I lost my father to a stroke three years ago. I can see many similarities between my situation and Erin’s. My father did not linger, but the time before his death was very intense for me and my mother and six brothers and sisters. We had time to say goodbye and I sensed this with Erin and her brother also. I finished reading the book and experienced a very pleasant feeling deep within when searching back to my own experiences.
I received a free copy of this book from Howard Books, for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.