Set over the course of one summer, this perfect beach read follows a mother and her two daughters as they grapple with heartbreak, young love, and the weight of family secrets.
Brian and Margot Dunne live year-round in Seaside, just steps away from the bustling boardwalk, with their daughters Liz and Evy. The Dunnes run a real estate company, making their living by quickly turning over rental houses for tourists. But the family’s future becomes even more precarious when Brian develops a brain tumor, transforming into a bizarre, erratic version of himself. Amidst the chaos and new caretaking responsibilities, Liz still seeks out summer adventure and flirting with a guy she should know better than to pursue. Her younger sister Evy works in a candy shop, falls in love with her friend Olivia, and secretly adopts the persona of a middle-aged mom in an online support group, where she discovers her own mother’s most vulnerable confessions. Meanwhile, Margot faces an impossible choice driven by grief, impulse, and the ways that small-town life in Seaside has shaped her. Falling apart is not an option, but she can always pack up and leave the beach behind.
The Shore is a powerful, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting novel infused with humor about young women finding sisterhood, friendship, and love in a time of crisis. This big-hearted family saga examines the grit and hustle of running a small business in a tourist town, the ways we connect with strangers when our families can’t give us everything we need, and the comfort to be found in embracing the pleasures of youth while coping with unimaginable loss.
-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.
Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.
(3 / 5) This was a heavy read! A father is diagnosed with a brain tumor. Because of the placement in his brain, it affects his personality.
“Everything he does from now on goes into these four categories: Toddler, Zombie, Jerk, Rain Man. He’s these people now.” The story starts out with this cruel diagnosis that turns even more cruel as it progresses. We hear from the two daughters and the wife and it is very apparent the insurmountable heaviness each one is dealing with. So much so that while talking to others, they are ‘wondering whether it was too late to trade in their husband’s brain tumor for some malady that made him shit himself or weakened his heart instead.” It truly was devastating to read. Each struggled on their own and watched their family buckle under the strain. The daughters watched their mom begin to shut down under the weight of his care. His disease hung over each of their friendships and interactions with others.
“Coexisting with a stranger was not possible without imagining escape.”
“…you said he was gonna die six months ago so that is the exact amount of crazy time my heart budgeted for…” When the end became near, it felt abrupt. Going from hearing about his crazy antics to instantaneously in bed, immobile and with hospice felt out of place. What happened to him refusing to put pants on or running outside and getting lost? I wanted a better transition.
While this was a very heavy read, I still found I wanted the illness details. I wanted to know how home life was and how their mental health was but instead I got a lot about their personal lives and their friends. That wasn’t interesting enough for me so I lost interest. The grief and pain was real and raw and well done.
“Where you are from is everything: an empire and an ending, a temporary joy and a permanent resilience. Where you were from doesn’t exist anymore, and you’ll wonder forever if it ever really did.”
General content summary: F words: 20+, brain tumor and the many difficulties those present, miscarriage, kisses, underage drinking, intimacy (no details), f/f romance and kisses, virginity lost (few details), skinny dipping, death and grief and funeral.
Thank you to Scribner and Shelf Awareness for the gifted copy!
The book releases May 24, 2022.
**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.