The Guest House: A Novel. Erika Marks. Penguin Books (USA). June 2013. 368 pp. pbk. ISBN #: 9780451418852.
Edie, Lexie, and Meg Wright, three generations of women strongly affected by the summer visitors to their home in a small Cape Cod town, are each hoping to leave behind the painful memories that each have from love gone awry. Edie has a construction business composed of women and is shocked when she is asked to take part of the project to repair and prepare the Moss family’s summer home and cottage for sale. For Tucker Moss broke her heart back in the late 1960s and her son and late husband have quite a resultant familial, protective hate for the Moss clan. How will they react to her new friendship with Tucker’s friend Jim. Can two adults escape the attitudes of younger, unforgiving family members or can they forge something new and exciting?
Lexie has just returned from studying architectural photography in England and is now surprisingly asked to do the photography to prepare the home to be registered as a historical home, but this is also the home where she fell in love with Hudson Moss and was dumped by him as well. It’s also the place where Hudson’s brother, Cooper, gave her a comforting first kiss right after she was jilted by his brother. So who should be there to let her in and serve as guide to her but Cooper. Both think the other forgot that night years ago, but that’s not so at all!
Lexi’s brother, Owen, is grieving over a divorce and treating his daughter, who is a college student, like a little girl. Meg’s got a lot on her plate with her mother’s constant text questions and her father’s expectations. How will she grow during her summer vacation – or not?
Meanwhile, the “wash-ashores” or tourists are pouring into the town of Harrisport, Massachusetts and business is booming. How will the beginning of love burgeon in a way to heal old wounds and clear the path for what will hopefully be more than just a new summer season to be relished every second? Some secrets will be revealed, some misunderstandings cleared and others aggravated. Most of all a secret carved into framing will force changes in attitude, forces that can make or break the futures of the Wright and Moss families.
Gentle and fierce passions rule these pages and Erika Marks knows how to satisfy the curiosity of the reader and keep it fueled with a complex, endearing romantic plot to satisfy every lover of this genre. Prepare for a great summertime (or anytime) read! Very nicely done, Erika Marks!