The Bookshop at Water’s End. Patti Callahan Henry. Penguin Publishing Group. July 2017. 352 pp. ISBN #: 970399583117.
To be an Emergency Nurse physician requires finely honed skills that must occur automatically but still leave room for exceptional circumstances that just might change one’s normal protocol. So when Bonnie Blankenship’s treatment of a patient results in a disaster, she takes it very personally. Of course, she doesn’t realize that when one’s personal life is askew, automatic emotional fatigue will take its toll and thereby betray one’s usual performance. The end result is the good doctor has been ordered to go on a brief “sabbatical” until decisions at her hospital are made. Bonnie makes some immediate decisions that she believes she should have made long ago; whether they are right or wrong remains to be seen.
So off to Water’s End, a small South Carolinian vacation town, she and her best friend of many years, Lainey McKay, go with their children, minus spouses. A mystery surrounding the disappearance of Lainey’s mother years ago almost stops Lainey from returning here. It also seems that Lainey’s brother, Owen, is an old flame of Bonnie who comes and goes on his own needs, even though Bonnie and Owen are in love.
Bonnie’s daughter Piper is also along for the trip, albeit reluctantly. She’s got a reputation for acting out but she’s also got a secret that’s behind her excess drinking etc. Can Bonnie and Piper repair the damage of their tense relationship?
This is a novel involving a bookshop where everyone winds up getting the book or hearing words most need to hear. Now, that’s truly remarkable! It sounds like a silly but wishful premise initially until the novel and conflict twists and turns progress.
No, you can’t possibly predict where the complex layers of plot are going and it make the read even that more delicious!!!! You will be satisfied! Highly recommended contemporary fiction that is finely crafted!