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St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN:  978-1250861610
June 2023

Cape Cod, Massachusetts - Present Day

Jessica Coleman, a   Charleston, SC lawyer, is making a life-changing decision. After more than thirty years of marriage, she is seriously contemplating divorcing Parker, her husband, and fellow lawyer. They are both attorneys in his father's law firm, have an adult daughter, Caitlin, and are well known in the Charleston community. But for several years, Jess had known that she and Parker have grown apart, and she recently discovered that he's been seeing his secretary. To make matters worse, Jess recently noticed that the younger woman is obviously pregnant. In order to wrap her head around a decision she knows she has to make, Jess is going back to her hometown of Chatham, Massachusetts on Cape Cod where her mother still lives. She's glad to know that her daughter will join her, too.

Caitlin Coleman has just lost her job at a local high end department store. Obviously, her honesty with a client about a dress the client liked didn't go over well with her boss. So flying to Chatham with her mother seemed like a good idea to Caitlin. She'd have to put feelers out around Charleston upon her return for another job. Luckily, she still lived with her parents, so housing wouldn't be a problem at first. Caitlin is aware, however, of her parents' troubled relationship. 

Jess' best friend, Alison Page, has never left Chatham. Employed at a local magazine, Alison is aware of the issues at the business. Subscriptions are down, as is advertising, so it's apparent layoffs are in the future. After work one day, Alison retreats to Chatham Books, the local bookstore, where she will drown her worries in a new book The store owner, Ellen, informs her that she's planning to sell the store as she is past retirement age, and she wants to travel. Alison is saddened to hear this but understands. 

Jess and Alison have been life-long best friends, and when Jess returns to town, the two get together right away. When Alison tells Jess about the bookstore, Jess turns thoughtful, and wonders if an investment might be a good idea? Attached to the bookstore is a coffee shop that's been closed for a while. Jess has her own money, separate from Parker's, and investing in her hometown sounds to her like a viable idea. Even Caitlin and Jess' mother agree.

THE BOOKSHOP BY THE BAY is a definite beach read for the summer. Located in the seaside community on Cape Cod, Chatham's local inhabitants welcome the tourists and maintain old friendships. Jess and Alison are both embarking on a new part of their lives, and Caitlin is struggling to find something that will give her some direction. All three women are willing to try something new. Will the bookshop be the new beginning for them?

A totally enjoyable read, THE BOOKSHOP BY THE BAY will be a relaxing tale for the summer.

Jani Brooks

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