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ISBN: 13:978-0-7783-3351-7
April 11, 2023
Contemporary Romance/Mystery

Mariner’s Island – Present Day

Ivy Hawthorne, Ariana Prince and Cam Stafford grew up together on Mariner’s Island. They were the best of friends and grew up in a place removed from the mainland. Beautiful beaches, and a small town where they knew almost everyone who lived on the Island. Summers were for campfires on the beaches, running free and having fun. Summer was filled with tourists, some who came every year, others who were one-time visitors. The influx of tourists brought money and new people every summer. It was an idyllic childhood for Ivy, Ariana, and Cam. Until tragedy struck and a young girl, a visitor to the island, went missing.

Teen aged Cam came under suspicion in the young girl’s disappearance. But with Ivy and Ariana giving him an alibi, it remained just suspicion. The young girl was never found, but that cloud of suspicion never went away.

After the three graduated from high school, Ariana left the island for college and never really came back. Cam stayed on the island, started a business, married, and has a child. Ivy stayed on the island and took over running the Seaside Library owned by her family. Now, this summer Ariana is coming back to the island. Over the years communication between friends has become infrequent. Ariana rarely visited, busy with her career. Cam and Ivy rarely saw each other, even on the small island because his wife Melanie did not like his friendship with Ivy and Ariana. But now Ariana is coming back, and maybe to stay, since she left her job.

Ivy worries that the reason Ariana is really coming back is because the missing girl’s body has been found. Twenty years ago, Ariana and Ivy lied to protect Cam. They knew he couldn’t have had anything to do with the mission girl. But the lie lays heavy on Ivy’s conscience. She is very afraid Ariana is having second thoughts about that long ago night as well. With the discovery of the girl’s body, suspicion once again falls on Cam.

Ariana left Mariner’s because of her unrequited love for Cam and the stress of living a lie. Will she come back and open old wounds? Will she and Ivy be able to keep the secret they have held for twenty years?

The last thing Cam wants to deal with right now is a twenty-year-old crime. He’s miserable in his marriage but feels obligated to stay with Melanie because of their child. There is no real affection between them, and Cam feels trapped. When he learns that Ariana is returning to the island he wonders why now? Is it because of the lie his friends told to help him or has the lie become too heavy a burden for her to keep?

THE SEASIDE LIBRARY is a phenomenal story. Part coming of age, part mystery, part romance. Brenda Novak is a master at creating intriguing mystery peopled with likeable and not so likeable characters. As the three reunite, the investigation into the mystery heats up, Cam’s marriage falls apart, Ivy considers leaving the island for good, and Ariana reveals her true feeling for Cam.

Will Ivy and Ariana finally reveal the truth? Was Cam really guilty of the crime? As more evidence is discovered, Ivy, Ariana and Cam grow closer, but less sure they did the right thing. When the truth is revealed will it shatter the friendship and memories, they all hold dear? I won’t tell you, except to say, I was surprised!

A top-notch whodunit with a cast of well-drawn characters makes THE SEASIDE LIBRARY a must read. A story of friendship, loyalty, betrayal, love, and family… Brenda Novak’s THE SEASIDE LIBRARY should be on everyone reading list this summer. I highly recommend it.

Terrie Figueroa

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