Message in the Sand

Author: Hannah McKinnon
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Genre: Fiction
Source: Gena at Simon & Schuster

Goodreads: Wendell Combs is as local as they come. Born and raised in the small town of Saybrook, Connecticut, his venture into the larger world was met with heartbreak. Now, middle-aged and a confirmed bachelor, he seeks solitude from his tour of duty as a soldier back in his hometown, working as head caretaker for wealthy Alan Lancaster’s forty-acre estate, White Pines, a place he has come to love for its beauty, peace, and quiet.

Alan’s eldest daughter, fifteen-year-old Julia, also loves White Pines, but for very different reasons. She and her little sister spend their days riding horses, swimming in the lake, and painting landscapes inspired by the property they adore. While her parents prepare to host their annual summer gala fundraiser, Julia’s eyes are set to the simpler joys of summer: she’s fallen in love with the boy-next-door and longs for their next encounter.

But as the last guests leave on that magical summer night, a tragedy no one could have predicted suddenly occurs, shaking the entire town to its core. Wendell and Julianow face an uncertain future. At the height of their grief, two very different women return to Saybrook: Ginny Foster, Wendell’s first love, who cannot stay away any longer, and Candace Lancaster, Julia’s estranged aunt who wants nothing to do with the town or the family estate she escaped decades earlier. Now, the only familiar things Julia has to cling to are Wendell and White Pines, but it looks like she’s about to lose both…

Ope’s Opinion: When I started this book I had very high expectations. I have read Hannah McKinnon before and was swept away, so I was expecting that again. I also have to admit I started reading this when I in a very busy time of my life. So take my thoughts with all that in mind.

I am not sure why this one did not sweep me away. I did enjoy it, but I felt I was watching it all take place from a distance instead of being involved in the story. It took a while to get to know the characters. I think Julia’s perspective was my favorite part of the book. I will definitely read another Hannah McKinnon and I am glad I read this one.