A contemporary tale of love and loss.
Novelist Andee lives in a beach house in California, far enough away from other people that she’s able to enjoy peace and quiet. Just after her 55th birthday, she finds out terrible news: The formerly empty rental house near her home has been leased—for a two-year term. Now, Andee’s morning runs are interrupted by greetings from her new neighbor, Kevin Coultier, no matter how standoffish she acts during each interaction. While on a plane to New York City to visit friends, make stops on a book tour, and sign some contracts, Andee gets a tarot-card reading from the kind girl in the seat next to her, and it causes her to rethink her stance toward her neighbor. Before long, Andee finds herself softening toward Kevin, especially when he cares for her after finding her passed out on the beach following a night of drinking. Soon, they’re running together each morning and spending the Christmas holidays together; she even feels comfortable telling him about the loss of her 19-year-old son years ago. Could this friendship blossom into something more? Debut author Belle offers a lyrical novel about dealing with heartbreak and finding ways to move on. The author’s style is often poetic, bringing life to descriptions of everyday things, such as a jog on the beach: “Today she was again imagining the breeze as a sheer, silky robe that caressed her arms and legs in a beautiful white splendour that only an angel could provide….She didn’t feel like she was running—she was flying along, her feet never touching the sand.” The book is told almost entirely from Andee’s third-person perspective, so the occasional jumps to Kevin’s point of view can feel jarring. It’s the first in a planned trilogy, but it works well as a stand-alone, even offering a satisfying resolution.
A beautifully written debut about a woman overcoming grief and finding herself.