A family in crisis returns to the lake house where, years ago, an unexpected tragedy tore them apart.
When the Hempstead sisters decide to spend the summer together in Lake Waseka, Minnesota, Charley has just lost her job as a daytime television host, Meg has stage 4 breast cancer, and they both need a break from their worried partners. But their mother, Louise, has forbidden them from using the house ever since the summer their youngest sister, Bunny, drowned at the same time Charley, then a teenager, found out she was pregnant. Meg’s dying wish for a family reunion inspires Charley to enlist the help of her Aunt Jo and her cousins Hope, Beverly, and Krista to get Louise to change her mind. Jo’s family also fell apart when Bunny died, and though time hasn’t healed everything—Hope is struggling to cope with her divorce, Krista is in prison, and Beverly has kept her distance after leaving the family for foster care—everyone is hoping for a fresh start. With so many mothers, daughters, sisters, and cousins to track (not to mention their husbands and boyfriends), there are many sides to each story and no shortage of drama as the women confront their past. The summer flies by as old wounds are healed, new alliances are formed, and lives are changed forever.
It sounds like a nightmare of a family vacation, but with strong relationship dynamics, juicy secrets, and a heartwarming ending, it’s a blissful beach read.