Cottage by the Sea

( 11 )

Overview

A daughter’s gift of time, a father’s silent wish.

Erin Bryce and her best friend, Sharlene, count the day they start their wedding planning business as a very happy day. So much so that they name their company The Happiest Day to reflect the fulfillment of their long-held dream as well as their clients’ longing for a wedding celebration to match the exhilaration of being in love. As a bonus, the two women utilize their business to help Erin’s ...

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Cottage by the Sea: A Novel

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Overview

A daughter’s gift of time, a father’s silent wish.

Erin Bryce and her best friend, Sharlene, count the day they start their wedding planning business as a very happy day. So much so that they name their company The Happiest Day to reflect the fulfillment of their long-held dream as well as their clients’ longing for a wedding celebration to match the exhilaration of being in love. As a bonus, the two women utilize their business to help Erin’s son Jordan and his fiancée, Sierra, plan a grand wedding.

But the two friends aren’t prepared for the cloud moving in to cover the sunny, successful start of their business. Erin’s father, who lives in a small coastal Oregon community with his brusque, downright odd second wife, Delores, develops a medical problem that puts him in the hospital. Erin responds by rushing from Southern California to her father’s—and oh, yeah, Delores’s—cottage by the sea.

What greets Erin when she arrives sends her tumbling down a bewildering path to a different kind of happiest day. Her journey tosses her through highs and lows of hurt and healing, betrayal and renewal, wrong assumptions righted, and the brightest future one could ever hope for. All just around the corner, at the cottage by the sea.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sierra Jensen, from Gunn’s series of young adult novels (and the companion Christy Miller series), makes a cameo as the new daughter-in-law of Erin Bryce, who has just started a California wedding-planning business with her best friend Sharlene. Erin’s best-laid plans are interrupted, however, when her father suffers a stroke and is abandoned by his new wife. Erin goes to Oregon to care for her father at his beloved cottage by the sea, where she deals with feelings of betrayal, loss, and responsibility while discovering that people’s motivations, including her own, might not be what they first seem. Erin’s faith is nicely incorporated as a character trait without seeming preachy, and the stoke victim’s frustration at not having control over his body and speech is touchingly portrayed. Unfortunately, a heavy-handed narrative lacking focus or details keeps the plot and characters from developing to full potential. (July)
Romantic Times
"One of Gunn’s amazing talents is to describe the setting of her novel in such a way that it almost becomes a character in the tale. Readers will definitely want to visit the Oregon coast! The plot is incredibly relevant and truly shows how honoring one’s parents, even when they don’t seem to deserve it, is an excellent tenet to hold." —Romantic Times
Jerry B. Jenkins
“One of the lionesses of Christian fiction, at the peak of her prowess, pens her most ambitious—and personal—tale to date.” —Jerry B. Jenkins, bestselling author of The Left Behind Series, owner of Christian Writers Guild
Angela Hunt
“Every once in a while, a novelist writes a book that transcends all her others—because this one isn't merely a good story, it's a story wrung from the novelist's heart, every line squeezed from personal tears, pain, and struggle. Cottage by the Sea is that kind of book for my friend Robin Jones Gunn. I know her heart, and I know you will grow and be blessed by reading this book, her novel-from-the-heart.” —Angela Hunt, author of Five Miles South of Peculiar
Bill Myers
“Robin writes with an honesty, heart, and skill that draws you deep into the center of her character's lives. Cottage by the Sea is some of the best work by one of our best writers.” —Bill Myers, author of The God Hater
Davis Bunn
“Cottage by the Sea is a lyrical work of great joy, heartache, and triumph. Robin Gunn's writing has never been stronger. The characters are vividly drawn, the challenges they face achingly real. Highly recommended.” —Davis Bunn, bestselling author
Margaret McSweeney
"In this tender story of letting go, Robin's words will minister to those with a hurting heart as emotional entrapments of guilt and unresolved issues are delicately detangled. You will smile through the tears and long to experience more of God's gentle grace in this Cottage by the Sea." —Margaret McSweeney, author of Aftermath: Finding Grace Through Grief
Melody Carlson
“Cottage by the Sea made me feel right at home. As usual Robin Jones Gunn has shared a meaningful story that both encourages and enlightens—definitely a journey you won’t want to miss. I can still smell the salty air.” —Melody Carlson, award-winning author of River's Song and The Four Lindas
From the Publisher
“One of the lionesses of Christian fiction, at the peak of her prowess, pens her most ambitious—and personal—tale to date.”

“Every once in a while, a novelist writes a book that transcends all her others—because this one isn't merely a good story, it's a story wrung from the novelist's heart, every line squeezed from personal tears, pain, and struggle. Cottage by the Sea is that kind of book for my friend Robin Jones Gunn. I know her heart, and I know you will grow and be blessed by reading this book, her novel-from-the-heart.”

“Robin writes with an honesty, heart, and skill that draws you deep into the center of her character's lives. Cottage by the Sea is some of the best work by one of our best writers.”

Cottage by the Sea is a lyrical work of great joy, heartache, and triumph. Robin Gunn's writing has never been stronger. The characters are vividly drawn, the challenges they face achingly real. Highly recommended.”

"In this tender story of letting go, Robin's words will minister to those with a hurting heart as emotional entrapments of guilt and unresolved issues are delicately detangled. You will smile through the tears and long to experience more of God's gentle grace in this Cottage by the Sea."

Cottage by the Sea made me feel right at home. As usual Robin Jones Gunn has shared a meaningful story that both encourages and enlightens—definitely a journey you won’t want to miss. I can still smell the salty air.”

"One of Gunn’s amazing talents is to describe the setting of her novel in such a way that it almost becomes a character in the tale. Readers will definitely want to visit the Oregon coast! The plot is incredibly relevant and truly shows how honoring one’s parents, even when they don’t seem to deserve it, is an excellent tenet to hold."

Library Journal
Erin Bryce has just started a wedding-planning business when her father suffers a stroke and is abandoned by his second wife. Erin leaves California and heads to a small town on the Oregon coast, where she cares for her father and learns some personal lessons as well. VERDICT The sometimes uneven quality of the writing and weak character development may disappoint fans. Nonetheless, Gunn's (Kate Weldon and Christy Miller series) descriptive powers make the seaside community come alive for readers. Delia Parr devotees might appreciate this one.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416583455
  • Publisher: Howard Books
  • Publication date: 7/3/2012
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 248,512
  • Product dimensions: 5.58 (w) x 8.28 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Robin Jones Gunn is the author of more than seventy novels, which have sold more than 4 million copies worldwide, including three Christy Award winners and a Gold Medallion Award finalist.

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Read an Excerpt

2

May God grant you many years to live,

For sure he must be knowing.

The earth has angels all too few,

And heaven is overflowing.

Erin caught her breath. “What happened, Delores? Is he okay?”

“Here. He wants to talk to you. Jack? It’s Erin. She wants to talk to you.”

“Hello?”

The familiar voice filled Erin’s ear, sounding the same as always—a little gruff, a little sad. Erin released the air in her tightened chest. “Hey, Dad. Hi. How are you? Are you okay?”

“Fine. Fine, fine. How are you?” His words came out abrupt but with a slight slur.

“I’m good. But what about you? Delores said you had a stroke. Are you feeling better?”

“Yes!” He yelled into the phone so loud that Erin jumped.

“Okay. Well, that’s good. Can you tell me what happened?”

“It . . . I’m . . . it . . . the . . . aaa . . .”

“Dad?”

No reply.

“Dad?”

“What?” He shouted his response, and that frightened her even more.

“Dad, are you sure you’re okay? You’re not making sense.”

“Fine. Fine.”

“Dad, let me talk to Delores.”

“Why?”

“I want to ask her a few things.”

“You hate her!”

Erin blinked and tried to form a sentence. She knew in her gut that something was really wrong. Her father had always been direct, but in the year and a half since he had married Delores, none of them had spoken the raw truth about how Erin and Delores viewed each other.

Erin tried to control her tone, but her voice wobbled. “No, Dad, I don’t hate Delores. I just need to talk to her for a minute.”

Sharlene stepped closer and placed her hand on Erin’s arm in a gesture of concern. Sharlene was the only friend to whom Erin had confided her feelings about her seventy-year-old father marrying a fifty-three-year-old woman he had known for only two months. To everyone other than Sharlene and Mike, Erin had defended her father’s decision, saying that perhaps Delores was just the person to bring back the sparkle that had faded from his baby blues since Erin’s mother had died.

Erin didn’t have the chance to watch for that returning sparkle because only a few days after her father surprised them all with the announcement that he had gotten married, he made a second stunning announcement. He and Delores were moving to a seaside cottage in a small coastal town in Oregon. Erin hadn’t seen her father since his abrupt move eighteen months ago and had talked to him only a handful of times.

“Erin? You wanted to talk to me?” Delores’s voice sounded as gruff as her father’s had.

“What are the doctors telling you? Is he okay? He doesn’t sound coherent.”

“He hasn’t seen a doctor yet. They’re backed up at the clinic. I told the admitting nurse that I think he’s had a stroke.”

“You’re at a clinic?”

“Jack wanted to come here. It’s a twenty-four-hour emergency clinic.”

Erin rubbed the back of her neck and paced the small space between the door into the kitchen and her car. “Delores, don’t you think he should be looked at by a doctor at a hospital and not just at a clinic?”

“That’s not what your father wants.” Delores’s words were firm. “He told me to bring him here.”

“But, Delores, he doesn’t seem to be communicating clearly. It sounds like he needs to be seen by a doctor at an emergency room.”

“I wasn’t calling to get your advice, Erin. I called because your father wanted to talk to you.”

Erin reeled at Delores’s snappy response. It took Erin only a moment to reply with equal verve. “He needs to get to a hospital. You need to take him to the hospital now.”

“He doesn’t want to go to a hospital, do you, Jack?”

Erin couldn’t hear any reply from her father in the background. Her heart was pounding wildly. “Delores?” Erin paused. What she was about to say made her feel sick to her stomach. “I’m coming up there.”

“Why would you do that? There’s no need for you to come.”

“I think there is a need. I’ll come as soon as I can. Please tell my dad that I’m coming to see him.”

Delores didn’t reply.

“Delores?”

“You don’t need to come, Erin. Are you trying to pressure me to take him to the hospital? Is that it? Is that why you think you need to come? Because I’m telling you right now the doctor at the hospital will say the same thing the doctor here is going to say. Your father has had a stroke, and he needs to go home and rest.”

Erin wanted to scream. She switched the phone to her other ear and with firm, authoritative words she said, “Delores, please take my father to the hospital. Now.”

Delores paused. “All right. Fine. I’m telling you now, it’s not going to make any difference. There’s nothing they can do for him.”

“Please call me as soon as you have any news from the hospital. You have my cell phone number, don’t you?”

“I have no idea.”

Erin gave Delores her cell number as well as Mike’s cell and asked her again to please call as soon as they had any further information.

When Erin hung up, her hands were shaking. Sharlene stood close by and asked, “You okay?”

“How can that woman be so uncaring? I don’t understand. My father sounded completely off balance, Shar. He is not okay.” Erin felt tears pool in her eyes. “I told her I was going up there. I don’t know what to do.”

Sharlene stretched her arm around Erin’s middle and gave her a comforting hug. “Why don’t you call Mike and let him know what’s going on? I’ll go to meet with our client. If you need to be with your dad, then that’s what you should do. I can take care of everything here. Don’t worry about any of the business details. Your dad is your priority right now.”

A surge of anger replaced the stunned concern Erin had felt during the call. She narrowed her eyes and felt her jaw clench. “I just don’t understand why she didn’t take him to the hospital right away. He never should have left Irvine. This is his home. If this had happened while he was here, he would be in much better shape right now.”

“Your father is a strong man,” Sharlene said. “If anyone can pull through this, he can.”

“You’re right, he is a strong man. Strong and determined. My father left Ireland when he was seventeen years old and put himself through college. He was the first teacher in the Irvine school district. Did I ever tell you that? This whole area was nothing but bean fields and strawberry fields when he and my mom moved here. The Irvine Ranch had one tiny school for all the farmworkers’ children, and my father was their teacher.”

“I never knew that.” Sharlene held open the kitchen door.

Erin walked back inside, her thoughts racing furiously. “My father taught for the Irvine school district for forty-seven years. Do you know anyone anywhere who has done that? Been a teacher for forty-seven years? And when he retired, there was nothing. No thank-you. No letter of appreciation. And look at Irvine now. Half a century after the bean fields, it’s nothing but rows of houses as far as you can see.”

Erin stopped by the kitchen counter. She felt her face burning as a molten topic overflowed from her erupting heart. “When my father left Irvine, he told me that after my mom died, there was nothing here for him anymore.” A tumble of tears choked her words. “Nothing here for him. Nothing at all. That’s what he said.”

Erin lowered her voice and added the final, painful truth. “But the thing is, I’m still here. And I’m not nothing.”

She let the tears fall. There it was: the soul wound that hadn’t healed in the eighteen months since his departure. Her father chose to marry a woman who was nothing like Erin’s mom, and then he moved a thousand miles away, preferring Delores’s company over the familiarity and proximity of Mike and Erin.

Sharlene reached for a paper towel next to the kitchen sink and offered it to Erin for her tumble of tears.

“I can’t believe I’m saying all this.”

“It’s okay. It’s better to get it all out now.”

“Shar, we promised we would take care of him. Mike and I promised that to my mother. So how are we supposed to do that when he’s so far away and his wife won’t even take him to the hospital?” Erin dabbed away her tears with a rounded edge of the rough paper towel and answered her own question. “I guess this is how we do it. I get on an airplane and go to him in Oregon.”

“You’re right. That’s what you should do.”

Erin blew her nose and drew in a wobbly breath. Gathering her thoughts, she said, “I need to call Mike.”

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Sharlene asked.

“I will be. Are you okay with meeting our client at Café Kate?”

“Yes, of course.” Sharlene gave Erin a side hug. “Call me if you need anything. I’ll be back in a little while.”

Over the next few hours Erin managed to book a four o’clock flight, pack a bag, and leave her supportive husband a love note on his bedroom pillow. Mike had immediately agreed with her assessment when she had called him. Even if her father was okay, which Mike said he doubted, he thought Erin should be there to help to decide if further steps needed to be taken.

Sharlene returned with a great report of her meeting with their first client and offered to drive Erin to the airport so Mike wouldn’t have to leave work to take her. By two thirty Sharlene and Erin were headed for John Wayne Airport. A light rain splattered against the windshield.

“Did you pack warm clothes?”

“Yes. I’m sure I overpacked. I don’t know how long I’ll be there. I hope only a few days. Call me if you need anything, anything at all.”

“I will. But don’t worry. I’m sure everything will be fine here.”

“This is the worst possible time for this to happen.”

“I know.”

Even though Erin understood that her reasoning was out of whack, she felt angry that the long-awaited day of the opening of their business had been hijacked by this emergency. She hated that she was thinking such a thing. It wasn’t her dad’s fault. Yet as much as she tried to adjust her feelings, her attempts to summon up gracious thoughts weren’t working. The anger she felt lingered through the check-in process and through security. She headed to her boarding gate with jaw-set determination.

Just as Erin’s flight boarded, her cell phone rang. It was Delores. She sounded much more amiable than she had that morning.

“We’re still at the hospital. You wanted me to call you as soon as I had an update. They ran some tests. Your father had an ischemic stroke.”

Erin wasn’t sure what that meant.

“The doctor said this could be an isolated incident or a prelude to more of the same. They weren’t able to see any more blood clots, but that doesn’t mean others aren’t hiding. The doctor did tell me that the best time to run the test is within three hours after the first symptom appears. He said it was good that we came in when we did. You were right about that, Erin.”

Delores’s small accolade acted like a tiny pin that poked a hole in the inflated anger Erin had been carrying with her. She could feel the fury dissipate with a hiss. “How is he feeling?”

“Better. He said he’s better and not to worry about him.”

“Delores, did you get my message? I called earlier and . . .”

“Yes, I listened to your message.”

“So you know that I’m coming up there.”

“Yes.”

“I’ll rent a car, and I made reservations at a hotel near the hospital.”

“You can cancel the hotel. Just stay at our place.”

“Are you sure?” Erin tried to evaluate Delores’s spurt of hospitality.

“Of course you can stay with us. Unless you would rather not.”

“No, that’s fine. Thanks for the invitation. Did they give you an idea of how long my dad would stay at the hospital?”

“The doctor is sending Jack home now. He put him on blood thinner and told him to go home and get some rest. I have a list of symptoms to watch for. Bad headaches, shortness of breath—”

“Delores, sorry to interrupt you, but my flight is boarding.”

“Do you know how to get to our place?”

“Yes, I’ve got it.”

“I’ll leave the floodlight on above the garage, so that should help you find us. Just remember it’s a gravel road from the highway to our place, so slow down as soon as you make the turn.”

“Okay. I’ll see you later tonight.” Erin found her seat, stowed her carry-on, and closed her eyes, hoping her seat companion wasn’t in a chatty mood.

She couldn’t quite figure out what to make of Delores’s responses. Was it fear that had made Delores so abrupt and aggressive in her earlier phone call? The news about Erin’s dad wasn’t good. He had experienced a stroke. But maybe all he needed was the medications the doctor had started him on. Maybe that would be enough to resolve the problems he had encountered.

Erin wondered if she had been too hasty in deciding to go to Oregon. No one had asked her to come. There wasn’t anything she could do. She really needed to be home, working with Sharlene.

The slow-burning, teeth-clenching anger she had felt earlier returned and seemed to be sitting on her lap in the narrow airplane seat. Earlier all the anger was focused on Delores and her father for marrying Delores and moving so far away. This time she didn’t know who to be mad at. Delores was as much at the mercy of her father’s condition as Erin was. She knew her father had the right to choose to live his life the way he wanted, and if he chose to marry Delores and move to Oregon, that was his decision. Erin shouldn’t disapprove of his behavior when what he wanted was to live his life this way. When it came to her anger over his having a stroke, Erin knew he obviously had no control over the rogue blood clots that had made their way to his brain stem.

Why am I so angry?

For a moment, Erin wanted to blame Mike for her angst. He could have talked her out of going. He could have told her to wait for the medical update. But he didn’t. He urged her to go right away.

In the end, Erin chose to blame herself. She was the one who had given way to her emotions. She had taken on the role of mother. Now that her own mother was gone, more than once Erin had fallen into trying to fix everything for everybody. She couldn’t fix this, not a stroke.

As the plane lifted off the runway, Erin remembered something her mother had written in her journal.

It’s not always about what I think it’s about. The older I get, the more convinced I am that God has a hidden objective tucked into every disagreeable situation I encounter. If only I would collect those sparkling gems of truth while I’m in the midst of each difficult relationship or experience, I’d leave this earth a wise and spiritually wealthy woman.

Erin reclined her seat. She felt lighter. That was often the way she felt when she drew a cool sip from the fount of her mother’s journals. The words her mother left behind were words from her heart, and they still touched Erin deeply.

Faith O’Riley had indeed left this earth a wise and spiritually wealthy woman. Erin could only hope the same would be said of her. Oh, how she wished her mother were here now.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2013

    Good Story

    I thought it was a good story. It wasn't the type that kept me on the edge of my seat but it was a good read. I would have liked a little more to the ending. Her other books have been much better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2012

    Gunn never disappoints

    Poignant insights as is signature Gunn. Always gives me pause for thought, comptemplation as well as joy and praise. Great twists and turns AND connetion to her last book, which I ordered. Deals with aging parents, unexpected crises and conflict and rearranging of priorities. Excellent book for club discussons...faith-based not.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Two squeezes meant simply that I love you; three squeezes in ret

    Two squeezes meant simply that I love you; three squeezes in return meant I love you too! That was the way things were communicated silently in the Bryce family, only Erin really needed this confirmation from her father which was always left with wanting more.

    As Erin Bryce and her best friend Sharlene prepare for the launch of their new wedding planning business, The Happiest Day, she receives a phone call from her dad's wife, Delores telling her that he has had a stroke. Erin immediately leaves for the small beach side community of Moss Cove in Oregon to see how her father is doing. When he appears normal and back to the old self she remembers, she books a flight home and begins to prepare herself for her new business venture but also a future wedding for her son Jordan.

    As Erin waits for her father and Delores to show up for the day of the wedding, she tries hard to keep her emotions in check. She blames Delores for keeping her father away and making all the decisions for him. When the day comes and goes with their presence missing, she phones her father's home and learns they are still there. Ready to unleash all her anger, Delores informs her that her father has suffered another stroke and this time he won't be returning back to his old self anytime soon.

    In the latest novel, Cottage By The Sea by Robin Jones Gunn, the reader is drawn into the story between a love that is needed by both Erin and her father, Jack. Now with a stroke removing his ability to verbal communicate, Erin and Jack have to rediscover a way to connect after so many years and reestablish the love that both of them need before its too late. This is a timeless story of one of the great needs I believe a woman needs to have in her life, the love of a father and Robin does such a wonderful job at completing this through her novel. I was moved to tears by how well she made me feel for both Erin and Jack's needs.

    I felt the frustration that Erin had toward feeling the care of her father was dumped on her shoulders while everyone else seemed to have a life to return to; her anger at Delores when she learns that Delores simply can not stay with someone who requires this type of care; and her crushing need to find a way to fix things between her and her father as communication between the two have a small window that seems to be rapidly closing.

    The parts of the book I was immediately drawn to are the setting for the story, being a long time resident of Orange County in California, the reminders of the strawberry fields in Irvine, the John Wayne airport and the poetic way that Robin leads you into the story and magically paints a picture so well, you know it's real. Here's one of my favorite lines from the book, describing the ocean outside her father's cottage:

    "Erin could now recognize the waves' varying sounds. She knew, just by listening to the intensity of the waves' roar through the open kitchen window, when they were crashing against the rocks and sending a spindrift into the air. She also knew when the sea was at rest, simply breathing in and out, sending the waves rolling to the shore and then curling them back. Today the sea was feisty. With a curled-up fist, it hurled the white-capped waves onto the shore. The salty avengers tumbled far up the sand before receding in haste and preparing for their next pitch. (pg 177)."

    I received Cottage By The Sea compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster Publishers for my honest review. This is such a beautiful book to describe the love between a father and daughter and one that Robin shared through her own personal experience. This one will tug at your heart strings and reel you in with all the emotion from words found on the pages. It truly will be unforgettable for me and one I will treasure. This one rates a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and one that has found a permanent place in my library.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    Ashley

    Walks in with nothing but a thin, seethrough thong. She goes to brandon "plz do me hard!"

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2013

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  • Posted July 16, 2012

    My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Disclaimers: I received a copy of

    My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

    Disclaimers: I received a copy of this book from Howard Books in exchange for my honest opinion. Thanks for this opportunity!

    My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: This is the second book I've read by Robin Jones Gunn. I thoroughly enjoyed the first one I read by her and so I had high hopes for this one.

    The other novel I read from her was Finally and Forever from the Katie Weldon series and so this novel was very different in target audience and in the way it was written. However, Gunn's ability to create characters that I adored and a world that drew me in remained constant.

    The moment that protagonist learns that her father is ill she jumps on a plane to go see him. At that instance, I felt my emotions being pulled into the book and found myself attached to the story line.

    Erin left behind her husband and her business to take care of a father with whom she had a strained relationship. That was both touching and inspiring. And to all of those who have ever had an ill loved one, this book rings true.

    Brilliantly written and beautifully developed a novel that I definitely recommend and one that I absolutely adored.

    In Summary: A incredible novel that is bound to uplift and entertain. Definitely one worth reading.

    The Wrap-up: Gunn's novels are written in a compelling manner that hits home. A beautiful novel that was nothing like I expected and yet better in every way. Read this one for an entertaining read that is poignant and will have you laughing, crying, and cheering the characters on go. Basically if you pick this one up, you won't regret it.

    Love,

    Danica Page

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  • Posted July 13, 2012

    Cottage By The Sea Robin Jones Gunn Book Summary: Erin Bryce and

    Cottage By The Sea
    Robin Jones Gunn
    Book Summary: Erin Bryce and her best friend, Sharlene, count the day they start their wedding planning business as a very happy day. So much so that they name their company The Happiest Day to reflect the fulfillment of their long-held dream as well as their clients’ longing for a wedding celebration to match the exhilaration of being in love. As a bonus, the two women utilize their business to help Erin’s son Jordan and his fiancée, Sierra, plan a grand wedding. But the two friends aren’t prepared for the cloud moving in to cover the sunny, successful start of their business. Erin’s father, who lives in a small coastal Oregon community with his brusque, downright odd second wife, Delores, develops a medical problem that puts him in the hospital. Erin responds by rushing from Southern California to her father’s—and oh, yeah, Delores’s—cottage by the sea. What greets Erin when she arrives sends her tumbling down a bewildering path to a different kind of happiest day. Her journey tosses her through highs and lows of hurt and healing, betrayal and renewal, wrong assumptions righted, and the brightest future one could ever hope for. All just around the corner, at the cottage by the sea.
    This was a very well written story. It was moving, great characters, emotional and yet joyful in many respects. It was picture of an adult who cares for her parent as our faith exhorts us to care for the elderly and the ill. Robin Jones Gunn did a great job of providing a well painted picture of the Oregon coast and the cottage by the sea. It was a tear jerker at times and makes one think about how important relationships are to life. It also had an added bonus of tying in a different book’s characters which is always a gem for me. I love series and sequels. It is like seeing a long lost friend.
    I would like to thank Howard Books for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Awesome book.

    Awesome book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2013

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