Review: The Bookstore on the Beach by Brenda Novak

Title: The Bookstore on the Beach by Brenda Novak
Publisher: MIRA
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Romance
Length: 432 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


How do you start a new chapter of your life when you haven’t closed the book on the previous one?

Eighteen months ago, Autumn Divac’s husband went missing. Her desperate search has yielded no answers, and she can’t imagine moving forward without him. But for the sake of their two teenage children, she has to try.

Autumn takes her kids home for the summer to the charming beachside town where she was raised. She seeks comfort working alongside her mother and aunt at their bookshop, only to learn that her daughter is facing a huge life change and her mother has been hiding a terrible secret for years. And when she runs into the boy who stole her heart in high school, old feelings start to bubble up again. Is she free to love him, or should she hold out hope for her husband’s return? She can only trust her heart…and hope it won’t lead her astray.


The Bookstore on the Beach by Brenda Novak is a multi-layered family-centric novel.

Mary Langford is thrilled her daughter Autumn Divac and her teenaged grandchildren Taylor and Caden are spending the summer with her. Autumn and the kids have been through a very difficult eighteen months due to her son-in-law Nick’s unexplained disappearance.  Her daughter has exhausted every avenue trying to uncover the truth about what happened to him, but she cannot bring herself to stop looking for him. Seventeen-year-old Taylor is struggling more than her sixteen-year-old brother Caden is with their father’s disappearance. She is also keeping a worrisome secret that she knows will upend her plans and upset her family. Will the summer along at the beach be just what the Divac family needs to heal?

Autumn is worn out with her unending search for her husband and the dearth of new information. She is ready to give up looking for him but she feels very conflicted about whether or not she is making the right choice. Autumn wants to do what is best for her children, but she feels like she cannot continue to live the way they have been for the past eighteen months. Easily settling into a comfortable routine, she is finally beginning to relax when she runs into her old crush from high school, Quinn Vanderbilt. Much to her dismay, Autumn quickly realizes she still has feelings for him. How will she react when she discovers Quinn feels the same way about her?

Taylor is living with regrets about a choice she made that might have lasting repercussions. Trying to push aside her anxiety, she quickly becomes close friends with Sierra. She greatly admires the plainspoken, free spirited young woman and they are soon inseparable. Sierra is very mature for her age and comfortable in her own skin. When Taylor knows it is time to face up to her mistakes, Sierra’s support proves to be invaluable.

Mary is unexpectedly forced to deal with a period in her life she would rather leave in the past. She has always been very tight-lipped about Autumn’s father and her life before moving to Sable Beach. Despite her reluctance to discuss the past, Mary realizes it is time to reveal her secrets to her daughter. But  will she find the strength to tell Autumn the truth?

The Bookstore on the Beach is a compelling novel that deals with true to life issues.  The topical storyline is engaging, thought-provoking and fast-paced. The characters are three-dimensional and very easy to like. The seaside town is tranquil and springs vibrantly to life. With a stunning plot twist, Brenda Novak brings this captivating novel to a heartfelt, gratifying conclusion. I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend this wonderful novel.

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Filed under Brenda Novak, Contemporary, Mira, Rated B+, Review, Romance, The Bookstore on the Beach, Women's Fiction

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