Sunday, May 9, 2021

The Shell Collector by Nancy Naigle

About the Book:

Two years after her husband's death, Amanda Whittier has two children to raise alone, an abandoned dream of starting a business, and a fixer-upper cottage by the sea. She has no room in her life for anything else and little interest in moving on after losing the man she loved.

Paul Grant is a relatively newcomer to the area, and his work with former military dogs needing rehabilitation has been good for the town. Though he loved once before, he's convinced he's not suited for romance and is determined to find meaning – alone – through his work and role in the community.

Widowed Maeve Lindsay was born and raised in Whelk's Island. Spirited, kind, and a little mischievous, she pours her life into the town. But she carries a secret that shapes her every move.

Together, these three souls find encouragement in the most mysterious places and discover a love that's bigger than their pain, healing their wounded hearts in ways none of them could have hoped for or expected.

Read the first chapter here.

My Review:

I enjoyed this novel of healing of grief through relationships. I like how the two women, though a generation apart, help each other as they navigate loss in life. I like Maeve's wisdom and that she is a good listener. I like Amanda's determination to do what is best for her children. And my favorite characters by far, Amanda's children. They are so sweet and their enthusiasm for life is contagious. Would that all children could be so delightful after experiencing tragedy. But then, this is fiction.

I liked the setting and the times on the beach. Living on an island, there is something special about the ocean meeting land and Naigle has done well in portraying it. The possibility of romance is done well, contrasting an impending opportunity for Amanda and a missed opportunity for Maeve. I liked Paul, bringing gentle healing to Amanda's children. I do wish he would have been a little slower and more gentle in his pursuit of romance. Recovery in that area takes time and cannot be rushed.

This is a touching story about healing from grief. It highlights the importance of relationships and being open to asking for help. It explores the difficult task of letting go of the past and looking toward the future. While death is a major theme in this novel, its happening and recovery from it was handled well. Engaging characters and a touching plot make this a good summer read.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Nancy Naigle is a USA Today bestselling author whose many contemporary romance novels include the Adams Grove, Book Creek, and Christmas in Evergreen series. Several of her novels have been adapted to the television screen, airing on the Hallmark Channel and on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, including the popular Christmas Joy and Hope at Christmas.

She makes her home in North Carolina. For more information, visit

WaterBrook, 352 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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