REVIEW: Chance Harbor by Holly Robinson
Contemporary women’s fiction at its best, author Holly Robinson excels at emotional storytelling that teaches lessons in forgiveness. When one event after another unravels this family, you’ll root for their success as well as dread what may happen next, all the while hoping the book will never end. Recommended Read!
Widow Eve MacLeish is cleaning out her summer home on Prince Edward Island in order to sell it, when she meets Darcy MacDougall with his sexy Scottish brogue and his dog Bear. Does she dare develop a friendship while in her state of mind of loving and hating her deceased husband at the same time? A sophomore in high school, Eve’s granddaughter Willow’s artistic soul discovers photography as an outlet. Little does she know that her new passion may save her from the insanity that is her life.
Willow’s legal guardian, Catherine, and her husband Russell, stepped in when Willow’s mother disappeared. Catherine has never forgiven her drug addict sister for abandoning Willow five years ago at the bus station. Meanwhile, Eve has never stopped hoping to find her daughter everyone suspects is dead.
When Russell announces that he may lose his job once he becomes a father, Catherine’s world begins to crumble along with Willow’s. Catherine isn’t the mother of Russell’s soon-to-be-born baby – the result of his affair with a student at Willow’s high school. As Catherine and Willow’s lives are spiraling out of control, Eve’s past begins to reveal itself. If the family can survive Russell’s indiscretion, how will they handle the rollercoaster of events to follow?
There is infidelity in this story, but no one is getting away with a simple slap on their wrist for it either. Their indiscretions tear their lives apart with a fair amount of fallout. I mention this for romance readers who dislike this plot device in their books. Normally, its inclusion in romantic stories sets me off on a tangent as well, but this time I feel it is very well portrayed and dealt with in a way that satisfied my agitation with the subject. Its presence within, as well as the happy-for-now ending for this book, suits women’s fiction with romance elements perfectly.
In many ways, CHANCE HARBOR is like a train wreck in slow motion, written so beautifully that you can’t help looking, even though you know there will be painful moments. I fell in love with these characters and their stories as they weave back and forth between their present and past.
I often dislike a book with multiple points of view that intertwine from present to past because I lose track of who I’m reading about and get confused. This wasn’t the case with this book that sunk its claws into me and wouldn’t let go. So addictive! The family drama sucked me right in. I love books that start off strong like this one and capture my interest so much that I hate being an adult who can’t just read all day and ignore my other responsibilities.
The emotion in CHANCE HARBOR is often poignant and the characters made me cry with them. Shocker after shocker kept me flipping the pages, often wondering if the next revelation will break them, or cement them together as a solid indestructible force. I was enamored with several of the characters, but I was especially charmed by the wise-cracking teenager, Willow, who seemed more resilient and perceptive than the adults.
I highly recommend CHANCE HARBOR to lovers of romantic fiction and family sagas. There are many more characters in this story who intrigued me and were an intricate part of the plot. I was so entertained by this family and their friends that I hated for their story to end. Superb storytelling that provokes the reader to laughter and tears, CHANCE HARBOR is a book you’ll remember with a yearning for more.
Review by Dorine, courtesy of Romance Junkies and The Zest Quest. Print ARC provided by the publisher.
Chance Harbor by Holly Robinson
Category: Contemporary Women’s Fiction with Romance Elements
Publisher: NAL (October 6, 2015)
Rated 5 out of 5 + Recommended Read!
Do you enjoy women’s fiction? What are some of your favorites?