From the bestselling author of The Charm Bracelet and The Recipe Box comes the perfect summer escape about the restorative power of family tradition, small-town community and the feel of sand between your toes
Adie Lou Kruger’s ex never understood her affection for what her parents called their Cozy Cottage, the charming, ramshackle summer home—complete with its own set of rules for relaxing—that she’s inherited on Lake Michigan. But despite the fact she’s facing a broken marriage and empty nest, and middle age is looming in the distance, memories of happy childhoods on the beach give her reason for hope. She’s determined not to let her husband’s affair with a grad student reduce her to a cliché, or to waste one more minute in a career she doesn’t love, so it becomes clear what Adie Lou must do: rebuild her life and restore her cottage shingle by shingle, on her terms.
But converting the beloved, weather-beaten structure into a bed-and-breakfast isn’t quite the efficient home-reno experience she’s seen on TV. Pushback from Saugatuck’s contentious preservation society, costly surprises and demanding guests were not part of the plan. But as the cottage comes back to life, Adie Lou does, too, finding support in unexpected places and a new love story on the horizon. One cottage rule at a time, Adie Lou reclaims her own strength, history and joy by rediscovering the magic in every sunset and sandcastle.
The Summer Cottage is a truly inspirational story about a woman who decides to turn her family summer cottage into a B&B when her marriage ends. While renovating Creaky Cottage, Adie Lou discovers hidden historic gems along the way. It was fun to learn the history of the cottage in each of the discoveries. She rediscovers the town of Saugatuck, where she spent every summer while growing up. She makes new friends; she even falls in love and even rescues a dog. Set on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan, the descriptions took me away. The cottage, lake and town were so vividly written, they could have been their own characters in the book.
The book is written in sections using Adie Lou’s grandfather’s rules that were to be obeyed while visiting the cottage, “wake up smiling” and “nap often” are just a couple. But, my favorite rule is “Everyone must be present for the sunset”. My favorite quote from the book comes from this rule which we should all to try to remember at the end of each day:
“Sunsets are like snowflakes. No one is the same, my mom said. We miss too many of them rushing around. They are celebrations because every day is an accomplishment, a blessing of epic magnitude that we all take for granted. No matter how difficult a day has been, a sunset proves that there is still hope and good things can happen tomorrow. See how slowly they seem to take, and then how quickly they fade?”
This book left a lasting impression on me. I highly recommend it.
I would like to thank Graydon House Books and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.