Kaitlyn Duncan comes to the blog with a story of family and the difficult relationships that we all experience with
Barefoot on the Beach
Expecting light and fluffy – this story never came close to that. Nuanced, layered and often quite deep, this is a story of a family full of broken relationships, dysfunctional communication and often unknowable choices with lingering effects. Renee, the elder sister in this family, is planning (last minute planning, mind) her little sister’s wedding. Cait is her half-sister, and while Renee loves her and would do almost anything for her, the wedding and her feelings about marriage were destroyed as a child after her own mother’s rather haphazard attention and bad choices. Furthermore, Cait never lived in West Cove, neither did her prospective groom, and there really isn’t a solid reason why it was her choice of venue except to have Renee, organized, capable and willing, to take over. No matter what the timeline.
Renee, meanwhile is dealing with the return of her high-school crush and first love, after spending most of her life after him in a guarded to hate relationship with the idea of ‘happily ever after’. From the stress from her sister’s arrival and dumping everything (including a dog) in her lap, to the reappearance of her mother, to Luc moving next door – emotionally Renee’s plate is full. Fortunately we are given plenty of information and backstory to understand the relationships and where and why they are in trouble, perhaps a bit more information than was strictly necessary as there were places where the storytelling slowed in the showing, but all of the information did point to chasms and causes- chasms and causes that are reparable and others not.
Throughout the story, Duncan manages to set the scene and give us plenty to work with – even with characters that are spoilt and unthinking (Cait) and a bit stuck in a rut and laden with hero-complex (Renee) and a totally self-indulgent and absorbed mother. Not to say that the men in the story are without their issues – quite frankly it seemed as if they chose the ‘women’ to fit their own particular brand of ‘dysfunction’ that allowed them to continue on. Far from relaxing, this is a deeper dive into humanity with all of it’s good, bad and frankly distasteful behaviors, reactions and the effects on relationships and personal psyches. Well-written, it’s not quite the ‘holiday escape read’ I was hoping for – but still solid enough to engage and distract with plenty of moments that may reflect on your own life.
Title: Barefoot on the Beach
Author: Kaitlyn Duncan
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga
Published by: HQ Digital
Published on: 29 April, 2020
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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Renee Clarke is perfectly happy just the way she is…
Renee may be thrilled to be planning her sister’s wedding, but after witnessing her mother’s two failed marriages, she has always vowed that she is better off on her own.
But when Renee discovers that Luc Hardy has moved next door, her world is knocked off kilter. Luc was her whirlwind summer romance as a teen and, more importantly, her first love. Now he’s back in West Cove, looking more handsome than ever.
There is no escaping the romance in the air this summer. With the wedding planning in full swing, Renee begins to believe that she might be able to put her childhood reservations about marriage aside.
Yet when her mother arrives, she stirs a torrent of emotions in Renee’s heart. She’s up to her old tricks again – boasting about her latest conquests – reaffirming Renee’s lack of faith in love.
As Renee’s happily-ever-after hangs in the balance, will Luc be able to convince her that true love can last forever?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.