Warning: Make sure you have plenty of Kleenex handy because you'll need them! This beautiful story is so poignant, emotional, filled with the love of good friends, and coming out of the other side of grief. You'll not walk away from this unaffected!
You’ll journey with Amanda Whittier and her children Hailey & Jesse as they start over in Whelks Island, NC two years after the death of her husband Jack. But what you'll find at the end is so much more than the beginning! They soon meet Maeve, the beloved lifelong town resident, and an instant friendship is struck. I see her as a very wise woman who's lived life to the fullest in spite of hardships, an eccentric older lady who loves fully, and gives of herself completely. I almost see her as an angel sent by God to Amanda and her children, touching their lives when they most needed it. I seriously wished she was real! I think in a way, she plays as big of a role in this story as Amanda does, their lives intertwined so much.
Then there's Paul, best friend of Amanda's husband Jack who also started over in this small town with a business that benefits it's residents, including the four-legged kind. He literally runs into this family while jogging on the beach and things get very interesting from there. All in a good way! It's a chance for him and Amanda to catch-up on old times and the possibility of a new love adds an extra spark. I really loved Paul, he lived through his own hardships and came out the other side better than he was. He's sincere, steady, rock solid for Amanda and the kids, unselfish, and an all around nice guy.
The end gutted me and that's where I needed my own Kleenex the most! The author wrapped this story up so incredibly beautiful, in spite of my heart feeling like it broke into a thousand pieces. But she didn't leave me without hope, because there's a sweet promise at the end that made me smile and know everything will work out as it should.
As I was reading this, it reminded me so much of Irene Hannon's Hope Harbor series of books. The small town feel, tight knit community of people, and the beach setting added so much character to this. If you're a fan of hers, I think you will enjoy this just as much. Make this is your next beach read because I highly recommend it!
In the endorsements, author Debbie Macomber describes this book as “A beautiful story full of love, loss, and second chances” and I think this perfectly sums up The Shell Collector.
*I received a complimentary early copy from the author and was not obligated to leave a favorable review. All opinions are mine. *
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 relative 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 on 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.