Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Publication date: September 8, 2017
When her beloved grandmother requests one last summer at Still Waters, the family cottage on Edisto Beach, Cora Anne returns to a place that haunts her with loss and tempts her with forgiveness. Peace means reconciling her family and her Edisto memories. But acceptance may mean loving the man determined to preserve a past she’d rather forget.
Cora Anne Halloway has a mapped out plan for her life. But when a roadblock is tossed in her way, her Nan offers her an alternative Cora Anne can’t get excited about. Returning to Edisto Beach, a place where so many things went wrong in her life, seems more of a nightmare than an opportunity.
Yet the lure of financing for graduate school lures her to the place she’s avoided for a summer of helping Nan organize the beach home. A summer that just might possibly heal all the hurt Cora Anne has harbored for years.
Lyndsey Brackett portrays Cora Anne’s fears, hurts, and remorse throughout this story. And each time the main character released a bit of her past, I rejoiced with her.
This family is so real. A mixture of chaos with three pre-teen triplet brothers, dysfunction with Cora Anne’s divorced parents, and fun with a cousin who shares a birthday and is more like a sister.
Then there’s Tennessee Watson. A man who has every reason to hate her but continues to show up. To draw her out.
This book drew me in and sat me down like a member of this family—both the blood relations and the community kind of family—and reminded me that while hurting is okay, letting it define the rest of my future is not. God forgives and forgets our sins and mistakes. How can we do any less?
I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
Award-winning writer Lindsey P. Brackett once taught middle grades literature, but now she writes her own works in the midst of motherhood. A blogger since 2010, she has published articles and short stories in a variety of print and online publications including Thriving Family, Country Extra, HomeLife, Northeast Georgia Living, Splickety Prime, Splickety Love, and Southern Writers Magazine Best Short Fiction 2015. Lindsey serves as Editor of Web Content for the Splickety Publishing Group, and she writes a popular column for several North Georgia newspapers.
As a mother of four chaotic kids, her home is always full of wet towels, lost library books, and strong coffee. Her love of family ties and southern places prompted her debut novel, Still Waters, inspired by her own love of Edisto summers and peach ice cream. Connect with her at http://www.lindseypbrackett.com.
- My grandparents actually met on a back road in Colleton County in the 1940’s. She was lost and he was bundling pine straw to sell. So that story inside the story is true.
- McConkey’s Jungle Shack—and they’re not kidding about the shack part—really does have the best fish tacos on the coast.
- Late in the book I reference a story about soldiers mistaking a loggerhead turtle for an enemy when the beach was being used as a lookout during WWII. This really happened and you can read about it in Nell Graydon’s Tales of Edisto, which I used for both reference and inspiration.
- We drive a blue minivan and it’s kind of well-known because the paint job was bad (thanks Honda) and we’ve never spend the money to fix it. So my best friend begged me to put the blue van in the story. It’s there, when Cora Anne and Nan stop at King’s Market, complete with a passel of kids. (I have four of those.)
- King’s Market has the best key lime pie. For real.
- My cousin Heather and I were born 18 hours apart, and our moms are sisters. Yes, she inspired Hannah. We spent (and still do sometimes) many weeks on Edisto with her family growing up. Our favorite thing was to hunt for sharks teeth and snail shells so we could make necklaces with our grandmother.
- The book is set in 2006 because I wanted a time period before social media’s invasion and before BiLo bought out the Piggly Wiggly. Edistonians are not coming around. They still call their only grocery store The Pig.
- The Edisto Island Open Land Trust is a gem I stumbled upon while researching what made the most sense for Tennessee’s philanthropic spirit. The EIOLT was the perfect fit since it’s all about preservation of the Island’s natural beauty, while empowering home owners to still be able to afford family property that’s been passed down for generations. The executive director, John, drank coffee with me one morning at the Edisto Coffee Shop and told me so much valuable information.
- Botany Bay (and that’s the Botany sentinel tree on my cover) was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Edisto took the brunt of the storm’s hit and the eye passed over the island. The entire first row of houses were left standing in water since the beach was pushed inland. But the community there is strong and resilient. They’ve been rebuilding and regrouping. The beaches will never look the same, but as my mama says, “That’s nature. And life. Storms come and you have to deal with the aftermath.” Or, as Tennessee puts it in the story, “Sometimes a storm’s what clears out the junk…”
- Edisto Beach still has a video store, probably the last one left in the country. It’s also one of two places in the town to get ice cream—unless you’re sitting on your own porch enjoying the ocean breeze and listening for the churn to slow down.
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