Friday, April 24, 2020

Sunrise on Half Moon Bay

Title:  Sunrise on Half Moon Bay
Author:  Robyn Carr
Publication Information:  MIRA. 2020. 304 pages.
ISBN:  0778310094 / 978-0778310099

Book Source:  I received this book through NetGalley and a publisher's blog tour free of cost in exchange for an honest review.

Opening Sentence:  "Adele Descaro's mother passed away right before Christmas."

Favorite Quote:  "I am strong. I'm glad I'm strong. But my strength doesn't mean you or anyone has the right to treat me with such terrible, heartless malice."

Two sisters. One is married, has children, and a career as a lawyer. The other returned home years ago from college because of an unplanned pregnancy and an ill parent needing care.

Justine is the older sister. She is married, has two children, and has a successful, high-pressure career in law. Her husband Scott is the stay-at-home dad. Her daughters are teenagers soon headed off to college. Adele is the younger sister by about twenty years. She was pursuing a graduate degree, when an unfortunate romance and her parents' illness brought her home to Half Moon Bay, California. She stayed, both to heal and to care for her mother. Adele provided the care, and Justine provided the finance.

Eight years later, the marriage is in shambles, and the caretaking duties are at an end. Both sisters find themselves at a crossroads in life with the opportunities and the challenges presented by the need to start over.

My least favorite part of the book is the romance. I enjoy stories of strong women, making independent choices, and raising each other up. A loving relationship can be a beautiful part of a woman's life. In a story, it depends on the balance between the story of the women and the romance. This book finds a balance with even the romance being based first on friendship and collaboration. Unfortunately, it does incorporate one physical scene; that I am definitely not the reader for. On the other hand, the book for the most part goes where you might expect it, and with the ending you might expect it to have.

An interesting and unusual aspect of the book is the depiction of an unhealthy, abusive relationship in which the roles of the abused and the abuser are not the ones typically depicted. This sets me off to do some research to learn about the frequency such as the one described. I find that cases of abuse in which a man is a victim, as depicted in the book, occur frequently but are not as talked about as the much greater prevalence of domestic violence against women. Male victims often have a much harder time acknowledging the abuse and a harder time accessing resources because health care and other professionals may not as readily question a male as to whether injuries may be the result of abuse.

My favorite part of the book is the integration into the story of a workforce re-entry program for women. "They've all been held captive, of their own free will, of course, and yet when set free, they are lost. It didn't really matter if they were homemakers, moms, caregivers, whatever - suddenly they need work and have nowhere to turn." The challenges to re-entry can seem insurmountable and the counseling and resources these programs provide can be invaluable. The program not only impacts Adele directly in the story. In addition, through her experience, the book portrays the myriad of situations and demographics that the programs support.

Overall, the book is a beach read set in a lovely beach town. It does, however, incorporate enough substance to send me to do some research on some of the issues it highlights.

Sunrise on Half Moon Bay
Blog Tour

Author: Robyn Carr

ISBN: 9780778309482

Publication Date: April 14, 2020

Author Bio:

Robyn Carr is an award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than sixty novels, including highly praised women's fiction such as Four Friends and The View From Alameda Island and the critically acclaimed Virgin River, Thunder Point, and Sullivan's Crossing series. Virgin River is now a Netflix Original series. Robyn lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Visit her website at

Book Summary:

Sometimes the happiness we’re looking for has been there all along…

Adele and Justine have never been close. Born twenty years apart, Justine was already an adult when Addie was born. The sisters love each other but they don’t really know each other.

When Addie dropped out of university to care for their ailing parents, Justine, a successful lawyer, covered the expenses. It was the best arrangement at the time but now that their parents are gone, the future has changed dramatically for both women.

Addie had great plans for her life but has been worn down by the pressures of being a caregiver and doesn’t know how to live for herself. And Justine’s success has come at a price. Her marriage is falling apart despite her best efforts.

Neither woman knows how to start life over but both realize they can and must support each other the way only sisters can. Together they find the strength to accept their failures and overcome their challenges. Happiness is within reach if only they have the courage to fight for it.

Set in the stunning coastal town of Half Moon Bay, California, Robyn Carr’s new novel examines the joys of sisterhood and the importance of embracing change.

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