Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Book Review: The Way Home by Katherine Spencer

This book is about new beginnings and redemption, but also about the good in people, even if you do not expect it from them. Angel Island is a sleepy tourist destination that serves as the setting of this novel. This book has two interwoven stories that present to the reader the basic message that people are good and sometimes you just have to trust that everything will turn out right in the end. 

One story describes how Avery Bishop, fresh off a big relationship and professional disappointment, seeks a new start on the island. She hopes to finally run the restaurant of her dreams and succeed at it, without having to compromise and see her dreams turn into disaster yet again. She stays at the house of Claire North, who runs an inn that she rents out during the tourist season. And while Claire’s life seems to have a quiet and regular flow, a visitor to the island creates turmoil that Claire could do without. But the visitor also holds the promise of closure that Claire has missed for a long time. 

So as Avery goes through the opening day jitters, prepping her staff, dealing with last minute preparations to get the restaurant ready for guests, she also has a visitor. But not from the past; her visitor is from the present and possibly showing her a future. It is Mike Rossi, who also owns a restaurant/diner on Angel Island. He inherited the diner from his father and now has run the restaurant for longer than even he expected. Less classy than the dining establishment Avery plans to open, the owner Mike Rossi nevertheless makes an impression on Avery at their first meeting. Mike also teaches her an important lesson in life on Angel Island; there is neighborly help first and anything such as competition between dining establishments a far away second, if it ever should come to that. 

As the reader follows these two stories and the ups and downs of the protagonists, the style of Katherine Spencer is transforming the book into a scene reminiscent of the light that came through Kinkade’s painting. While there is shadow, the light is always there and with it the overwhelming good in people and in life overall. I enjoyed this book. It is not fast paced and the ending is not the most surprising, but the story does show a very life affirming tone. I would personally recommend this book as a vacation read, when a light reading is required that can be put down and picked up whenever there is a rainy day and outdoors activities are not an option.

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