Series: Love Walked In #3
Published by William Morrow on March 6, 2018
Source: the publisher
Buy from Amazon|Buy from Barnes & Noble|Buy from Book Depository
The New York Times bestselling author revisits the characters from her beloved novels Love Walked In and Belong to Me in this captivating, beautifully written drama involving family, friendship, secrets, sacrifice, courage, and true love for fans of Jojo Moyes, Elin Hilderbrand, and Nancy Thayer.
On the weekend of her wedding, Clare Hobbes meets an elderly woman named Edith Herron. During the course of a single conversation, Edith gives Clare the courage to do what she should have done months earlier: break off her engagement to her charming, yet overly possessive, fiancé.
Three weeks later, Clare learns that Edith has died—and has given her another gift. Nestled in crepe myrtle and hydrangea and perched at the marshy edge of a bay in a small seaside town in Delaware, Blue Sky House now belongs to Clare. Though the former guest house has been empty for years, Clare feels a deep connection to Edith inside its walls, which are decorated with old photographs taken by Edith and her beloved husband, Joseph.
Exploring the house, Clare finds two mysterious ledgers hidden beneath the kitchen sink. Edith, it seems, was no ordinary woman—and Blue Sky House no ordinary place. With the help of her mother, Viviana, her surrogate mother, Cornelia Brown, and her former boyfriend and best friend, Dev Tremain, Clare begins to piece together the story of Blue Sky House—a decades-old mystery more complex and tangled than she could have imagined. As she peels back the layers of Edith’s life, Clare discovers a story of dark secrets, passionate love, heartbreaking sacrifice, and incredible courage. She also makes startling discoveries about herself: where she’s come from, where she’s going, and what—and who—she loves.
Shifting between the 1950s and the present and told in the alternating voices of Edith and Clare, I’ll Be Your Blue Sky is vintage Marisa de los Santos—an emotionally evocative novel that probes the deepest recesses of the human heart and illuminates the tender connections that bind our lives.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Unlike so many, I haven’t yet read Love Walked In and Belong To Me, so I’m just meeting Clare Hobbes for the first time as a twenty-something adult. When this story begins, Clare is about to get married, but she is having some major second thoughts. At the very last minute, a chance conversation with Edith Herron – a complete stranger! – is exactly what Clare needs to muster up the courage to break off her bad engagement and avoid what would for sure be a bad marriage. In a strange twist, Clare learns a short time later that Edith has sadly passed away and that she left her beloved home to Clare. Since Clare is now newly single and at a turning point in her life, she goes to stay at Blue Sky House for awhile. As Clare cleans up around Blue Sky House, she begins to look into Edith’s past by way her belongings. She learns that a large part of Edith’s life is clouded with mystery. Clare channels her inner Nancy Drew and calls on her best friend Dev, and the two begin to try to figure out the story behind Blue Sky House, the mystery of Edith’s past, and why Edith saw fit to leave such a large gift to someone that she barely knew.
Oh boy, this was the perfect book for me. This is the absolute perfect combination of contemporary women’s fiction and mystery. There are just a little bit of issues present in here, but the story has humor and enough happiness to offset any heaviness that threatens to creep close to the plot. The cast of characters is great. The story is told in alternating POVs: Clare tells her part of the story in the present-day and Edith fills in her part of the story from the 1950’s. Some of the story is what I expected it to be, which was so comforting, but there are plenty of parts that I couldn’t have predicted and a few twists that I didn’t expect.
What I loved most about this story is that I felt things when I was reading. I felt anger at literally every single interaction between Clare and her ex-fiance Zach. Regarding Clare’s best friend Dev, I loved everything about these two and I clearly need to go back and read the previous books because WHAT A GREAT CHARACTER in Dev! I love their friendship and I wonder so many things about the romantic relationship that they had before this book. I felt hope and excitement at all of the information these two uncover about the past. Everything about Edith’s character just made me feel reverence and respect, I could feel her strength coming off of the pages.
Feeling all of these things while I was reading was such an awesome feeling and just made me want to keep going for just one more chapter…until I closed the book and wished there was more story. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind another entire book. This is how I know for sure that I need to pull the first two books off of my shelf and go back and read from the beginning. Normally I start series books with the first book, but I was drawn to this installment because the blurb on the book cover said fans of Elin Hilderbrand, Jojo Moyes, and Nancy Thayer would love it. It was just fine to start reading with this book. Now that I feel like I know Clare so well (and Dev!), I want to make sure to go back and read Love Walked In and Belong To Me.
As wonderful as the story is, there are a few issues written into the plot, as with most women’s issues books. I’m not entirely sure how to address the domestic violence, possessiveness, and mental/verbal abuse here without talking for way too long about it and I don’t want to spoil the story at all, because I think it is typically most wonderful when a story unfolds organically. I don’t feel like the domestic violence part is difficult to handle, but it is a large driving force behind part of the story. The mental/verbal abuse and the possessiveness also loom large, and my gosh, I just have so much to say about this aspect of the story – unfortunately it is all spoilery. Just please know that I feel so strongly these are topics that should discussed appropriately and completely at book clubs and when friends read this book together. One aspect I’m hoping WILL NOT be left out is some sort of discussion on what happens when people DO intervene when they suspect these types of violence or aggressions, and the potential hazards or problems when people choose NOT to intervene. Because it is a choice when people do not intervene or to say something, and it is life-altering.
I’m going to stop on this because, spoilers. But this book is a good read, a delightful read, and the story is very discussable. I can’t imagine how delightful the first two books are, but I’m certainly going to find out. I want to know more about Clare and her younger years, her early life, and the parts of her life with Dev that aren’t in this story.