A visit to Hope Harbor brings back memories of many of the residents whose stories are in earlier books in this series. Each of the books in this delightful series can be read as a standalone, however, you'll miss out on the backstory of the other interesting citizens of this charming town on the Oregon coast.
The characters in Irene Hannon's books come alive on each page. She is gifted in creating characters and situations that the reader feels part of. When she describes scenery, I can picture myself right there.
It has been noticed by a few that Hope Harbor has a mystery woman in their midst. She makes rare appearances, however, when she does, her face is mostly covered with large sunglasses. She's been to the local coffee shop, The Perfect Blend, twice. Both times she looks uncertain about whether she should come all the way in or make a hasty retreat. Zach Garrett, owner of the coffee shop and curious about the mysterious customer, offers to prepare the same drink she ordered on her first visit, a skinny vanilla latte. As she hovers by the door while her drink is being prepared, Charley, known for his famous fish tacos, steps into the shop, bumping mystery lady with the door. Zach gets the impression Charlie possibly might recognize her. Zach is intriugued and even more so when he notices her later walking along Blackberry Beach, right outside the back of his house. She's easy to recognize with the large sunglasses. He learns she has rented the house next door to him.
Many residents of this close-knit community pitch in to renovate a house that will be called Hope House and will serve as a group home for foster kids - especially those of the same family, so they don't have to be separated. Zach's recently retired Aunt Stephanie comes for a visit and along with Zach is involved in restoring the house. Stephanie makes some new friends that cause her to re-think her retirement plans, including where she will live. As the pages of this intriguinlg book are turned, a surprising secret is revealed, a challengng family relationship is dealt with and life-changing decisions are made. I'm counting down the months until another visit to Hope Harbor takes place in the next book.