Cover Image: The Bookshop by the Bay

The Bookshop by the Bay

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Member Reviews

Alison and Jess are childhood besties who are both going through big life changes. Jess and her husband are splitting and Alison is losing her job through downsizing. They reconnect in Chatham, MA for a summer and decide to open a bookstore and coffee shop. Also included in the tale are their two daughters Caitlin and Julia. This book has all the elements of a great beach read:mother-daughter relationships, midlife changes, best friend relationships, etc but it just read way too dry for me. The POVs switched frequently and it was hard to tell the characters apart, even when the POV changed. Sometimes it read more like multiple journal entries -down to what everyone ordered for dinner. I also found the whole-I left my cheating husband and bought a business but didn't tell  him and now I avoid him for months part to be a little unbelievable. Sorry, I can't find that too sympathetic.
That being said, this book was an easy read so may be perfect for the beach.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC  in return for my honest review.
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3.5 rounded to 4 stars

Thank you St Martin's for the gifted copies. 

The Bookshop by the Bay is a feel-good story about a group of women at individual crossroads who come together for fresh starts and second chances. The Cape Cod vibes make this perfect beach read for folks who enjoy wholesome, Hallmark style women's fiction.
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DNF @ 20%. There were far too many characters that this story was centering around, and none of them interesting. Unfortunate because I thought the synopsis looked cute!
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Highly entertaining, deeply emotional and exciting journey! Heartwarming journey filled with engaging charters, intriguing story line, witty banter, heart racing twists and unbreakable bonds. Really enjoyed this emotional and exciting journey!
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2 stars. This book was to slow of a buildup. I lost interest at 50% . DNF

***********************************I received an ARC for my honest opinion from NetGalley.**********************************
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The Bookshop by the Bay is a beach read about four women.  Jess, a successful attorney in Charleston, discovers her husband has been cheating on her and has gotten another woman pregnant.  Jess's daughter, Caitlin, has just lost her job.  They decide to spend the summer in Cape Cod (Chatham) with Jess's mother and Jess's lifelong best friend Allison, who really wants to buy a little bookshop they always loved.  Allison also has a daughter, Julia, who is Caitlin's age.

I wanted to read this book because it sounded like a perfect beach read.  It was!  I really liked all the four characters, although I felt we got to know Allison and Julia a bit less than Jess and Caitlin.  This is a heartwarming story of likable people making their way through changes in life and finding good things when challenges occurred.

I recommend The Bookshop by the Bay for fans of women's fiction and beach reads.  This is my first read by Pamela Kelley, but I look forward to reading more of her books in the future.
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I enjoyed it but the extreme detail about EVERYTHING was a bit annoying. And the thought "why would someone with a degree want to be a plumber?" Is why I'll probably never read this author again. What a horrible thing to say.
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Southern Charm meets Cape Cod Living. Best friends since childhood, each married with a daughter, Jessica and Allison are at a crossroads in their lives. Needing new direction and time to focus, they reunite on Cape Cod where they grew up. This summer read is filled with contemplations, confessions, and second chances. Kelley explores relationships between grandmothers, mothers, and daughters, budding new couples and divorced couples, stale acquaintances refreshed, burgeoning business partnerships, and unsupportive snooty friends!  Pack all these relationships into one summer on Cape Cod, add a struggling bookshop, and readers have a satisfying, hope filled read. The Bookshop by the Bay checks all the beach read boxes.
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The Bookshop by the Bay has a lot of things going for it. A gorgeous cover, a wonderful premise of a Bookshop and a coffee shop, two friends starting over, a summer book, and few authors pop in the novel as well. 

The story revolves around four women who are mother-daughter pairs. All of them want a change in their lives. The premise, as I said earlier, is excellent. However, there are too many characters added to the story. It's hard to keep track of who's who. It's a melting pot in a relatively small size novel.

Unfortunately, this novel was not for me. Having said that, if you are looking for a women's fiction with a quaint and cozy read, this will fit the bill.

Thank you, St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for this book.
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The Bookshop by the Bay contained many of my favorite elements—a Cape Cod setting, mature main characters, and a bookstore. This was a very enjoyable read with well-developed and likeable characters.  The Bookshop by the Bay is what summer reading is all about to me! Thank you, NetGalley, for the ARC of this five star book.
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A sweet beach read. A book about second chances, starting over and living your new life. Love the setting and of course, including a bookshop in the story is always interesting for those of us who love to buy books and read and love nothing more than small independently owned bookshops!
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Attorney Jessica Coleman is stunned when she finds out her husband has been cheating on her with a much younger woman.  She quickly leaves their home in Charleston and heads to Cape Cod to spend the summer with her mother.  It’s the perfect escape to clear her head and visit with her best friend, Allison Page.

Allison Page is going through her own difficulties when her job as a magazine editor is threatened with financial trouble.  Allison’s dream job is to open a bookshop but financially it’s not possible.  She’s thrilled when Jess arrives for a summer holiday.

Jess doesn’t arrive alone.  Her thirty-year old daughter, Caitlin, tags along.  She’s been jumping from job to job.  She needs a break from job hunting and Cape Cod is just the place to get it.

Allison’s daughter, Julia, is also going through a few things.  She’s trying to build her jewelry shop while her relationship isn’t working out as she’d hoped it would.  

The four women put their heads together and come up with a plan to purchase a bookstore and run it themselves.  They get much more than they bargained for including some romance thrown into the mix.

This book is a huge slice of life.  There are so many emotions running through this book for the four major characters.  They are all likeable, even if there were a couple of instances that I wanted to shake some sense into them, but mostly I felt for them.  They are realistic personalities with realistic life situations.

It’s a fast-paced book that actually left me both smiling and teary-eyed.  I really enjoyed the author’s writing style.  This is the perfect book to read at the beach.  I’ll be looking for more books by this author.

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a free Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.
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There are so many "bookshop" books out there and this one follows a very similar format. Heartbroken woman travels to a new town to reinvent herself and mend her broken heart. Jess is that woman and Cape Cod is the setting. The story follows two mother-daughter teams on their quest to find their passions and love. Jess and her daughter, Caitlin return to Jessica's hometown to spend the summer with her mother. Jess has just recently discovered that her husband is in a relationship with his receptionist and  her marriage is ending. This trip to Chatham is not like her typical summer getaway- Jess is in no hurry to return home. She needs a restart on her life and being in Chatham and hanging out with her childhood BFF Allison is exactly what she needs. 
The characters are fun to follow and the small coastal town adds a charm. The bookshop as a setting doesn't mean there will be a focus on reading and book selections. The shop becomes the catalyst for change and new beginnings. It's all about relationships and moving forward. Or course,  there will be happy endings and new loves. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
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“The Bookshop by the Bay” is a perfect beach read! I loved the charming Cape Cod setting, especially the numerous mentions of a longtime favorite restaurant, The Impudent Oyster. I found the characters—best friends Jess and Alison, and their grown daughters Caitlin and Julia—likeable and interesting, and I enjoyed this story of relationships and second chances very much. I think that what I liked best was that it was more about friendships and family connections than romance (although there is some of that too). How all of these women dealt with starting over, taking chances in careers and relationships, and finding their place after difficult changes made for a compelling read; the fact that most of the action takes place in a bookstore/coffee shop in a beachside town provided a perfect backdrop. Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book.
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❤️ #fridayiminlove ❤️

📚The Bookshop By The Bay🏖️Pamela Kelley📚

I adore books about books, bookshops, libraries, writers (you get the idea). There’s just something about this genre that feels both so validating, familiar, and cosy. Pamela Kelley has given us a lovely, warm, summer book to sink into with The Bookshop By The Bay you’re going to want for your summer beach/pool/reading bag! 

This is a story of getting the wind knocked out of you, of finding new opportunities where you least expect them, and knowing what true friendship really is. It’s going home, three generations of women under one roof in transition, see themselves and each other in new ways. It’s books and a beach, it’s ending relationships that aren’t working and leaning into ones that fill you with light and joy. 

When Jess is blindsided by gut wrenching news she leaves Charleston for the summer for home on Cape Cod. Her daughter Allison is in between jobs and decides to join her. Jess’s best friend Allison still lives in Cape Cod and is thrilled to have her back. When they find the local bookstore is for sale it seems out of reach, Jess isn’t staying and Allison doesn’t have the money. Can they work together to make it happen, and is the end result maybe even better than they’d dreamed?
I love the support that Kelley creates between these best friends, between mothers and daughters. It’s warm and comforting. I love how they’re all in different stages supporting one another, growing, reimagining a life that fits them. Initially the number of characters seemed overwhelming so it took a bit for me to plug into who was who. Once I did, this sung! This is available now, and a perfect summer read!!

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press @stmartinspress , Pamela Kelley @pamelamkelley , and Netgalley  @netgalley for the early copy.
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Here’s the perfect beach read—The BOOKSHOP BY THE BAY, by Pamela Kelley, bestselling author of women’s fiction. No one writes family sagas like her. Meet Jess and Allison, best-friends since childhood and their two daughters Caitlin and Julia. Who doesn’t love stories about multiple generations of women in a family? Jess’ grandmother will steal your heart. Each of these women has own problem, with either money or a man. No surprise there!
The scenic Cape Cod descriptions entice and call the reader. And on Main Street, there’s Chatham Books with a coffee shop attached. I loved the dialogue between a writer and the bookstore owner. What a perfect plot for a book lover. The author artfully weaves a story of true friendship, trust, second chances, and the value of grabbing opportunities to live a happy life. 
If you need a getaway, escape to the bay for a few days.
Out now. Published June 6, 2023.
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One star for the book. One star for Grace Burrowes showing up in the book. Five stars for my buddy read.

@readingwithmrleo was joking with me that this book was going to put her into a reading slump. But I think it actually did put me in one because I haven't liked the last 3-4 books since I finished it. 

All of the relationships for all the characters started falling apart in the beginning of the book. Then there were just WAY too many characters and POVs to keep up with. Once I finally figured out who all the characters were, I felt like more characters were thrown in to create love interests for the main characters and then it just got confusing all over again. 

This book was so hard for me to get through. The book's plot made no sense to me. Jess, who was going to get a divorce, decided to buy a bookshop and coffee shop because it had always been her friend's dream. It wasn't even HER dream. It would have made more sense if it was her dream, but she bought it thinking she wasn't going to stay at the Bay. 

Besides the plot and too many characters to keep up with, I just found the writing a bit lacking for me. It was hard to follow along and the dialogue and descriptions made no sense at times. Things that we didn't need descriptions of were described in detail; however, things that I would have liked a description for were not described at all. I didn't feel like I was in the bay or bookstore or picture anything about it. 

Overall, this book was not for me. While this was is my first book by this author I MIGHT give another one of their books a chance just in case it was the book I wasn't feeling. But I won't be going out anytime soon to buy this one.... or ever.
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The Bookshop by the Bay by Pamela M Kelly is a slice-of-life novel with a half dozen main characters. It had come to her attention that her husband’s assistant was pregnant and her husband was the father. She had known things weren’t right between then but had postponed the talk. Jessica hadn’t realized he’d been cheating. She had not thought him capable. She decided to go to her hometown on Cape Cod for a few weeks of stress relief, and she invited her daughter, Caitlin, to join her. Caitlin had had a bad day, too, between being fired and being dumped. They had lived in Charleston all her life. Caitlin’s parents were both lawyers, partners in the law firm her grandfather had started. She could do with a few weeks off, but that was not to be. It wasn’t too many days before her mother bought a bookshop, in fact, the entire building, which also housed a defunct coffee shop which they vowed to reopen. It had all happened so fast. They still both believed they would return to Charleston at the end of the season. 

Jess’s best friend, Allison, had just been cut to part-time and it was really her dream to have a bookstore, so the timing worked for her. Jess and Allison were both in their mid-fifties, not necessarily looking for romance, but not adverse to it. Caitlin was a young woman who had not yet found her spot in life. She found that the coffee shop was it. She loved her customers and they loved her. She also discovered that most of her friends in Charleston were snobs, not a lifestyle she was interested in. This was an entertaining novel, short on plot, but very long on characters. They changed that summer: being together and living a different life proved to be rewarding for all of them. A wonderful, easy novel. Feel-good. I recommend it. Beach/pool read.

I was invited to read a free e-ARC of The Bookshop by the Bay by St Martin’s Press, through Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine. #Netgalley #StMartinsPress #PamelaMKelly #TheBookshopByTheBay
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A wonderful Women’s fiction story of a mother, daughter, and grandmother and best friends.  There was a lot of different threads to this story and I enjoyed them all.  From Jess learning that her husband has gotten his secretary pregnant and realizing how far apart they have grown, to her daughter who seems to be drifting with her life in Charleston.  Mother and daughter  decide to go visit Jess’s mother in Chatham, a beach community near Boston, where her best friend, Allison, lives and works. While there, this book covers all the relationships of the various characters and how their decisions affect the storyline.  I so enjoyed weaving through different story lines to find everyone’s HEA. A wonderful beach read, it was unputdownable!  I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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It's time to load up your beach bag with some 'beach reads'. Pamela Kelley's new novel, The Bookshop by the Bay, would be great choice!
Jess's life is turned upside down when her husband admits to cheating on her. Jess decides to head home to Chatham, Cape Cod, where her mother and best friend Allison reside. It's also home to a bookstore - that might just be what be the friends need...

"Yes, but there's nothing like browsing a bookstore. Smelling through all those books, flipping through the pages and choosing the perfect one for your mood at that moment."

Jess is the lead character, with Allison right behind her. I quite enjoyed the depiction of their friendship and ideas about romance. Kelley gives the reader some generational romance as Jess and Allison's daughters also play a large part of the book. And Jess's mom is as well. There's a large cast of supporting characters and they too are well drawn. The characters are people you'd like to know in real life. (except for one or two!)

The setting is wonderful and I'd love to be lying on the beach reading the book I just bought at the bookshop, heading in to the coffee shop, perusing the main street and more. 

There's not a lot of surprise in how the plot progresses and what direction Jess and Allison's lives will take. But that's exactly what I was looking for - a wonderful escapist read where a 'happily ever after' ending waits.
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