Drawing Home

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

Drawing Home is the perfect summer escape. Taking the reader to Nantucket, Jamie Brenner has created a story with drama, tension, art, romance and reality. 

When a young girl, Penny, is bequeathed an estate filled with valuable art, no one can reason why, especially the older NY socialite who believes it should be hers. Their battle takes on a life of its own and tears lives apart and puts them back together in surprisingly new ways. The dialogue in the book is very realistic, especially from the Penny, the young daughter, who has a hard time fitting in. 

Art is a major theme running through the book and acts as a character on its own. Art is soulful, calming, ever-changing and personal to the artist and the viewer. Romance, drug use, divorce, single parenting, secrets, OCD and small town charm are woven into the story. Brenner's descriptions of how the mind plays tricks with someone suffering OCD were very relatable. I was totally able to get into Penny's head. 

When readers ask for a summer read, this is the perfect pick. It's an easy read that offers a lot of bang for its buck.
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Author Jamie Brenner follows up The Husband Hour with a perfect summer beach read set in Sag Harbor, New York. Emma Mapson is a native. Like her father before her, she has works for years at The American Hotel where, as the front desk clerk, she welcomes guests and ensures that their needs are met during their stay. Famed artist Henry Wyatt has been a resident for a number of years and a regular in the hotel bar. However, he dies suddenly, leaving behind a mystery that touches not only Emma's life, but that of her young daughter, Penny. 

It seems that instead of leaving his estate to his best friend and former gallery partner, Bea Winstead, Henry has bequeathed his architectural masterpiece, a lush waterfront home, as well as the remainder of his assets to Penny! Emma was aware, of course, that Penny and Henry had a special friendship and the elderly gentleman was serving as a mentor to Penny, a talented and budding artist.  

But Bea is outraged and convinced that Emma and Penny somehow managed to coerce Henry into changing his will. She swoops into Sag Harbor with her assistant, Kyle. Worse, she takes up residence in Henry's house! 

Determined to uncover Henry's secrets -- and successfully contest the will -- Bea embarks on a search for the truth, and finds that Henry created sketches -- valuable in their own right -- and left them all over town. Some are framed and hanging in the hotel bar, some are in the local museum . . . Eventually, Bea realizes that the sketches tell a story -- one that Henry was certain Bea would piece together, because he knew her so well. 

Drawing Home is a charming, emotionally rich, if predictable, tale about enemies finding commonality and coming together with a united purpose. Each of the five key characters -- Emma, Penny, Bea, Kyle, and Henry -- is fully developed with a rich backstory that informs their current motivations and desires. The town of Sag Harbor is virtually a character in itself, owing to Brenner's descriptions of its history, landmarks, and what it means to residents and visitors alike.

As Bea moves closer to solving the mystery and it becomes clear that Penny is the common denominator, the two women, Emma and Bea, must come to grips with their own pasts in order to forge a meaningful future. As noted, the ending is fully predictable from the outset, but that does not detract from the enjoyment of experiencing the characters' journeys. Readers should abandon their preconceived notions about what it means to be a family, and throw Drawing Home into their beach bags this summer. They won't regret going along on Bea's scavenger hunt with her and Brenner's other characters.
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It's not summer until I read a Jamie Brenner book! This was such a wonderful story and I was instantly transported to Sag Harbor, Long Island. Her writing evokes such a strong sense of place. Well drawn characters rounded out the story. I enjoyed the character of feisty Bea Winstead and learning about the early days of the NYC art scene. Penny and her OCD was a real charmer and I loved Penny's mom Emma who gets to partake of a little romance. I was sorry to have the story end, but it was a satisfying end. Thank you to the author for the ARC.
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Well written perfect for summer read! I am a fan of Brenner and I wasn't sure what to expect from this one based on the description. I am not a huge art person so I was hoping that it wouldn't be a deterrent to the book and it wasn't.  Overall a good read, strong characters and perfect for anyone looking for a good summer read.
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Drawing Home is the third book that I've read so far by Jamie Brenner, (the first two being The Forever Summer and The Husband Hour), and I was so excited to read this book! I seem to be starting a yearly tradition of reading Jamie's books every spring or summer, as this is the third year, I've read a book of hers around this time, and I love this new tradition I have started! Also, the book did not disappoint!

One of the things that I love about Jamie's books (that I have read so far), is that they are set at the beach, (and, if I'm thinking correctly, during the summer as well.) I am all about beachy, summer books at the moment, and I want to read as many of them as I can right now as I wait to go on my beach vacation. This book definitely hit the spot with it summer storyline set at the beach, and it makes me want to be there even more! The storyline for this book was really great as well, and I was hooked as flew through the pages to see what would happen next.

This book also has a lot of interesting characters as well. I related so much to Emma as a mom, and also to her daughter, Penny, for her anxiety and OCD. They had such a great relationship, even though Emma was crazy busy most of the time, and Penny, being a teen, rebelled and acted out some times. I've been there, in both of their shoes, so that was definitely relatable. Bea is the character that I really had to warm up to, but she won me over by the end, and I'm so glad that she did. Kyle and Angus were great secondary characters as well!

Overall; I really, really enjoyed Drawing Home, and I am SO glad I had the opportunity to continue my yearly summer reading tradition by reading this book! It's great storyline and interesting characters had me hooked from the beginning, and I flew through the pages a lot quicker than I expected to. Jamie Brenner is definitely becoming an auto-buy author for me, and I absolutely can't wait to read more of her books in the future!

Happy Reading!
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Summer has started in idyllic Sag Harbor, and for Emma Mapson that means greeting guests at the front desk of The American Hotel. But when one of the town’s most famous residents, artist Henry Wyatt, dies suddenly, Emma learns he has mysteriously left his waterfront home – a self-designed masterpiece filled with his work – to her teenage daughter, Penny. But Bea Winstead, one of Henry’s lifelong friends, isn’t about to let that happen and she is making it her mission to make sure she gets what should rightfully be hers! Drawn together in their battle for the house, Emma and Bea are forced to confront the past while facing a future that challenges everything they believe about love, fate, and family. Review: I discovered Jamie Brenner last summer when I read The Husband Hour. I enjoyed her writing and this book was no different! She has a great writing style that easily transported me to The American Hotel and the glorious beaches! I loved the very real, yet tense family bonds and the mystery that occurred in Sag Harbor. I think my favorite part was the way she addressed the family relationships and the difficult issues within it with such grace and wrapped it up with a great ending. rating: 3.5 out of 5 ⭐️
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I reviewed this on my blog and will provide the link directly to the publisher in the next round of this process.
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I had read and enjoyed Jamie Brenner's previous two novels, but I wasn't sure what to expect from this one. The synopsis didn't necessarily draw me in as much as the author this time around. I am not an art enthusiast (as much as I am with music and theater), so that might have been the reason. However, I was pleasantly surprised by what was inside and I enjoyed the story from start to finish!

Throughout the novel, Jamie uses great descriptions of scenery and characters, bringing Sag Harbor to life. I liked all the characters (except one, but for a good reason). Both Emma and Penny were extremely relatable in their own ways. I even became teary-eyed toward the end. It's just a really sweet story that has some unexpected challenges and obstacles for the characters to overcome.

While I may not be into art as much, I used to draw a lot when I was younger. This story made me want to draw again, even though I'm not that good at it. 

I highly recommend this for a feel-good read this summer (and any other time of the year, just to get back into a summer mood).

Movie casting ideas:
Emma: Felicity Jones
Bea: Holland Taylor
Penny: Eloise Webb
Kyle: Scott Eastwood
Mark: Wes Bentley
Angus: Ron Cephas Jones
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Review will be posted on 5/28/19

Emma and her daughter live in Sag Harbor year round. As a single mom, she lives an average life and works at the famous American Hotel.  However, Emma's daughter, Penny, is challenging.  She is not only a moody teenager, but she also has OCD and anxiety.  Thankfully, Penny has found drawing to be a great outlet and has blossomed working with Henry Wyatt.  Henry is Sag Harbor's most important resident as he is a famous artist.  When Henry Wyatt suddenly dies, Emma and Penny's world is thrown upside down as Henry has bequeathed his beach front home to Penny.   This is obviously life changing to both Emma and Penny and Emma is pretty stunned by the whole turn of events.  To complicate matters further, Henry Wyatt's best friend and former business partner, Bea, comes to town determined to find out why Henry would have left his estate and the artwork inside it to a teenager. She finds it unbelievable and is determined to fight it.  This brings even more drama into Emma's life.  Just when you think Emma has things figured out, Penny's father comes back to town and wants to be a part of Penny's life and quite suddenly.  Drawing Home by Jamie Brenner isn't an overly saccharine beach read. It's set in Sag Harbor, which makes it the perfect beachy setting, but the issues that Emma and Penny deal with are serious. Nonetheless, the mystery surrounding Henry's will and the Emma's journey will tug on your heartstrings.

I really enjoyed the characters of Emma and Penny in Drawing Home despite their flaws.  I liked how Brenner depicted a complicated teenager and one that has some mental health issues. We need more of this in literature! I also liked that Emma was a single mother who is just trying to get by and raise her teenager as best as she can.  As the story progresses, readers slowly learn more about Henry Wyatt and his friendship with Penny.  Penny loved to spend time with Henry and learn about art as well as practice drawing. This helped with her anxiety and in turn, she shared with him her love of graphic novels.  I really enjoyed learning more and more about their relationship despite the fact that Bea was on a mission to take the estate away from Penny and discredit their friendship.

Speaking of Bea--what a complicated character! I disliked her in the beginning of Drawing Home, but I could understand where she was coming from.  I really can't blame her for questioning why Henry left his estate to a minor that he just recently met, so at times I felt badly for her.  She just goes about it all wrong and takes up residence (illegally!) in Henry's house much to her assistant, Kyle's, dismay. The more Kyle and Bea research Henry in Sag Harbor, the more they cross paths with Emma, and in turn, Kyle starts to show more interest in Emma than in helping Bea. So, obviously, this creates another set of problems for Bea.

I loved the historical town of Sag Harbor in Drawing Home.  It was beautifully depicted and came to life as an adorable seaside town that bustles with tourism in the summer. 

If you are looking for a smarter beach read with a lot of heart and less fluff, give Drawing Home a try. I have come to really enjoy Brenner's beach reads every year and this one doesn't disappoint.

Have you read any of Jamie Brenner's novels? If so, which ones are your
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When a teenager befriends a older man over a love of art, her world changes. This friendship will teach her a lot about life, friendship, and disappointments in life.
After she inherits this gentlemen's estate her world changes. A person from his past comes and feels the inheritance should be hers. As their live become entwined they will learn that the paths you take in life can change and it can be for the best.
An emotional book. 


** I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review**
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4 Stars!

...the people and places you discover along the way in life can be as significant-sometimes more significant-than the family you're born into.


Emma is a single mom who lives in Sag harbor and has a daughter, Penny. Emma works as a front desk hotel receptionist and is very comfortable with the way her life is going. Henry Wyatt is a famous artist and has been mentoring Penny while Emma works and Penny hangs out at the hotel. One day Henry passes away and Penny is in his will as inheriting his multi-million dollar estate. How can this be? She's just a little girl, why wouldn't he leave it to someone in his family?

Bea is Henry's close friend and former business partner. She hears of Henry's passing and assumes that since they were so close she would be inheriting his Artwork and the house, I mean who else would he give it to? When Bea learns it's going to a little girl she's never heard of, she tries to find every way to challenge Henry's Will to get what she believes is hers. Throughout this process Bea learns a whole lot more about Henry and even herself. Penny and Emma also learn a lot through this processes and how to navigate a hard mother/daughter relationship.

I was so excited when I heard Jamie Brenner was coming out with a new book. I devoured THE HUSBAND HOUR last year and this next book did not disappoint! The first 100 pages were a little slower for me. However, I realized as I was going through the last half of the book that the background buildup Brenner started with was necessary. I started to read this and thought it would be mostly about history/art, which being honest both are not for me, but this is so much more.

The thing I loved most about this book was the personal journey every single character took. Even if they were a "part-time" character (Angus, Kyle, etc.) they still went on their own journeys. Although these characters were initially pitted against one another, there was an underlying reason Henry put them together and it's amazing to follow along as they all get to the same place. At the end, each character was in a different place - a better place - from when they started and it really made the story feel complete.

I hope this book is on your summer reading list because if it isn't, it should be! This one is not like many other's I've read and I love when new topics are explored. Thank you to Little Brown for my ARC of this book. This one is out now so definitely go pick it up for the summer. You won't regret it!
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Loved reading about Sag Harbor as I know the area.  I love every single one of Jamie Brenner's books!  You really have to read this,  and then read all of her other books.  You won't be disappointed.
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It starts off as a typical summer in Sag Harbor for single mom Emma, the front desk clerk at a local popular hotel.  Emma is juggling single parenthood of her daughter, Penny, who has OCD.  All seems on course until a local famous artist who has befriended Penny dies and leaves her his million dollar mansion on the beach.  This seems like an incredible stroke of luck until the artist's long-time friend from New York shows up claiming she should be the rightful beneficiary of the artist's will.  Throw in Penny's dad who shows up suddenly after not being around for years, and you have an engaging beach read with characters so well developed you'll be rooting for Emma and Penny from the start.  The story is an easy read and it wraps up nicely If you haven't checked out Jamie Brenner's previous books, check them out - you won't be disappointed.  Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Drawing Home is a story of Penny, a young girl bequeathed a home from Henry, a retired artist who gave her drawing lessons for the past year. And it's not just any home - the home has a name, Windsong, and with the art contained in the home, it is more of an art gallery or museum. Penny lives in a small run down home on Mount Misery in the small tourist town of Sag Harbor with her mother, Emma, and aging ex-neighbor turned roommate, Angus. This home will be quite a change in all their lives. That is until Bea, Herny's former business partner, comes to town, claiming the house was meant to be hers to establish as a museum of his art. As if Emma didn't have enough on her mind with the legal issues over the house, her ex-husband, Mark, who rarely sees Penny, shows up and decides to pursue full custody of Penny. Then Emma loses her job due to all the drama of her personal life. Can Emma keep custody of Penny and work out the house issues with Bea? Or will her entire life change for the worse in one summer?

One of the main themes throughout is family, whether it is the one you were born into or the one you create by surrounding yourself with those you love. I love that this novel is it is told in order, which I find is rare these days. The reader gets many different perspectives, but it didn't rely on a lot of backstory or back tracking, unless one of the characters was remembering something. The characters are flawed, real and relatable and the writing was beautiful and easy to absorb. The descriptions of the town, boats, and houses made the book come alive in my mind. This is an uplifting story that is worth the read!
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Drawing Home is the perfect summer read.  It has family drama, friends who step up and some that disappoint, stressful situations, and unexpected angels that come to your rescue even when you don't expect it.  Jamie Brenner always develops characters throughout the book that evolve into important influencers.  They end up helping the people around them become stronger.   

The storyline of how Emma assisted her daughter Penny in trying to overcome OCD.  This struggle is so real for so many and definitely isn't easy to conquer.   It was realistic and well written.

You can't go wrong with any of Jamie Brenner's novels!   I received an Advance Review Copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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Emma, a single mom and her teenage daughter, Penny live in Sag Harbor, in the Hamptons, as townies. Struggling to accommodate rich Manhattanites,  Emma is a hard working employee at The American Hotel.  Emma and her daughter, a bit of a misfit, learn one day that a dear friend, who is a famous artist,  drops dead and leaves his multimillion dollar estate to Penny. The key to understanding this "mystery" of why Penny was left the inheritance will be pieced together as other characters show up to fight for a piece of the action. Enter ex-partner, Bea, who makes Cruella Da Ville seem a bit warm and fuzzy.  Then the ex-husband and father of Penny comes to town to suddenly be a father to Penny.  

Great writing, I felt the book had some sluggish parts which I wished I would have skimmed over. The story is a great beach read, and will end in a great place for the reader, but it lacked overall depth. I wanted to know a bit more about Tom, the bartender, which may have lent a bit more meat to the story. I really wanted less of Bea and the story of Bea and Angus simply didn't work for me. 

Over all, it was a pleasant read, and I would recommend it as a great little beach/vacation book.  Four stars for a great little book.
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An absolutely gorgeous summer beach story with a wonderful mother-daughter relationship, art, and enough intrigue to keep the pages flying. Incredibly atmospheric- I have never been to Sag Harbor, but now I feel like it’s my long lost home. A must read summer book!
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When it comes to great summer/beach books Jamie Brenner never disappoints. This is another great one.  A delightful story of a mother/daughter relationship and the trials it involves. Also shows us that not always are immediate family our only family. Highly recommend this heart warming book. 5 stars.
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Throughout the course of this novel you really feel for both Penny and Emma but your empathy is really low for Bea. You understand where she’s coming from but your frustration as a reader comes from her lack of wanting to see the other side. I’m not quite sure she ever saw Emma and Penny’s POV  it she came around because she finally understood what Henry was telling her through her drawings.

Ms. Brenner has a way with her words that lets you feel like you are in the room with these characters.

I loved every moment I spent reading this novel.
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The Husband Hour written by the author in 2018 was one of my 5 star favorites last year and I was eagerly awaiting Drawing Home. Mother and daughter, Emma and Penny are living a fairly ordinary life in Sag Harbor. Until the death of an artist who took a shine to the teenaged Penny leaves her his entire estate. As Emma tries to wrap her head around this news, a number of events and people make the single mother's life very difficult.

I felt Drawing Home was a compelling story that I fell into instantly even if I didn't like the characters all of the time. I wasn't as sold on a romance subplot with this one, in terms of Emma and another character. Personally, I felt she just needed to focus on her daughter. Overall, it was a good story that is the perfect beach read. 

Goodreads review published 08/05/19
Published on 07/05/19

Thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review.
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