The Ocean in Winter

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Pub Date 06 Jul 2021 | Archive Date 03 Sep 2021

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Description

The lives of the three Emery sisters were changed forever when Alex, eleven at the time, found their mother drowned in the bathtub of their home. After their mother’s suicide, the girls’ father shut down emotionally, leaving Alex responsible for caring for Colleen, then eight, and little Riley, just four. Now the girls are grown and navigating different directions. Alex, a nurse, has been traveling in India and grieving her struggle to have a child; Colleen is the devoted mother of preteens in denial that her marriage is ending; and Riley has been leading what her sisters imagine to be the dream life of a successful model in New York City. Decades may have passed, but the unresolved trauma of their mother’s death still looms over them creating distance between the sisters.


Then on a March night, a storm rages near the coast of northeastern Massachusetts. Alex sits alone in an old farmhouse she inherited from a stranger. The lights are out because of the storm; then, an unexpected knock at the door. When Alex opens it, her beautiful younger sister stands before her. Riley has long been estranged from their family, prompting Colleen to hire the private investigator from whom they’d been awaiting news. Comforted by her unexpected presence, Alex holds back her nagging questions: How had Riley found her? Wouldn’t the dirt roads have been impassable in the storm? Why did Riley insist on disappearing back into the night?


After her mysterious visitation, Alex and Colleen are determined to reconcile with Riley and to face their painful past, but the closer they come to finding their missing sister, the more they fear they’ll only be left with Riley’s secrets. An unforgettable story about grief, love, and what it means to be haunted, The Ocean in Winter marks the debut of a remarkable new voice in fiction.

The lives of the three Emery sisters were changed forever when Alex, eleven at the time, found their mother drowned in the bathtub of their home. After their mother’s suicide, the girls’ father shut...


Advance Praise

“The Ocean in Winter is my absolute favorite kind of novel: wise, beautiful, moving, sad, rich. This magical tapestry woven from the lives of three sisters trying to reconnect to each other and themselves in the wake of their mother’s death does what the best fiction should: it makes you feel less alone on the trying, miraculous journey of being alive. I cried for the last forty pages—from joy and gratitude.”

-Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us and The Lost Family


“Tenderness, steel, and rage forge the relationships of three sisters in the aftermath of their mother’s suicide. The Ocean in Winter shines a light on the layers of grief which build up and reverberate for generations after a family tragedy. Author Elizabeth de Veer lays bare—with razor-sharp precision and lush writing—how in the face of family crucibles, we can collapse or become strong at the broken places.”

-Randy Susan Meyers, author of The Widow of Wall Street


“Three sisters, two resilient, one fragile, face their memories and pain in Elizabeth de Veer’s The Ocean in Winter, which combines exquisitely observed atmosphere with a page-turning plot.”

-Kathleen Gilles Seidel, author of Don’t Forget to Smile


“The Ocean in Winter is a deft and beautiful book, brilliantly crafted, thrilling, funny, and heartbreaking by turns. It’s about difficult sisters, shapeless yearnings, solitude, loss, the shadow of the past; about not knowing how to stop pretending, about losing control, about finding one another or … not. Its characters are vivid and real, their voices unmistakable. They stay with you.”

-Benjamin Rosenbaum, author of The Unraveling


“With sharp, tender insight, Elizabeth de Veer’s gorgeous novel lays bare the inner worlds of three sisters trying to cope with devastating, incomprehensible loss. I came to love these brave, flawed, easily recognizable characters as they reached for answers, and for each other, across some divides that could be breached and some that couldn’t. Fiercely intelligent and always engaging, de Veer does what the best novelists do: she takes the full measure of her difficult subject, and transforms it through some alchemy into hard-won wisdom and grace.”

-Elisabeth Elo, author of Finding Katarina M. and North of Boston


“Do we choose our memories, or do our memories choose us? That's the central question for the three sisters in Elizabeth de Veer's emotionally rich, incandescent debut novel. Ocean in Winter is a page-turner of a book with a family mystery at its core, and profoundly explores the ways in which women struggle to rebuild their lives after grief and trauma. You won't want to put it down once you start.”

– Holly Robinson, author of Beach Plum Island and Chance Harbor  

“The Ocean in Winter is my absolute favorite kind of novel: wise, beautiful, moving, sad, rich. This magical tapestry woven from the lives of three sisters trying to reconnect to each other and...


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-National reviews and interviews

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-Targeted outreach to readers of literary and women’s fiction

-Book club marketing

-Print and digital advertising

-Bookseller and trade show...


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ISBN 9781982674649
PRICE $27.99 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

After finding her mother dead in the bathtub, life changed forever for 11 year old Alex. With her father emotionally unavailable. it fell to Alex to care for her little sisters, Colleen and Riley. Years later, the sisters have scattered to the winds, each battling their own demons. with Riley seeming to drop off the face of the earth. Colleen hires a private detective to try to find her sister; then one cold March night, Riley shows up on Alex’s doorstep only to disappear again a short time later. There are too many questions surrounding Riley’s sudden reappearance and subsequent departure, leaving Colleen and Alex to wonder what Riley might be hiding. This book is hard to categorize; while it sounds as though it might be a thriller, in reality, it’s a story about a family trying to come to grips with the unfathomable loss of their mother

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A beautifully written and poignant book about three sisters coping with the profound effect their mother’s suicide has had on their lives since childhood. Each struggling to cope the best way they know how, Alex can’t escape the fact her sisters and father always need her, Coleen’ s marriage is in trouble, and Riley ran to Manhattan to become a super model. But now Riley’s missing and out of touch for too long Coleen hires a Detective to find her. The story flows back and forth through time told with the voice of all three sisters which really works as It grabbed me from the first page. The author is very knowledgeable about the disease of addiction, mental health and suicide. You’d expect the book to be dark and depressing with the subject matter but it’s anything but, instead realistically capturing the love of three sisters in an uplifting and loving way. I highly recommend The Ocean In Winter.

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The Ocean in Winter by Elizabeth de Veer is a subtle balance between ghost story and family dynamics. Written with a eloquent pace and tone, I was so content with this read.

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A captivating ghost story! But ghosts, in a subtle way, with much more beneath the surface. I loved this book. Writing was refined, and story engaging.

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The Ocean in Winter gives us first person accounts from three sisters in the aftermath of their mother's suicide. Heartbreaking, yet beautifully written.

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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the Kindle ARC. What an absolutely stunning debut novel! Ms. de Veer's book about three sisters - Alex, Colleen and Riley - is amazing. Very well-written full of characters with depth and feeling. When I saw this book offered on Netgalley, I knew it was the kind of book I enjoy the most and I wasn't disappointed. The story is dramatic without being overly dramatic and I felt as if I were reading about real people, not just people in a story. The three sisters have survived their share of heartache with the death of their mother while they were still young. Each sister takes a different path in life and faces her own challenges. The Ocean in Winter is perfect in describing real life while being highly entertaining, thoughtful and beautiful. I would rate this book on the level of The Dutch House by Ann Patchett - my favorite book of last year.

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This is a touching story of three sisters effected by their mothers suicide during childhood. The eldest, Alex, has always had the responsibility of "taking care" of the families needs after their mothers death. In the beginning of the book Alex is in India finally trying to have a life for herself. Alex inherits a home from an acquaintance which requires her to return. Colleen, the middle sister, seems to have a perfect family, home and life. You find out all is not what it seems. Riley the youngest, a beautiful model in New York, cannot remember much about their mother. Riley has her own demons to deal with. This novel describes family dynamics due to tragedy.

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I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Three sisters grow up in the shadow of their beautiful mother's suicide. As they face their own struggles in life, choices are made by each as to whether to follow in their mother's footsteps or to choose life. Poignant novel. The ending is both hopeful and heartbreaking.

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This is such a beautiful and eloquently written novel. I loved it! It’s about three sisters Alex, Colleen and Riley who lose their mother to suicide when they were very young. Each chapter is told in a first person perspective alternating between the three of them. Each coping with all that life throws at them in the best way they know how. Alex is a nurse hoping to go to India and use her skills to help the people there but her family always seem to need her and getting the chance to do what she wants for herself seems to come last. Colleen’s marriage is falling apart and raising two children comes with its own struggles. Riley is the youngest. She’s a model in New York. Her life isn’t nearly as glamourous as one would think. There a lot of topics that are very real in this book such as depression, mental health and drug addiction. There is also a lot of hope, love and determination. The dialogue is superb and so incredibly authentic. It was truly a deeply touching novel. There were a few times when the tears came on whilst reading. I hope there will be many more novels by Elizabeth de Veer. Thank you NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for an advanced copy of this beautiful book for an honest review.

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What a heartbreaking read. This is a novel of three sisters growing up after their mother's suicide. Part ghost story, part tragic family rebuilding. There are three narrators, each of the sisters, and the author did an amazing job detailing each of their unique experiences. This novel was deeply touching and felt so real. Being a woman who has lost my mother, I felt like I could connect to their grief processes throughout the book. At times this was a slow read but it could be that it was so emotionally heavy that it took me longer to process and move forward. Many thanks to Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley for the ARC copy in exchange for an honest review!

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The Emery sisters will forever live in my soul. Novels like this one come once in a lifetime, and boy am I glad I’m here to bear witness. Eleven-year old, Alex, finds her mother in a bathtub unresponsive. Even though she’s the eldest of the three sisters, she wanted to fall apart, but held it together to summon help for their mother. Unfortunately, Alex, Colleen and Riley were motherless. Their mother had committed the ultimate sin of taking her own life. What kind of mother would do something so heinous? What did her husband and children do to make her leave her family behind permanently? This is what Alex carried with her throughout her life, as did her sisters. Riley, the youngest of them, was a fashion model living in New York and doing whatever her carefree life afforded her. Her family hadn’t heard from her in years. When the girls were younger, they made a pact when their mother killed herself. They would always stay close. Hmm, that’s nice in theory, but you try carrying it out when life begins to happen. Colleen, the middle child, has the perfect life. She’s married to a successful lawyer, has two great kids and a great house and a great marriage. But, was her life as perfect as she thought? Colleen was worried. She hadn’t seen her baby sister in years nor had she spoken to her. She couldn’t understand why Riley wasn’t returning her calls or emails? She decides to take a trip to New York to go in search of her. Once she arrives, she soon discovers her sister is no longer living in the last known apartment address she had on her. The landlord refused to advise her of Riley’s whereabouts. So, Colleen does the next best thing. She contacts a private investigator. Once the ink is dried and the money has exchanged hands, Nate, the P.I. sets out to find Riley, and he’s successful. When he reports back to Colleen that he’s found her sister, of course, she’s elated with the news. While Colleen was paying for private dicks to find her sister, she had no idea that Riley showed up at Alex’s doorstep. There was no way for her to have known this fact. Alex was so thrilled to have her baby sister back. There was so much for them to catch up on. Oh, there's only one problem—and that, readers, is where our story skyrockets! This story unfolded like a poet’s words in motion. Each of the sisters’ stories were the fabric sewn together to make up the material of the plot. The Emery sisters were impacted by one vicious and selfish act—the suicide of their mother. Each of them was forced to carry a piece of their mother’s act that comforted them like a warm winter’s coat. de Veer did an amazing job in outlining the backstory leading you up to what these sisters endure. All I can say is have the tissue box handy because I cried like a baby in several sections of the book. You will see yourselves in these sisters’ lives. They will resonate so strongly with many of your souls. I was misty eyed a great deal throughout the story.

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This is a great book that tells the story of three sisters whose mother commits suicide and we see how that event affects them differently. Alex is a dedicated nurse who planned to escape to India. Colleen stayed near their hometown in Massachusetts and threw herself into being a wife and mother. Alex, literally a baby when her mother died, is a model living in NYC. Unfortunately, she also has a drug problem. Chapters are told by different sisters. The author’s writing style really pulls you into their lives with enough detail to make it interesting but not overdone. The ending was a bit of a surprise with a nice twist. Awesome story, well told!!!

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This is a story of three sisters, whose mother committed suicide when they were young, leaving them with a father who was too emotionally detached to offer them help to deal with the trauma. Each sister goes their own way when they are grown, living completely different lives, each one unique and unlike each other. The story is told from the three different perspectives of each sister. Though close when they were growing up, they grow apart in adulthood, each living completely different lives until years later they meet and try to reconcile their relationships and deal with the trauma that has been at the forefront of their lives for years. This is a sad story, but it is beautifully written. It is a story about love, loss, and suffering, and also about how tragedy impacts our lives not only when it occurs, but for long after. It is a story about sisterhood and repairing broken relationships. I enjoyed reading this story, it is very detailed, the writer does a great job of showing each sisters' distinct individual personality, bringing them to life. A wonderful piece of literary fiction, I give 4 stars and recommend this novel strongly. It is scheduled to publish July 6, 2021, so don't miss it. Thank you to Blackstone publishing and Net Galley for the free ARC e-copy of this novel, I am giving my honest review in return.

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I have reviewed this novel for New York Journal of Books where it will be posted the evening prior to the release date. "The Ocean in Winter" by Elizabeth de Veer Blackstone Publishing July 6, 2021 978-1982674649 Contemporary Fiction “The Ocean in Winter is a compelling, well-written debut . . .” The Emery sisters grow up in the small northeastern town of Amesbury, Massachusetts, with their father George, who is a postal worker, and their mother Suzanne, an artist. A normal, middle-class family, they are close and considered happy. That is, until one day when the girls return home from school, and Alex discovers their beloved mother drowned in the bathtub. At age 11 and the oldest, she shields younger sisters, Colleen, eight, and the baby Riley, age four, from this tragedy. This is when the family crumbles. George withdraws leading Alex to take their mother's place, caring for her siblings and keeping house. Everyone is bewildered, not able to comprehend why their mother would commit such a cowardly act. The thoughts that run through the girl's minds are: Did we do something to make mom do this? Does she no longer love us? Twenty-five years pass, and the sisters now live separate lives. Alex is a nurse living her dream working in a hospital in India. Unencumbered by a husband or children, she spends long hours helping those severely ill or poverty-stricken, believing she is making her way in the world. When she learns she inherited a house in Newburyport from an elderly woman who befriended her years ago, she departs from India to finalize the paperwork, planning to sell the property and return to India. Upon landing back in the States, she heads to her father's house, dismayed to see how withdrawn he is as well as now a hoarder of junk. Alex settles in her newly acquired property determined to fix it up so she can move on with her life. Colleen lives not far from their dad who still resides in the house where the girls grew up. Married with two preteen children who are her total focus, her life is in chaos when Eric, her lawyer husband, asks for a divorce. Feeling a failure, she wonders what her future will bring. Meanwhile she takes refuge at a friend's beach cottage while the kids stay in their dad's condo. Riley’s life is in New York where she experiences the hectic pace as a model gracing the covers of magazines, appearing in commercials and ads, and parading the runway in the latest fashions. Working tirelessly, she becomes dependent on opioids to keep her going. Though the siblings are miles apart geographically, they are close in heart, yet after months pass without any communication from Riley, Colleen becomes nervous. Has Riley lapsed into drugs again after having been in treatment? As suspicions lead to the worst-case scenario, Colleen consults Alex: "'It's been three months,' I say. 'Letters, emails, phone calls, texts, messages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Give me one of those, and I'm with you, yes, things happen. I get it. Two weeks? Three? Sure. But it's been months.' I pause to take a breath. Alex does not meet my eyes, which tells me that she's beginning to understand. 'Plus, there's something I didn't tell you. A couple of years ago, she had a drug problem.' "'What?' "'I saw her in New York. She was acting strangely, and she finally told me that she had just finished rehab. She asked me not to tell you and Dad.' Fearful Riley may be using again or would maybe opt for their mother’s solution, Colleen contacts her Riley’s apartment manager and learns she is no longer a tenant. She then hires a New York investigator, hoping he can locate her baby sister. They keep in close contact, and Colleen is relieved to learn he locates her sister, and she asks him to approach Riley to see if she is okay. When a major storm is predicted for the Northeast, Alex is concerned if her old house will withstand the heavy winds. The weather becomes eerie, and the power and cell service cut off, leaving Alex disconnected from the rest of the world. After hearing a knock at the door, she discovers Riley on her doorstep. "The Ocean in Winter" is a compelling, well-written debut with the title being more than significant for this riveting novel as it illustrates the emotions of grief, pain, and even happiness which are often synonymous with the cold, destructive, and mysterious sea.

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I absolutely loved this book-the idea of surviving the early death of your only parent, the impact it has on the sibling relationships and your own mental well being is explored thoroughly and wonderfully in this story.

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I enjoy a good sister novel and this book delivered big time for me. We meet and follow three distinct young women as they navigate growing up with the trauma of their childhood always present. This book shows the strength of those sisterly bonds but also the limits. Motherhood, depression and other life trials must ultimately be faced alone but it does help to have a sister to share it all with. There is a wonderful sense of place throughout with coastal northeastern Massachusetts always in the background with its changeable weather as the setting for the haunting. The writing is excellent, even a bit poetic at times. I will read more from this author who is new to me. This is mostly a character driven novel and at times I found the introspection repetitive and annoying as if the author didn’t appreciate the reader’s memory for detail but it is earns solid four stars for an enjoyable satisfying read with a bit of suspense and drama thrown in. - Mary

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A remarkably assured debut from author Elizabeth de Veer, The Ocean in Winter is the family-centered narrative of three sisters and their various attempts to cope in their adult lives after the suicide of their mother during their childhood. Alternating point of view chapters between the three show each in turmoil in different ways as they attempt to make sense of their lives and find answers as to what pushed their mother to take her own life. This is an honest and lyrical exploration of mental health, legacy, and the obligations of family that is at turns poignant and incisive. The main complaint I had personally was that certain sections seemed a bit overlong, leading to some plot points that were introduced and not entirely resolved by the end. However, this doesn't detract too much from the overall experience, and empathetic readers will find plenty to enjoy here. **I was given a copy of this book by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Blackstone Publishing**

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A beautifully, wonderful well written and poignant book about three sisters coping with the profound effect their mother’s suicide!. This story is told in a first person perspective alternating between the three of the sister's.... Alex, Colleen and Riley. I loved how real and raw this book was! Simply an amazing book! This was an incredible story of what can happen to those left behind after a suicide! I can't thank NetGalley, Blackstone Publishing & Author for giving me the chance to read and review this compelling advanced ebook!

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Three sisters. Bereaved and traumatised by their mother’s suicide when they were just children, the experience united them in a close bond that is put to the test when the youngest, Riley, disappears off the radar and they are desperate to find her. Now grown up, they each have their own demons to struggle with as they try to make sense of their early loss. I found it a compelling, insightful and very well-written exploration of sibling love and loyalty. The introduction of a supernatural element didn’t sit comfortably with me in a novel which is very much grounded on the harsh realities of adult life, but I felt the author incorporated it seamlessly into the narrative and I managed to accept it. It’s a haunting – literally – tale about the bonds that bind sisters and which can help them navigate an often difficult and painful world. A really absorbing read.

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A very well-written family saga full of tragedy and heart-break. It feels moody in all the best ways and really conveys the setting so well. It's heavy but not depressing and an impressive debut novel. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book.

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The Ocean In Winter is a spell-binding family drama and I enjoyed it more than I expected to! 🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊🌊 It's narrated by three sisters.... Alex - tired of being the responsible eldest. She's taken care of her family since the age of 11 when their mother committed suicide. She's planning to move to India, hoping for a more fulfilling life. Colleen - has a successful husband, two kids and a gorgeous house but her life begins to unravel when her husband moves out. Riley - a troubled model in New York who's struggling with addiction. Very character driven, which I LOVE but like most character driven books it does mean the pace is on the slower side. It has hints of the supernatural and some really stunningly beautiful writing. ** thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy. Available July 6th

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As a reader who lives on Boston's north shore, and whom has lost a family member to suicide, "The Ocean in Winter" really hit home for me. Elizabeth de Veer's detailed descriptions of the area are incredibly accurate, and appeal to all of the senses - transporting you into the world of these three grieving sisters. The writing is lush, emotional, and makes me eager to read more... it's hard to believe that this is de Veer's debut novel! Her acutely poignant depictions of the aftermath of suicide really capture the sense of loss, confusion, and open-ended grief that comes with navigating what's left behind. Readers can feel the struggle and the strife, and will hopefully walk away from this novel feeling empowered to face their own losses with bravery and grace. I'm happy to rate this title four out of five stars - my only criticism being that I found the third act somewhat predictable, and a bit long-winded. Thankfully, Elizabeth de Veer's incredible writing kept me invested until the very last page. I look forward to reading more from de Veer, as she's certainly a tour de force on the contemporary fiction landscape.

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I am one of 3 sisters. I have a daughter with the same name as one of the characters. This book called to me, and I got so much more than I expected. Beautifully written, it will pull you in from the beginning. What happens in our childhood will affect the rest of our life. Three sisters experience a traumatic, life altering event early in their life. They move on as best they can…until life brings them all to a point in their lives that changes are forced on them. A Father doing the best he can, but not really knowing how to parent. Alex and Colleen growing up much too fast, mothering Riley and trying to find their own way with memories haunting them. Riley, the baby, unable to overcome what happened to her at an early age and what she is doing to herself. Each come to a point in their life where change needs to be made regarding marriage, job decisions and lifestyle. This book deals with heavy subjects…addiction, mental health, marriage, parenting. It deals with family, love and loss. Don’t let the darkness of the subject matter put you off. It’s a beautiful story of family and coming together. Raw, honest, real….this story will rip your heart out and put it back together. I especially enjoyed the mysterious visitations. Grief is brutal and shapes our life.. past, present and future. I thought the writer did an excellent job of portraying the internal struggle of an addict and humanizing that struggle. The cover art was a perfect portrayal of this book. I look forward to this authors next book! Thanks to Ms. deVeer, Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley for this ARC. Opinion is mine alone.

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Alex, Colleen, and Riley were children when their mother committed suicide- Alex found her. They made a pact to stick together but life intervened and they went their separate ways into separate worlds, all carrying the burden of what happened. Now, Colleen has hired a private detective to look for Riley, who has disappeared. But she's turned up at Alex's door on stormy night. And then she disappears again. This is an unusual novel about sisters who have been wounded. No spoilers about Riley. Know that everything is not what it seems- from Colleen's happy life to Alex's thoughts. It's atmospheric- deVeer has captured conditions of storm on the coast- and even creepy in spots. If it's slow in spots (and it is) hang on for the characters, who are well drawn. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A good read.

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Thanks to NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for an egalley in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 This novel about three sisters forever enveloped in the trauma of their mother's suicide during their childhood was very slow in the beginning. The author takes us from the prologue to all the events that occurred in the weeks leading up to the climax of the story. You have oldest sister Alex who is called back from India to take care of the drama at home, middle sister Colleen who has decided to avoid the downfall of her marriage by looking for their youngest sister, Riley. Unfortunately, Riley doesn't want to be found and appears to be on a downward spiral. Can her sisters bring her back into the fold or will Riley be consumed by her secrets? My rounding up to 4 really comes because of the way the story evolved as we came closer and also surpassed the events of the prologue. I found myself empathizing with each of the sisters as they all alternate chapters. The Ocean in Winter is a promising debut from an author that will no doubt be on our bookshelves for years to come. Perfect for fans of Kristin Hannah, Barbara Delinsky, and Diane Chamberlain. #TheOceaninWinter #NetGalley Goodreads review published 25/07/21 Publication Date 06/07/21

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The Ocean in Winter is a beautiful book, both sad and beautiful. It's a story of three sisters whose lives have never been the same since their mother committed suicide when they were young. So there are definitely some triggers here; suicide, death, grief, abuse, addiction and drug use and it's not at all a light read. But, if you can brave through the difficult parts, there is a story about sisters, family, love and connection. I found myself caught up in the sisters; caretaker Alex, a nurse who wants to have a life of her own and journey to India, Colleen, a mother and perfectionist, whose marriage is crumbling despite her attempts to put it back together, and Riley, the youngest, a well-known model whose childhood trauma combined with a life of excess have her struggling with a drug addiction she can't break away from, and hiding herself and her secrets from her sisters. Although in my own sister line-up, I am the youngest and I did not suffer the trauma they did, I found I could identify with things about each character and was hopeful for them all finding some peace and happiness. There are some mystical and supernatural elements and for the most part they work and are not overdone, but add to the story. de Veer's poetic words brought the landscape of Massachusetts to life from the storm raging to the ocean waves to the creaking noises of an old house. I marked down several quotes that spoke to me, like this one: "Maybe all that has been happening in this house hasn't been from squirrels or bad wiring, nor spirits of former residents. Maybe these are my memories, hung around me like laundry on a clothesline. Do memories choose us or do we choose our memories? I don't know, but maybe a memory can put itself before you and insist that you reckon with it." Overall, I found The Ocean in Winter to be a book that drew me in and kept me reading, and caring about the characters. Mixed in with the sadness, there is hope and moments of joy. It's the author's first book, and I look forward to seeing what she writes next.

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Three sisters lives take a drastic turn when the oldest, Alex finds their mother dead in the bathtub and at the age of eleven, eight and four, these girls all react differently from the loss of their mother and while the book takes place in the current day as they are adult women and they are all dealing with different problems in each of their lives. One of my favorite things is when an author allows each character to narrate their own chapters and each get the chance to share the story from their point of view - I love how each women talks about the past, but they each share their own struggles. And I am always here for a story about family. I love to read books about siblings and their reactions to their childhood and how they can grow up in the same house and have different experiences. I also love to read about birth order and how that can impact a person as to where they line up in the family and I was making all sorts of conclusions about these sisters! I am going to keep it vague here because the synopsis does a great job of describing the story without giving away some of the big and small plot points which are best to experience in the story. I really enjoyed how the author built this story and the characters and was even more excited to find out after completing that this was a debut novel and have a lot of hope that there is more to come from this author!

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Three sisters are forever affected by their mother’s suicide when they were young children. As adults their questions about why their mother took her own life remain unanswered. Each sister has had to deal with their own personal issues and hardships. One sister more than the other two. At first I found the story a bit slow but once I got into the book it became quite a interesting story. There may not have been a happy ending for all but finally the three girls found peace and the answers to their questions.

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