The Bookshop by the Bay

A Novel

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Pub Date 06 Jun 2023 | Archive Date 10 Aug 2023
St. Martin's Press, St. Martin's Griffin


"Anyone who’s ever wanted to turn the page on their old life or felt the whispered promise of a new dream, and a fresh start will fall in love with Pamela Kelley’s charming new novel." —New York Times bestselling author Mary Kay Andrews


Jess loves her work as a high-profile lawyer in Charleston. But when her marriage implodes, she retreats to her childhood home on Cape Cod with her thirty-year-old daughter, Caitlin, hoping to regroup with her longtime best friend, Alison.


Alison’s career has taken a hit after twenty years as an editor for the magazine Cape Cod Living. But when she learns her beloved bookstore on the Cape is looking for new ownership, a new dream starts to form.


As the two friends reopen the bookstore, they also open themselves up to the magic of second chances.

"A wonderful multi-generational story about mothers, daughters, and friendship set in a quaint seaside town on Cape Cod. If you love talk of bookstores, delicious food and coffee shops, this one is for you!" —Rachel Hanna, author of the South Carolina Sunsets series

"Anyone who’s ever wanted to turn the page on their old life or felt the whispered promise of a new dream, and a fresh start will fall in love with Pamela Kelley’s charming new novel." —New York...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781250861610
PRICE $17.00 (USD)

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Average rating from 383 members

Featured Reviews

The Bookshop By The Bay is a heartwarming story about mothers and daughters and the changes life throws at you.

Two childhood friends reunite after one discovers her husband’s affair and future child. A marriage that had been of convenience is suddenly questioned. Jess goes back home to Chatham and reunited with her childhood friend, Allison. Their daughters, Julia and Caitlin, who never bonded the way their mothers did , find their way to a deep, strong friendship.

This is a novel about finding your way when life changes. It’s also about finding true love.

I enjoyed visiting the town of Chatham, MA. As a Cape Codder, I love reading novels by local authors. Pamela Kelley is a favorite and she’s hit it out of the park again.

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This was a great book. It’s all about reassessing your life, reaching for your dreams and not letting anyone treat your dreams as less than theirs. I liked the characters a lot. The writing is wonderful. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

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This is the first Pamela Kelley book I have read, but it was a great beach read. The Bookshop by the Bay is a sweet story of second chances and fresh starts when life doesn't end up quite as you planned. Thank you St Martins's Press and NetGalley for the e-ARC.

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A wonderful, refreshing read. A book about starting over and second chances at life. Like all of Pamela Kelley’s books, it was hard to put down once I started! Awesome beach read!

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This was such a great book. It was a heartwarming tale of starting over and finding a new path when things don’t go as planned. Read this book, you won’t regret it!

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I've been reading Pamela M. Kelley's books since her first one - I especially like her Nantucket series and hope she'll start a new series with all the characters in this book. I truly enjoyed it, and even though winter is here, it'll be coming out just in time for all you beach readers. Fun and quick book to read. Netgalley, so glad you finally are offering Kelley's books!!!

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This book is a must read. I will be recommending it as our common read for the summer once it is available. Pamela Kelly never disappoints and always keeps her stories interesting and wholesome. The four main characters in this book are at a crossroads and have decisions to make regarding their next steps in life. By the end of the book, they made the decisions that were right for them and reasonable to the reader. The characters are all well-devoloped, and interesting. As a reader, you will see what it is like to have real friends who support each other beyond what would be expected. A key point from the book that will be helpful to everyone, but especially college students is that you may not know what your passion is going to be in life. It is fine to major in one field and change to another. It is even okay to have a degree from a prestigious university and decide to be a plumber if that makes you happy.. Another point is that women should not settle when looking for a life partner.. Too many people think having anyone is better than being alone ,but these 30 years know better. I could not put the book down once I began reading it. I highly recommend it for anyone from their teens to their nineties.

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I really enjoyed this book. True independence and starting over is what made me read on. I wish this story would continue. I feel like i need to know more.

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The Bookshop by the Bay is the first novel that I have read written by Pamela M. Kelley. It definitely lived up to my expectations. It is a great beach read. The story is about two friends who are starting over in life. Jess discovers that her husband has been having an affair and spends the summer with her daughter, Caitlin in her hometown of Chatham, near Cape Cod. Her friend, Allison and her daughter, Julia are also at a crossroads. This a lovely book about starting over and making changes to one's life during midlife. It is uplifting and was a pleasure to read. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!

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Quick and fun read. I love how Pamela makes you feel like you are catching up with your old friends in her books. Loved seeing the growing friendship of old and new friends in this story. Definitely add it to your must-read list!

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This is a cozy feel good book about friendship and family. The beach setting was fun. I will definitely read more books by this author. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book in exchange for a review.

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I really enjoyed reading this book. Picture yourself on Cape Cod, in the summer, with your best friend nearby and you and your daughter staying at your Mom’s home! The story takes place in the picturesque town of Chatham. Two best friends decide to embark on a dream of owning a bookstore on main street. Don’t miss this one it’s a really lovely story about moving on with your life and following your dreams.

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I loved this story about two women and their daughters. All trying to find their place in the world. Changing love and careers and homes. Great ending!

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Loved The Bookshop by the Bay by Pamela M. Kelley! I just couldn’t put it down.

Pamela has a way of drawing you into her stories from the start. I’ve read many of her books and they never disappoint. The characters are interesting and so are their challenges. The setting of this book in Chatham on Cape Cod is one of my favorite destinations.

The pace of the book keeps the story moving along nicely. This is the perfect beach read or sit by the fire kinda book. I’m always sad to finish one of her books as I wish it would continue.

Looking forward to her next books.

Thank you NetGalley and St.Martin’s Press for this ARC for my honest opinion.

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The Bookshop by the Bay is sure to be a bestseller for Pamela Kelley. The story is about mothers, daughters and friendships. Jess and Alison have been best friends since their childhood when they lived in Chatham.. Jess married and lives in Charleston with her husband, working in his family law firm, Alison is divorced and lives in Chatham. Their young adult daughters Caitlin and Julia are not the best friends their moms hoped they'd be.

As Jess experiences heartbreak at home she decides to take Caitlin and go stay with her mother for a month in Chatham. Alison has always wanted to own a bookshop, and there is one in Chatham that is for sale. Jess wants a business venture and purchases the store for them to have together.

The characters of Chatham will steal your heart. The mothers and daughters forge a close relationship and the reader is rooting for them. This book could (hopefully) become a new series.

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What might have been a book of lost opportunities/lost loves was actually a fantastic and uplifting book about people taking charge of their lives. Lifelong friends are thrown together at a time of upset, and the way they turn their lives around is inspiring. The thing I liked best were these great characters who never stooped to an unseemly level when things fell apart. These women decided what they wanted and determinedly set about making it happen without tearing the problem causing part of their trouble to shreds. Fairness, dignity, hard work, friendship, and family are the foundation of this beautiful story that left me appreciating the author and her ethics.

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I absolutely loved this book! All of the characters were so well written, and the development throughout the story made me feel as if I was friends with everyone in the book. The whole time I found myself wishing I was right there in Chatham experiencing this for myself.

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When your world is falling apart, best friends are there to help ride life's waves. After Jess discovered the truth about her husband's late-night meetings, she needed to get away from Charleston. Taking shelter in Chatham, the brilliant beaches and childhood friends provided an oasis from the storm.

Through their own stories, readers will meet the mothers and daughters that are fashioning the bay. Julia's has her own jewelry shop and is on the cusp of an exciting chapter. Alison, is considering booking a new adventure. Jess' daughter Caitlin, takes on what is supposed to be a summer job but falls in love with the bay and its residents. At the end of her escape period, will Jess return to Charleston or has Chatham's still waters run deep?

In the storms of my own life, I was seeking a feel-good escape read. The picturesque setting and Pamela M Kelley's charismatic characters provided a staycation.. I've found a new author to add to my go-to list and look forward to checking out her backlist and future titles.

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This is a perfect beach’y read! I loved the characters and the setting. Definitely on my list to recommend to friends. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the early read.

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Jess finds out her husband is cheating on her and she and her adult daughter head North to her old home base to visit with Allison and regroup. Allison is going through her own challenges as her job is in danger of being cut. As the two besties commiserate and plan their future, their next act opens up as their old favorite bookstore goes up for sale. A new beginning for all four women as they forehead and open themselves up to new possibilities and new lives.

A great read and perfect for anyone who’s looking for that next act, or who just wants that good feeling that comes from reading about others finding it. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.

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Another wonderful read by Pamela Kelley! In the Bookshop by the Bay, you get to follow the story of best friends Jess and Allison, who are in their 50s, and also Julia and Caitlin, their daughters as they all navigate through life. You also get to meet a cast of characters ranging from their friends, to coworkers, to their families. Pamela’s books always feature such likeable and kind characters and that holds true in this story as well.

Pamela’s book are also so descriptive and written in a way that I feel like I’m in the book, and the characters are my friends. This book tackles important matters like divorce, being laid off, cheating, controlling relationships, friendship, and not knowing what you want to be “when you grow up”. Her books have the ability to transport you to the Cape while you’re reading her story.

A truly delightful story that kept me smiling and interested each page. Thank you to Net Galley for the advanced copy by one of my favorite authors Pamela Kelley.

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Seriously good! This book was a fantastic romantic comedy. The characters were lovable, and I was so sad when it ended. I loved it!

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