Member Reviews

I read this book in one sitting it was so good! I loved the characters and how they supported one another through their struggles. It was a little predictable, but was a cute story to read.

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If you’re in the mood for a light read with a generally happy ending, look no further! The Bookshop By The Bay focuses on a couple of generations of the women in two families who both hail from Chatham, Massachusetts, a town on Cape Cod. Jess, a lawyer, and her daughter Caitlin live in Charleston, South Carolina now but head for Chatham for the summer when Jess discovers her husband has been cheating on her. Caitlin is “between jobs” so the timing is good. Jess’s best friend from childhood, Alison, still lives there as well as Alison’s daughter Julia, who is a talented jewelry designer. Jess and Alison jump on the opportunity to buy and manage the local bookstore, whose owner wants to retire, as well as the cafe next door. The focus of the book is about how all four women come to terms with their lives and careers, as well as hints of romance along the way.

I love the idea of second chances and finding your way when life doesn’t go the way you planned. I also love that the focus is on the growth of both generations of women. There’s also a wonderful character in Jess’s mother/Caitlin’s grandmother, who also has found a new passion in photography.

While I received the eARC from NetGalley, I wound up listening to the published audiobook by Macmillan Audio. The narrator, Stephanie Nemeth-Parker, did a nice job with the many voices, both male and female.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Griffin for the opportunity to read an advance readers copy of this book, although I was quite late to it. All opinions are my own.

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The cover and synopsis drew me in, but I loved this small town beach read!

-small town
-beach read
-second chances
-Cape Cod setting

I paired the book with the audiobook format and loved this way to read! The narration was great.

*many thanks to St Martins Press and Macmillan Audio and Netgalley for the gifted copy

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Everything you want to find in a beach read! Fabulous descriptions of food and settings, scandal, family conflict, and characters becoming their true selves. This was a quick read for me and one that I very much enjoyed. I loved the sisterhood of the women and how they encouraged each other. The romance was nicely paced and the character easy to become invested in. This made for a fabulous read!

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Thank you, Netgalley, the author, and St. Martin's Press for the gifted e-book! ❤️ #gifted. My review is comprised of my honest thoughts.

Read this book if you like: Light reads, friendship stories, second chances

This was a light, fun, low drama beach read type of book. It was slow at times but still entertaining. This was a very wholesome, cozy feeling read about friendship and second chances. I recommend it!

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Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Griffin for a copy of this book. All opinions in this review are my own.

This is the first book I have read by Pamela Kelley, but it was a nice introduction into her writing. This book follows 4 people, two mother-daughter pairs as they work on opening a bookshop while also going through their own major life events. This book alternates between multiple points of view, which is something I really enjoy, but it is not written in 1st person, which did make it hard for me at times to figure out which POV we were in, like when two characters were in the same room where we follow them both. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing (I don’t have a preference on POV type), but it was definitely a hurdle to overcome at times. I liked how this book really focused on the growth of each person as an individual, and how they connected with the other characters. It wasn’t necessarily the type of book I always go for, as it was true “fiction” for “adults” and I am much more of a YA/fantasy reader, but because I am also a mood reader, this really hit the spot when I was in the mood for just some slice-of-life realism. It was a good book overall, I might read it again in the future, but I don’t know if its writing style was to my taste and that was the biggest issue I had.

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This page turner is perfect for a beach read. It explores fresh starts, relationships, second chances, and it involves a bookstore. I ran the gamut of my emotions while reading it.
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and to Netgalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.

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A nice easy to fall into kind of story. Julia and Caitlin leave Charleston for Chatham, Massachusetts. While there they discover new ideas, new people and perhaps new lives.
The book is about putting the past behind you and availing yourself to new opportunities. I liked all the characters, except Kyle and Phillip. They were jerks and I thought got off too easy, especially Phillip.
What could be better than owning a bookstore right by the beach?

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I enjoyed this light hearted summery book.

It was a fun storyline and the characters were well defined.

I love that the main premise of this book was a dream of buying and owning a bookstore, what a dream come true.

Jess and her daughter Caitlin, leave Charleston for the summer when Caitlin finds out her husband has been cheating on her. They're heading to Cape Cod where Jess has a friend who lives there. One thing leads to another and they've acquired a bookstore and coffee shop.

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Jess and Alison, friends for decades are each at a crossroads - Jess's marriage has taken a major hit and Alison's career has been thrown a curve. The two of them, and their adult daughters, all come together one summer, to work through these changes and make decisions about what they want to do next.

As a 50 something, I like reading books about characters near my age, going through real life situations and coming up with plausible solutions. I also found the two daughters, Jess and Caitlin, had realistic situations while they figured out aspects related to their lives. All four have personal and professional dilemmas, and whether they talked it out with others or came to their own conclusions, their journeys were interesting and insightful.

An easier read, The Bookshop by the Bay includes some good life lessons for women of all ages.

I received a copy of this book from Net Galley and have written an objective review.

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This book had a setting that I love and I wanted to love it. However the writing style was way too anxious for me, it felt like it was just 4 women's stream of consciousness without any breaks for plot. And there was so much repeating like how many times in the first quarter of the book do we need to cover the fact that Alison and Chris are just friends but that they spend time together to avoid dating, seriously we know this already. It got on my nerves like a weird acquaintece that won't stop talking and telling the same boring drawn out story. Honestly I'm being harsh probably but it should have been better

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Good summer beach read. Lifelong friends Jess and Allison have kept in touch but now spend the summer back in Cape Cod with their grown daughters. They are all four at a crossroads in their lives and enjoy their time together and figuring out what their futures hold.

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Traveling With T’s Thoughts:

This is a total case of the cover made me accept the Netgalley widget. I love book covers like this and the back of the book sounded great. I would say this book would work for readers of Susan Mallery and Robyn Carr.

What I liked:

Well, clearly the cover!

The dynamics between the 2 friends (the moms) and the 2 daughters ( the girls who are friendly, but haven’t become friends with each other) was interesting. Each person played a role in teaching the other about something.

The book was easy reading and I loved the bookstore angle.

What didn’t quite work for me:

There was a couple of times that Pamela M. Kelley was drifting toward some exciting conflict and then she just dropped it. I mean I knew this book would work out for the best in the end, BUT I craved a bit more conflict.

Bottom line: Light, easy reading. Maybe a bit confusing at first getting all the character names straight, but something that would work poolside.

*This book was sent to Traveling With T for review consideration. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone.*

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Three generations of women, two long-time best friends, a bookshop, second chances, and finding that maybe the path you belong on isn’t what you expected. Jess and Allison have been friends forever and now both their lives are at a crossroads. Jess decides to spend the summer in her hometown, and her daughter, Caitlin, who also needs a change, goes with her. Allison is at a crossroads in her career when she finds the town bookshop she loves is being sold. Could this be a sign for all of them? It was fun to watch as Jess, Allison, and their daughters explored new directions and found their way. The friendship and sisterhood were real and it made me want to jump in and become a part of their lives. This would be a great beach read but would also be great when you are craving friendship and summer by the beach.
Thank you to the publisher for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of the novel. All opinions are my own and freely given.
#thebookshopbythebay #pamelakelley #stmartinsgriffin

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Overall, this story was entertaining, but nothing really special, if that makes sense?

I enjoyed getting to know some of the characters, while others I would've been okay just passing over. I liked the small town feel and the friend group outings were fun to read. I didn't feel very attached to any of the characters, but I was hoping for happy ever afters for them all.

This was the first book by this author for me, and I am open to reading others. Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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An enjoyable summer read. The strong, supportive female characters are featured as they explore friendship, trust, second chances and the angst of making important decisions

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A second chance at life for women at different stages in their lives. A sweet multi-generational story centering around two families who are also friends where life hasn't quite turned out as they expected. There are hints of romance in this one, but don't go in expecting any steamy scenes. This is focused on two best friends, Jess and Alison and their daughters Caitlin and Julia who are all at crossroads in their lives. With Cape Cod as the backdrop, they are using this summer to decide which roads to take. Likeable characters and food descriptions that will make you hungry I'd classify this one as a nice cozy read.

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The Bookshop by the Bay was a great read to read while it is still winter out. First time reading a novel by Pamela M. Kelley but I will search for more titles to read by her. Had me cheering for each character. Satisfying ending. Just the read I was looking for.

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I received an arc of Pamela Kelley's newest book for an honest review. While I loved this book and its characters, the cover is very deceiving as I don't think the characters ever visit the beach.

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A great beach read, loved the atmosphere and the mother-daughter dynamics. And who doesn't love a book about bookshops? Sign me up.

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