Member Reviews

Follow two mothers and their daughters into an adventure of a lifetime.

Jess and Alison have dreamed of living closer to one another for years, and Alison has dreamed of owning a bookstore much of her adult life. When the two opportunities collide, with the help of their daughters, they jump at the chance.

As much as I wanted to love this book, it fell flat for me. That does NOT mean it's the wrong book for you! I will say I am not much into women's fiction, so this book is probably perfect for that genre. The plot sequence is a great concept and has a lot to offer. However, I didn't FEEL the book. I read the words, I was told the feelings of the characters. As readers, we even get all four main characters' POVs. Yet I didn't feel emboldened with rage with Jess, I didn't feel broken with Julia, I didn't feel homesick with Caitlin. On a few occasions I can imagine myself as Alison. She was probably the most vivid character.

Thank you to the publisher for a digital ARC.

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This was a cute, decidedly superficial beach bookstore novel. It was generally well-written, but Kelly’s voice seemed to be more tell than show so it was a rather dry read. I enjoyed the premise of mothers and daughters and finding your way to where you are supposed to be.

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The Bookshop by the Bay is a standalone novel by author Pamela Kelley. Two women, best friends since childhood, create a special summer for themselves and their adult daughters when Jessica Coleman, attorney, comes home to Chatham, Massachusetts, with her daughter, Caitlin, to spend some time with her mother and friends. Jessica’s marriage to fellow attorney and law partner Parker Coleman when his straying creates a new family, has run its course. This separation is the precursor for divorce.
Alison Page has worked as editor for a regional travel magazine for years. Having divorced many years before, Alison and her ex, Chris, have created a close friendship as they raised their daughter, Julia. Almost too close as neither date but they also have no intention to reunite. When Alison’s boss, Jim, confides that the magazine is in deep financial trouble that will necessitate layoffs, Alison volunteers to go part time. Working at the magazine is not her dream job. What Alison really imagines for herself is owning her own bookstore. When the local bookstore is up for sale, Jessica proposes she will purchase it and Alison will run it. The building also includes a defunct coffee shop, a big plus.
Alison will manage daily operations, Jessica will do bookkeeping and legal work, and unemployed Caitlin will manage the coffee shop. Julia is building her own high end jewelry store but will help with advertising and promotion. Hopefully, all will be running smoothly by the time Jess and Caitlin return to Charleston in midOctober.
This is a well plotted tale of second acts and friendships. With well drawn characters and a lovely coastal setting, Ms. Kelley returns her readers to the Cape Cod area in a dynamic story of moving forward. I very much enjoyed this book and I do recommend it!

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The Bookshop by the Bay is like sitting with an old friend and catching up and is a great story about finding yourself and true happiness after facing the unexpected. The characters are likable, the storyline flows and the book was hard to put down. I loved the focus on the mothers who are friends and how their daughters eventually become friends as well.

This is a great, quick read about discovering your strength and building a family and life that makes you happy.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.

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Jess loves being a lawyer but the rest of her life isn't quite like she hoped it would be. She's in a marriage that seems to be on pause and who wants to live that way. She wants to talk to her husband and figure out what they can do to make the marriage work bit she soon learns he has cheated. Wanting to get away and process what she has learned Less takes off with her adult daughter to her childhood home of Cape Cod. While there she her best friend Alison is having issues of her own but hers has to do with her career. The two ladies start to lean on each other and take ownership of a local bookstore. As the weeks pass by they both have to figure out just where they want to end up and how can they get there. This was a lovely and emotional read that takes you on a journey of healing and moving forward in life.

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Love stories of bookshop and friends. Sometimes our life doesn’t go as planned and in this story of two friends they help each other through tough times and together they decide to run the bookshop. What a dream !! Marriage and life is hard but we can get the best sometimes in the end result.

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Fabulous Beach Read! 4 Women - 2 mothers and 2 daughters have the courage to start over and live out their dreams. Allison is laid off, but her real dream is owning a bookstore. Jess discovers her husband is cheating with someone in their law office no less. Jess's daughter was also laid off so the two decide to visit the cape - their original hometown. and the home of Allison, Jess's best friend. Perfect timing - the local bookstore and attached coffee shop are for sale. Jess feels it is the perfect investment opportunity and Allison is more than happy to run it. With her past experience, Jess's daughter is the perfect person to run the coffee shop. All 4 women are newly single. Can they find love again at the Cape! Great Book!
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for this advanced review copy. In return, I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

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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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