By Cindy Bilbao
Take a trip to Florida, Nantucket, and the Chesapeake Bay in three summer novels.
Mary Kay Andrews
When her new job offer suddenly disappears, Conley Hawkins heads back to her sleepy, quaint home town of Silver Bay on the Gulf Coast of Florida. The Silver Bay Beacon is the small newspaper that has been in Conley’s family for generations, and it reports more about designer labels the townsfolk are wearing than actual crimes. Conley dreads leaving Atlanta where she was a successful reporter, mostly because she hasn’t been home to see her family in six years.
Once home, her days turn eventful when a prominent Congressman dies in a fiery car crash that Conley witnesses. The reporter in her kicks in, as she looks into his past and connections to criminal activities. Conley’s digging uncovers a scandal that is national news but it also brings death threats. This mystery will keep you guessing, while the themes of love and family loyalty add depth to the story.
The three Fox sisters—Abbie, Emma, and Lily—grew up on Nantucket Island and have special memories of their mother who taught them how to beachcomb. After their mother died, each sister moved on, creating new lives for themselves in Nantucket and beyond.
When Emma suffers a devastating loss and ends up back home in Nantucket to recover, Lily calls her oldest sister Abbie back to help calm the turbulent waters of their lives. Their father Jim has rented out a cottage on the property to a young woman Marina, who is also going through a rough spell in life.
So begins a summer where the personalities of five adults living together sometimes clash, and each of the characters deals with life turning out differently from how they expected. This story is a charmer and will keep you turning the pages!
Anna Grace threw a cobalt blue bottle into the river in 1860 as a defiant act. As the years turn to decades, the cobalt bottle is tossed about by the tidal waters of the river as its broken pieces are pulled along towards the Chesapeake Bay, where they end up as sea glass.
Matthew walks the beaches of the Chesapeake Bay searching for treasures to use in his jewelry. When he finds a beautifully rounded piece of cobalt blue glass, he decides to make a pendant with it for an upcoming sea glass show where he will be selling his jewelry. Beth is desperate to get away from her controlling boyfriend and escapes by moving to a little town on the Chesapeake Bay. As she settles into her new life, to calm her nerves she walks the sands of the bay where she also finds a beautiful blue piece of sea glass.
If these found pieces of an old cobalt blue bottle could tell the tale of the people who held it, it would be this story that Sharon Brubaker has cleverly written. Sea glass lovers who have ever wondered about the history of their sea glass pieces will love this poignant story spanning centuries.
The author expertly weaves in interesting historical and regional geographical details while also sharing the art and enjoyment of finding sea glass. If you’ve ever been to a sea glass festival, you’ll recognize the excitement as Matthew prepares for the show and Beth visits the booths and listens to the speakers at the event. There’s a lot packed into this story that will capture the imagination of beachcombers of all types.
This article appeared in the Beachcombing Volume 38 September/October 2023.
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