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  • So many secrets.

    I received an ARC from Bookouture through NetGalley for an honest review. As a child, Zoey loved visiting her Aunt Ivy on Dune Island. When her Aunt Sophie passed away, Zoey saw how her Aunt Ivy wasn't herself. She overheard her cousin Mark talking and realized he was next in line to inherit the cottage and he wanted to put Aunt Ivy into a nursing home. Mark has plans for the cottage and wants to get it remodeled. The local carpenter is going to do the remodeling but can he be trusted. Zoey decided to stay and take care of Aunt Ivy. The book will keep you turning the page because there are secrets, lots of secrets. Gabi, Zoey's niece came to stay at the cottage while her father was in rehab and she had lost her mother to cancer. Gabi seems to have lots of secrets too. It is hard to decide who can be trusted and it is hard to figure out what is wrong with Aunt Ivy. Everything will be revealed and when a journal is found, questions will have answers and Zoey will have to decide what to do with the information she discovered. This is a book about family but one reason I liked it so well is that it isn't everyone gets along and everything goes smoothly. It is showing us who they really are.

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    15 person found this review helpful

    15 people found this review helpful

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Just beautiful

    Aunt Ivy's Cottage is a book that first enchanted me with the beauty of its cover. Once I opened the pages, I became equally captivated by the beautifully written story rich with family, love, and nostalgia. My favorite part of the story is the mystery thread that runs through the novel regarding the truth behind the rumors of events that happened roughly 60 years prior. They significantly impact events in the current day. I love a good mystery, so the need to know the answers compelled me forward and would not let me put the book down. There is even a bit of suspense, which is a wonderful surprise. After I finished the book, I could not help but ponder the what-ifs. What if this secret had come out when all of it began? How would the story be different? Would anything have been the same? I also enjoyed the characters. They are truly reminiscent of the different personality traits found in most US families and possibly worldwide. Mark is a rather unsympathetic character due to his selfish greed that is as destructive as disheartening. Zoey is the family's caretaker, putting everyone else's needs before her own and trusting to a fault. As the story opens, she has landed herself in a bad situation as a result of her trusting nature, but she's so together that I never doubted for a second she would land on her feet. Ivy is the matriarch of the family who loves to tell the old stories, play cribbage, and acts the grandmother's part, even though she never had children of her own. And Gabi, who is the teen niece of Zoey's staying with her aunt and great grand aunt while her father is in rehab, is wise beyond her years and manages to keep a stiff upper lip even when it seems like she is falling apart. The theme of grief is also a considerable part of the story, and Jessica's story within that theme moved me to tears with its beauty and its poignancy. It brings a whole new dimension to the story and the characters as they grapple with their memories and what little bits of grief remain. Ivy also deals with insurmountable grief over losing her sister-in-law and housemate for over half a century. It impacts her aging mind and body in profound ways. I found the look at aging and grief to be realistically unsettling. My only wish for the story is that the ending had turned out differently. It shows such an abrupt change in personalities that it didn't ring as valid as the rest of the story. I don't want to get into too much detail for the risk of spoilers, but it felt perhaps too rushed and tied up with a bow in a story that up to that point was anything but a neat little package. Aunt Ivy's Cottage will make you want to hug your loved ones and enjoy the old family stories with a renewed enthusiasm for all that is beautiful in love and life.

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    7 person found this review helpful

    7 people found this review helpful

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Family Secret

    Aunt Ivy's Cottage by Kristin Harper was a delightful and couldn't put down surprise. This was my introduction to Harper's work and I'm looking forward to reading more. Harper's writing flows so well throughout the entire book and she weaves complex familial relationships. The setting of this book was enough to draw me in. Set in a beautiful old house on Dune Island not far from Boston and Providence, RI. It reminded me of being on Cape Cod or Martha's Vineyard and admiring all the old, impressive family homes. I stayed for the great cast of characters, family drama and a mystery that grabbed me from the background. Zoey has lost her job and gone to visit her Aunts to help care for them. Zoey is also hoping to put her life back together after a break up that left her with very little money. Her cousin Mark seems to want to take the house out from under Aunt Ivy. Zoey's niece, Gabi, comes to stay with her as well. Zoey's sister, Jessica, was Gabi's mom. She passed six years before the book takes place but still is present in the family's memories. And there is a local carpenter that is handsome, a divorced dad and a true gentleman. Of course, the Aunts and their past play a big part of the story. This book is a super sweet and quick read. I think fiction readers would really enjoy it as much as I did. I wish the burgeoning romance with Nick had even more sparks! Looking forward to more romance in Harper's next books. You have to keep reading til the end for everything to be wrapped up! You'll never guess! Thank you so much to NetGalley for the ARC. #netgalley #AuntIvysCottage #Bookouture #KristinHarper

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    4 person found this review helpful

    4 people found this review helpful

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Sweet and Uplifting

    Aunt Ivy’s cottage wasn’t really a cottage but a rambling old house that sounded amazing. The description of the interior made me want to see it in person. We meet Aunt Ivy, Aunt Sophie, Zoey, Mark, and Gabi. Aunt Sophie had just passed, Aunt Ivy still lived in the cottage, Zoey was there because she lost her job and was taking care of Aunt Sophie. Mark was there because he was selfish and wanted to see what he could do about getting Aunt Ivy’s house and use it as an investment. Gabi was there because her father needed someone to take care of her since he was in an alcohol rehabilitation center. I liked all of the characters - well all except Mark - as we learn about their life and loyalty to family. Mark wasn’t loyal. Mark was only out to get what he could from the family and kept looking for something in the house. There must be some secret in the family's past. When Zoey finds something out, she knows it must be what Mark has been worried about anyone finding out. AUNT IVY’S COTTAGE is a sweet read that will warm your heart because of the lovable characters and how they put family first. If you need an uplifting read, this book will be perfect. And look at that adorable cover. 5/5 This book was given to me for a tour by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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    3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Beach House Romance and Drama

    This story is a multi-generational story about a family with a beach house on a coastal island near Rhode Island. It is a very moving story that grabs the reader immediately. The story is very tight until the end. While the reader can guess where the story is going, more than a little bit of the ending is surprising. I wish the author had more of a big deal about the ending and future plans. As it is, I was a bit disappointed. I loved the ending, but the book did not savor it at all. It was a ' here it is, goodbye' ending that I did not enjoy. I will read more of this author's work. I received this ARC book for free from Net Galley and this is my honest review.

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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