The Cottage at Glass Beach

by Jennifer


From the publisher: Married to the youngest attorney general in Massachusetts state history, Nora Cunningham is a picture-perfect political wife and a doting mother. But her carefully constructed life falls to pieces when she, along with the rest of the world, learns of the infidelity of her husband, Malcolm. Humiliated and hounded by the press, Nora packs up her daughters—Annie, seven; and Ella, twelve—and takes refuge on Burke’s Island, a craggy spit of land off the coast of Maine. Settled by Irish immigrants, the island is a place where superstition and magic are carried on the ocean winds, and wishes and dreams wash ashore with the changing tides.

Nora spent her first five years on the island but has not been back to the remote community for decades—not since that long ago summer when her mother disappeared at sea.

I requested The Cottage at Glass Beach because of the author. I had not ever read Heather Barbieri’s The Lace Makers of Glenmara, but it has been on my master to-be-read list, because I had always heard good things about it (and it’s available as an ebook at this writing for under $2, so now it’s loaded up on my Kindle ready to go).

Even though I’m not always a fan of reading about scorned wives, I do love books with a strong setting, which it seemed this one would have, as well as family focus, and self-discovery. The “scorned wife” part was the precipice to her moving her girls to her old family cottage for the summer, and it obviously has affected her view of herself and her circumstances, but we really don’t know anything about Nora Cunningham as the “perfect political wife” as the first paragraph of the review blurb on amazon states. The novel opens opens with her arriving at the cottage.

The entire description as written would not necessarily have drawn me to the book, so I’m glad I picked it up based on the success of her previous work. To me the strength of this novel is in the family relationships — reconnecting with her aunt Maire, finally confronting her thoughts on her mother’s abandonment/disappearance, and the ups and downs of her relationship with her daughters — open and trusting 7-year-old Annie and suspicious and sullen 12-year-old Ella.

There are elements of magical realism contained that keep the reader guessing (and which are never fully explained), but to me, reading is magic, so I never blink twice when those elements are present in a novel.

This is a lovely summer read, and I’m happy to say that we have one to pass on to one of you. Please leave a comment if you’d like to win. We’ll announce the winner in our giveaway column on June 13.
The giveaway is closed.

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Jennifer Donovan blogs at Snapshot about her family, which has recently expanded to include caring for her grandmother who lives in a nearby assisted living home.

Email Author    |    Website About Jennifer

Jennifer lives in Houston with her family. In addition to reading, she enjoys travel, Bible study, food, and fun. She blogs about some of these things -- when her nose isn't in a book -- at Snapshot.

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 bekahcubed June 2, 2012 at 1:18 am

I’m not really a huge fan of “woman scorned” novels either–but this one sounds pretty good. I like to push outside my comfort zone, especially if it’s only a bit outside of my comfort zone.

Can I win? ‘Cause I’d sure like to. :-)
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2 Liz June 2, 2012 at 9:54 am

Nice review. Enough to overcome my resistance to the scorned-woman genre.


3 samantha w June 2, 2012 at 9:54 am

This sounds good, would love to read


4 Diane June 2, 2012 at 10:17 am

This would be ideal for summer reading. many thanks.


5 Anne June 2, 2012 at 10:21 am

Thanks for this lovely book review and giveaway.


6 Coirnne June 2, 2012 at 10:27 am

This looks interesting! Thanks for the opportunity.


7 Diane June 2, 2012 at 10:31 am

A wonderful review and book which would be memorable for the summer.


8 Ellie June 2, 2012 at 10:56 am

An enjoyable novel that beckons me.thanks.


9 Cindi June 2, 2012 at 3:12 pm

The cover definitely makes me think
of summer and making the book one
to read now…
Many thanks, Cindi


10 paige bacon June 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I am always up for a good read.
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11 Sue June 2, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Sounds like an interesting read! Thanks:)


12 Colleen Turner June 2, 2012 at 6:12 pm

This sounds like such a good read!!!!


13 Joy June 2, 2012 at 7:11 pm

I need a good summer read!


14 Beth C June 2, 2012 at 7:28 pm

What a pretty cover! It looks so relaxing!


15 Tammy Gordon June 2, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Sounds like a good book!


16 Ruthie B June 2, 2012 at 10:10 pm

The cover makes me want to read it at the beach and I would love to. Thanks for the chance!


17 Mary Preston June 2, 2012 at 11:27 pm

It’s the family relationships that would draw me to read THE COTTAGE AT GLASS BEACH.


18 Barb: 1SentenceDiary June 3, 2012 at 8:35 am

Sounds beautiful. Perfect for the beach.


19 Sandra K321 June 3, 2012 at 9:02 am

This sounds like a good summer read (also sounds like some of the politicians in the news.)


20 karenk June 3, 2012 at 12:28 pm

thanks for the chance to read this wonderful story :)


21 Margaret June 3, 2012 at 1:41 pm

This would be an excellent read for this summer! Thanks!



22 Linda Kish June 3, 2012 at 11:44 pm

I would love to win/read this book. It sounds terrific.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com


23 Lori D. June 4, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Would love to win this one.


24 Van June 4, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Thanks for the chance.


25 Libby June 4, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Count me in!
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26 Susan Sinclair June 4, 2012 at 1:35 pm

I did read the earlier book and liked it. The relationships in that story were also very important to the story. I also liked learning a little bit more about lace. I had read the Brunonia Barry book (The Lace Reader) about the Salem family who had unusual abilities – some of them could read lace. I would love to receive a copy of a good summer book.


27 Jeff June 4, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Good read for the wife.


28 Carol M June 4, 2012 at 3:19 pm

I’d love to read this! It sounds good!


29 June June 4, 2012 at 4:58 pm

A little political reading, sounds good.


30 Jessica T June 4, 2012 at 11:58 pm

Looks like a great summer read!


31 Kathie June 5, 2012 at 7:24 am

Sounds like something I would be interested in reading!


32 Angela E. June 5, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I want to read this one for sure.


33 Garrett June 6, 2012 at 10:40 am

My friend would enjoy reading this.


34 Jennifer June 12, 2012 at 10:52 pm

You won! Please send me your shipping info, and I’ll have the book sent out.

Jennifer recently posted..What My Kids are Reading — Summer StyleMy Profile


35 Marilu Pigliapoco June 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm

What an interesting topic!


36 Chuck June 6, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Sure to be a winner.


37 Staci A June 7, 2012 at 10:08 am

I would love to read this over the summer!


38 Don June 7, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Sounds like another good one.


39 melissa n June 7, 2012 at 3:15 pm

sounds like something I’d love to read!! :)


40 Anita Yancey June 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Sounds like an interesting book. I would love to read the rest of Nora’s story. Thanks for having the giveaway.


41 nannypanpan June 10, 2012 at 9:16 pm

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