The second novel in Wendy K. Harris's series set at Blue Slipper Bay was as pleasantly warm as her first, The Sorrow of Sisters, which I reviewed here a few months ago. Having become acquainted with her style in the first book, I was very much looking forward to the publication of her second. And she most definitely doesn't disappoint.
Some of the characters I enjoyed so much from the first book are here again in this tale, and to that framework Harris weaves in the story of her main character in the second installment, Sophie, a woman still in mourning after the loss of her mother and her husband's adulterous betrayal. Sophie comes to the island looking for a place she can detach from her busy professional career in order to think. Her friend Jill lives on the Isle of Wight, and offers to take her in as long as it's necessary for her to recover. Jill, a psychologist in business with her husband in their budding clinic, turns out to have some very serious problems of her own, and before the end of the book the two women's friendship will be severely tested in ways they never imagined.
Nick, a man also recovering from a wrenching, unimaginable grief also craves the solace of solitude. His retreat from the world is so extreme he leads a monk-like existence. Nick is also hoping to find himself, and heal, on the island. As Nick and Sophie come to know each other a deep friendship develops, but one that's overruled by the caution of two people who've been hurt very badly. In the course of protecting themselves they run the risk of missing the opportunity of finding comfort in each other.
Throughout it all, the subplots tell the story of the characters from the first book, as well as some characters that have only sprung up in the second. A warmth runs through the tale,linking the locals to each other, exhibiting the depth of their caring and concern. That's not to say some of the characters aren't flawed, but the flaws they have are intensely human. By the end of the book the redeeming power of love and forgiveness is the prevalent theme, and all's well that ends well.
Blue Slipper Bay is another comforting read, and I look forward to the third installment in this wonderful series.
I interviewed Wendy K. Harris here.
And reviewed The Sorrow of Sisters here.
Blue Slipper Bay by Wendy K. Harris
Published by Transita