Emily Ackerman has traveled the world, her constant compass and companion a book of letters her mother left for her when she died. With no father in the picture, her mom’s advice has been her only true north. But when professional failure leads Emily back to Nantucket to renovate and sell the family cottage she inherited, she wonders if her mom left advice to cover this . . . especially when her grandmother arrives to “supervise.” And especially when her heart becomes entangled with Hollis McGuire, the boy next door–turned–baseball star who’s back on the island after a career-ending injury.
As sparks fly between her and Hollis, Emily is drawn to island life, even as she uncovers shocking secrets about the tragic accident that led to her mother’s death. With her world turned upside down, Emily must choose between allowing the voices from her past to guide her future or forging her own path forward.
I enjoyed reading If for Any Reason and visiting the picturesque Nantucket island in Massachusetts, USA. Emily’s grandfather has passed away and she’s inherited the family beach cottage in Nantucket. The cottage is in a state of disrepair due to her family abandoning their summer vacations in Nantucket eighteen years earlier after Emily’s mom died in a car crash on an island road.
Emily’s mother left her a notebook full of letters she wrote for Emily ‘just-in-case’ she wasn’t around to see Emily grow up. The notebook is Emily’s most treasured possession and her source of wisdom when it comes to making life decisions.
Hollis was Emily’s childhood holiday friend from when she vacationed in Nantucket. He’s now a retired baseball superstar who’s struggling to build a meaningful relationship with his daughter. He’s always cared for Emily and was devastated when her family abandoned their summer vacations in Nantucket. Emily and Hollis reconnect as friends who could be more-than-friends when they discover they’re now living next door to each other at the beach for the summer.
Emily’s family background and relationships are complicated, and she’s determined to learn the truth about what happened to her mother eighteen years ago. She hires a contractor to repair and renovate the cottage and she ends up directing a summer kids theatre musical project at the town theatre that launched her childhood tv career and love for theatre.
During the story we also journey with Emily’s mother and father back to the summer of 1989. The family secrets that are revealed in the story challenge Emily’s faith and life choices. A fun and satisfying romance unfolds as Emily and Hollis wrestle with the big issues of life and the many obstacles in their path to happily-ever-after. The story has all the feels and includes many memorable kisses and romantic moments. If for Any Reason is a lovely summer beach read. Highly recommended.