Two years after her husband’s death, Amanda Whittier has two children to raise alone, an abandoned dream of starting a business, and a fixer-upper cottage by the sea. She has no room in her life for anything else and little interest in moving on after losing the man she loved.
Paul Grant is a relative newcomer to the area, and his work with former military dogs needing rehabilitation has been good for the town. Though he loved once before, he’s convinced he’s not suited for romance and is determined to find meaning—alone—through his work and role in the community.
Widowed Maeve Lindsay was born and raised on Whelk’s Island. Spirited, kind, and a little mischievous, she pours her life into the town. But she carries a secret that shapes her every move.
Together, these three souls find encouragement in the most mysterious places and discover a love that’s bigger than their pain, healing their wounded hearts in ways none of them could have hoped for or expected.
I enjoyed reading The Shell Collector, a beautiful story that’s full of hope. The story opens with Amanda, and young children in tow, saying goodbye to her husband before he leaves on the military deployment that would claim his life. Her grief journey leads her to a beach cottage on Whelk’s Island to start a new life with her children.
Amanda and the children meet Maeve, a senior and widow who spends a lot of time at the beach. They become friends over the summer and share Maeve’s love for seashells. The lives of Amanda, Maeve, and Paul intersect in unexpected ways. The story highlights the importance of family, faith, and emotional healing after experiencing the loss of loved ones. The children and puppies in the story are adorable.
I recommend The Shell Collector to contemporary fiction readers who like inspiring stories that address hard issues, including grief, with a light faith thread and romantic elements in the story.