Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Release Day! The Summer Cottage by Viola Shipman ~ My Thoughts #TheSummerCottage #NetGalley

Happy Release Day!


Congrats Viola
on the release today of
The Summer Cottage!

The Summer Cottage
by Viola Shipman

Print and e-book, 386 pages
Published April 23rd 2019 by Graydon House

From the bestselling author of The Charm Bracelet and The Recipe Box comes the perfect summer escape about the restorative power of family tradition, small-town community and the feel of sand between your toes.

Adie Lou Kruger’s ex never understood her affection for what her parents called their Creaky Cottage, the charming, ramshackle summer home—complete with its own set of rules for relaxing—that she’s inherited on Lake Michigan. But despite the fact she’s facing a broken marriage and empty nest, and middle age is looming in the distance, memories of happy childhoods on the beach give her reason for hope. She’s determined not to let her husband’s affair with a grad student reduce her to a cliché, or to waste one more minute in a career she doesn’t love, so it becomes clear what Adie Lou must do: rebuild her life and restore her cottage shingle by shingle, on her terms.

But converting the beloved, weather-beaten structure into a bed-and-breakfast isn’t quite the efficient home-reno experience she’s seen on TV. Pushback from Saugatuck’s contentious preservation society, costly surprises and demanding guests were not part of the plan. But as the cottage comes back to life, Adie Lou does, too, finding support in unexpected places and a new love story on the horizon. One cottage rule at a time, Adie Lou reclaims her own strength, history and joy by rediscovering the magic in every sunset and sandcastle.


My thoughts about The Summer Cottage ~~ 

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first lines.)

First line—"'There it is!' I said, rolling down the car window and sticking my head out."

When Adie Lou's world falls apart, she heads back to the one place that has been a constant comfort to her—her family's Creaky Cottage. When she decides to turn it into a bed-and-breakfast as a tribute to her parents and grandparents–her past–she remembers how important it is to follow and live the cottage rules. 

I have absolutely just fallen in love with every one of Viola Shipman's stories. The author takes some ordinary item, such as in the case of his first book, a charm bracelet, and in this case, a summer cottage, and weaves a warm, beautiful tale, full of love and lots of wonderful memories. They always make me stop and think about the treasures that we have in our family and the stories that they could tell. 

The Summer Cottage is the perfect book to read right now as we are coming up on beach-read season. You will become wrapped up in the lives of Adie Lou and Creaky Cottage, just like I did. I would so love to take a vacation there after reading this book. 

I received The Summer Cottage via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. 

About the author

VIOLA SHIPMAN is a pen name for WADE ROUSE, the internationally bestselling author of nine books, which have been translated into nearly 20 languages. Wade chose his grandmother's name, Viola Shipman, as a pen name to honor the woman whose heirlooms and family stories inspire his fiction.

Wade's novels include THE CHARM BRACELET, a 2017 Michigan Notable Book of the Year; THE HOPE CHEST; and THE RECIPE BOX. NYT bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank says of Wade and his latest novel, THE SUMMER COTTAGE: "Every now and then a new voice in fiction arrives to completely charm, entertain and remind us what matters.  Viola Shipman is that voice and The Summer Cottage is that novel.


Welcome! I am honored to be able to write novels for readers like you that are inspired by my grandmothers’ heirlooms, lives and lessons. The stories I write are meant to serve as a universal tribute to family as well as all of our elders, whose stories and sacrifices helped shape us and make us the people we are today.

I couldn’t be prouder of my new novel, The Summer Cottage, which publishes Tuesday, April 23. Like my previous novels,The Summer Cottageis inspired by family. In this case, the novel is inspired by childhood summers spent with my grandparents at their log cabin on the water in the Ozarks. (Read an excerpt here!) 

Growing up in the Ozarks in the 1960s and ‘70s, my parents would drop me off after school ended on Memorial Day, and I would stay with my grandparents – my parents visiting on weekends – until school started again after Labor Day. That old log cabin didn’t have a TV, microwave, telephone or indoor bathroom. We bathed in the ice-cold creek, and most of the meals we caught ourselves: Bass right out of the water and fried in my grandma’s cornmeal batter. 

So why did I opt out of summers with friends to stay with my grandparents? Because while that cabin may have been short on luxuries it was long on memories. And because during our summers together my grandparents’ only rule was that we all have fun. Together.

My grandma – a hardworking seamstress – and my grandfather – a former vacuum salesman – used to say that the only things we needed were innertubes, fishing poles, books, and each other. 

The cabin had a stone fireplace that smelled of smoke, and a tiny upstairs contained 10 cots to hold all the visiting grandchildren and relatives. But the best thing about that cabin on the water is that I got to know my grandparents not only as my grandparents but as real people. My grandma and I read to each other every day – from the Bible or a dime store paperback – and she encouraged me to write. I could always feel the love my grampa had for my grandma reverberate in every log, chink and mossy steppingstone in that cabin. My grandparents taught me that even the tiniest of cottages could feel like mansions if they were only filled with love. 

Those summers on the water and that cabin so influenced me that I moved from the city as an adult and bought a knotty pine cottage in the Lake Michigan resort town of Saugatuck (where The Summer Cottageis set!). That’s where I now write novels and recreate the summers of my childhood with family and friends. There are special places all of us return in order to reunite with family and escape from the real world, and The Summer Cottage celebrates those places and memories.

I may have a TV at my cottage, but I don’t use it in the summer. I have books, innertubes, fishing poles, a screened porch and the water. And every summer day I celebrate the lessons my grandparents taught me: That the best gifts in life are truly the simplest and that all we really need is each other to be happy. 

This is a novel that is meant to be shared among generations, just like a summer cottage. I truly hope you love The Summer Cottage, and that you not only read it on the beach or in your favorite hammock on the porch but also that it brings back wonderful memories and helps start new ones. 

I truly believe that the journey of the main character, Adie Lou, to finding happiness will resonate deeply with you, especially considering that as we age we too often realize we have lost our childhood joy and that playing by adult rules is not always the best path to happiness. That's why each chapter of the novel is centered around a beloved "Cottage Rule" of my family and my friends, such as: "Leave Your Troubles at the Door!", "Soak Up the Sun!", "Wake Up Smiling!", "Go Rock Hunting!", "Ice Cream Is Required!" and "Go Jump in the Lake!", simple rules that center us, remind us of what's most important and remind us to be a kid again. ~ Goodreads

For more about the author, please visit Wade Rouse’s official website

Connect with Viola

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1 comment:

  1. What a great review! It would be great if you would share this with everyone over at Books You Loved: May edition. Cheers from Carole's Chatter


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