First Lines: "Newburyport Yacht Club, August 1955. 'Just this one dance, Lily. I'll be right back.' Charlotte hesitated. 'Feeling guilty', Lilian suspected."
Summary: Lillian Warwick is a difficult person to get along with. Some might call her curmudgeonly. But, she wasn't always that way. Once upon a time she was young and in love.
Lillian has been thinking about her past and remembering what it was like to be young and in love. All these thoughts lead her to climb the attic stairs to retrieve a box of photos and memorabilia. On her way back down, she slips and falls. She is unable to get up and must wait for someone to come. Luckily, her granddaughter, Sara, is bringing some groceries over so she doesn't have long to wait. Once Sara arrives she calls the ambulance. Lillian has two broken bones, one in her arm and one in her leg. The doctor will only release her from the hospital if she has around the clock care. Lillian doesn't like the idea of someone being in her home all day and night. But, if she wants to go home, she will have to put up with it. Her two daughters and her granddaughter will take turns caring for her. While she is bed ridden and recovering, she has plenty of time to think about the past. Will Lillian have the courage to share her mistakes with her family?
My thoughts: Lillian often has me shaking my head. How can she be so difficult all the time? I really enjoyed this story because it gave us a glimpse of Lillian before she was old and curmudgeonly. The story alternates between present time and 1955. It was during that time that she fell in love with Oliver Warwick. Unfortunately, Oliver has a bad reputation. He has been married before and rumor has it that he spends his time on unsavory exploits. Lillian's father has heard it all and refuses to allow Lillian to see him. Well, I won't give it all away, but since her last name is Warwick you can see that Lillian found a way through.
There are two other minor storylines in this book. One involves Lucy Bates. She is married to Charlie Bates and together they own the Clam Box. Lucy has been helping Charlie out in the diner for years. However, she recently went back to school to become a nurse. She is currently doing her training at the hospital. She has really been looking forward to practicing what she has been learning, but she finds dealing with patients much harder than she imagined. Also, juggling the needs of her husband and two boys is very difficult.
The other minor storyline involves Lillian's granddaughter, Sara. She is engaged to Luke and they are in the process of planning their wedding. Lillian does not approve of Luke. However, Luke is not afraid of her and does his best to ignore her remarks. The wedding plans are complicated because Sara was adopted by parents who live in another part of the state. Her birth mother is Lillian's daughter Emily. Sara wants to please everyone, but she just feels overwhelmed.
In his Christmas sermon, Reverend Ben encouraged his congregation to prepare for Christmas, the coming of the Christ Child, like you would prepare for a new baby in your home. I had never thought of Christmas this way before and it caused me to consider what this season would be like if I did that. With a new baby, especially a first child, there is a lot of excitement and also some fear. But, you also realize that there is no rushing a baby. He will come when he is ready and so you must wait patiently. This gave me something to think about.
So, another enjoyable story in this series. However, we are always left hanging on many issues which leads us to want to read the next story as soon as possible.