The House on Rockaway Beach – Emma Burstall

Two warring sisters are left Piping Plover House at Rockaway Beach by their maternal grandmother. Whilst the house, the area and their grandmother was very much part of their childhood, suddenly the visits stopped and it is many many years since they have been at the house or even visited their grandmother before she dies. Why would they be left the house now?

Flying out, Sophie and Celia turn up to clear everything out and put the house on the market to sell, splitting the money and going their separate ways. Celia wants the money to set her sons up in homes. Sophie is just looking for that something to help her settle. Celia it seems has the perfect life.

Nothing is as it seems between the two sisters, the house they are emptying or even the local residents of Rockaway Beach who welcome them albeit temporarily. When Sophie discovers a letter and then Celia drops her own bombshell and then promptly returns to the UK. Sophie is left stranded not knowing where to turn to find out the truth or if she even wants to know it.

Each sister seems to have different memories of their childhood and the events that took place, and it has perhaps formed their actions in their adult lives. Interactions between siblings are always a fascinating read when you are an only child, this book was no different. I did not warm at the beginning to either sister, one seemed to highly string, the other too wishy washy to stick at anything. However as the book progresses, along with the reader the main characters see their failings and also their strengths and how they can all perhaps start again.

Having read all of this authors books and delight at how they are all so different, the focus o the turbulence of friendships and relationships whether that be with family or not is at the centre of all her writing. She is not afraid to show the reality of such relationships and that not all of life can be wrapped up in a happy ending.

A great book to be swept away with.

Thank you to the publishers via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.

The House on Rockaway Beach is out now.

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