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Beach Plum Island Paperback – April 1, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Beach Plum Island

“In this absorbing, big-hearted novel, Holly Robinson explores sibling bonds, love in middle age, and the intricate dance of a blended family. The painful past is everywhere in Beach Plum Island, but the present moment shines through.”—Elizabeth Graver, author of The End of the Point

“Robinson uses Beach Plum Island to explore the conflicts that can surface between brothers and sisters, half-sisters and half-brothers, and stepsiblings when divorces rip families apart and remarriages attempt to weave them into a new fabric.” —The Daily News (Newburyport, MA)

“A family novel with plenty of emotional punch. . . Robinson weaves each sister’s story into a tale of grief and love that explores the ways women adapt to expectations, the consequences when those become too much to bear, and the healing power of love. Along the way, she includes details that bring every scene to life. . . An uplifting but not overly bow-tied ending makes for satisfying reading.”—The Concord Monitor

“What a great cast of characters Holly Robinson has created in this fun and touching novel.”—The Good, The Bad and The Unread

“Anyone liking romance with a little mystery and the shedding of a few tears will enjoy this book as much as I did.”—Open Book Society

“Sensitivity clearly enables every character in this novel to grow, to expose grievous secrets and to create new life that erodes the tension too long lying just below the surface.  Lovely, powerful story that is well-crafted."—Crystal Book Reviews


“In Beach Plum Island, Holly Robinson's rich details transport you to picturesque New England and right into the core of the conflicted Barrett family. Robinson tugs at your emotions from the viewpoint of the three complex and very different Barrett sisters, through whom the author deftly explores grief, secrets, and shunned family ties. This story reveals the way people become stronger when they are together rather than apart, and proves that it is never too late to become a family. Beach Plum Island is a triumphant family saga filled with heart and hope. I couldn't put it down!”—Amy Sue Nathan, author of The Glass Wives

“Holly Robinson is a natural-born storyteller and her tale of three mismatched sisters and the lost brother they search for will keep you turning those pages as she quietly but deftly breaks your heart. I loved every single one of her characters and you will too; here is a novel to savor and share.”—Yona Zeldis McDonough, author of Two of A Kind

 

About the Author

Holly Robinson is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in Better Homes and Gardens, Family Circle, Huffington Post, Ladies' Home Journal, More, Open Salon, and Parents. She is the author of one previous novel, The Wishing Hill and a memoir, The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter. Robinson holds a B.A. in biology from Clark University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She and her husband have five children, two cats, a grumpy hamster, and two very stubborn small dogs.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: NAL (April 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451241029
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451241023
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I never meant to be a writer. I studied biology in college because I wanted to be a doctor - preferably one of those doctors who's always jetting off to villages in Africa to save thousands of lives in a single weekend. But life intervened during my last semester of college, when I chose a class in creative writing.

From the moment I sat down to write, I became completely absorbed in my work. While I was writing, seven hours could pass like seven minutes. To the horror of my parents, I abandoned the idea of medical school to become a writer, promising that, if I didn't get to be rich or famous in, oh, a year or so, I'd let common sense rule and find a real career.

Of course, none of that happened. A year went by. Two. Then more. As I became even more engrossed in the writing process, I did what all writers do to support my secret habit: I worked a thousand odd jobs, from proofreading telephone books (really) to construction. I kept writing, filling up the corners of my life and lots of paper with words.

Then one day, as I was driving home from the grocery store, a title floated across the windshield of my car: The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter. After I finished laughing, my mouth went dry. I knew I had the title of my first book, which sets out to answer this question: How did my father, a career Navy man, end up on a farm with 9,000 gerbils?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Deanna L. Fisher on April 1, 2014
Format: Paperback
**Review Copy Provided by Author via Goodreads**

When I got my first look at the cover for Plum Beach Island, my immediate thought was that it would whimsical, flirty, a light kind of read. But having previously read Holly Robinson’s work, I knew that wasn’t going to be the case – she manages to find that story that tugs at the heart-strings. And Plum Beach Island was no different, although I will admit that it wasn’t as angsty as her previous book – not that I’m complaining!

I was sucked in to the story of Ava, Elaine and Gigi from the very beginning – there is something about Holly’s writing that makes the relationship between the women so real – I mean, I felt like I was watching three sisters interact, there were happy moments, sad moments, moments where I wanted to hit one (or all three of them) upside the head. There is definately plenty of angst between the three of them, from Ava/Elaine and the sisters who grew up together, to Gigi, the interloper, trying to figure out where she fits in the family. Added to that the last words from their dying father, about a brother no one knew existed. The mystery of finding their brother played out well through the book, it wasn’t like a wham bam solve the mystery ma’am, but rather a gradual release of clues and discovery leading to the ultimate discovery. There was definately a feel-good ending to the book.

This was one of those books where you think you are just going to read a chapter or two, and then next thing you know its 2am and your alarm clock is going to go off in 2 hours…(yeah, it most definately got snoozed that morning).
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By sm deWitt on April 1, 2014
Format: Paperback
Holly's latest novel is as cozily satisfying as grilled cheese and tomato soup on a chilly fall day. (Except that it's set in the summer when you're more likely to want to sip something chilled and sparkling.) She deftly handles the complexity of mixed families, marital disruption, and mental illness, and shows us the never-ending capability for humans to embrace guilt.

The people and issues presented in Beach Plum Island are simultaneously comfortably familiar and compellingly unusual. It's this combination that makes the book so readable. Holly's use of language and imagery rounds out the satisfaction level perfectly.

Beach Plum Island is a great addition to any summer reading list!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Geraldine Ahearn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Holly Robinson, the creative author of 'The Wishing Well' delivers another heartwarming, bittersweet story of a colorful family portrait that takes the reader through the lives of fascinating, unforgettable characters.

The words of a dying man unlock the door to hidden secrets that change the lives of one family as they reunite at a funeral. A mystery that ties the family together must be uncovered, and resolved.

'Beach Plum Island' invites the reader to tag along on a journey through the memories of one family, as Gigi could hear echoes of her brother laughing in the kitchen, while she hears delightful music, and smells the sweet scent of salt in the air.

The author created a Masterpiece of intrigue in a picture-perfect setting of the ocean's waves crashing upon the seashore, the story grabs your attention in the very beginning, and entertains until the final curtains close. A very enjoyable read. Highly recommended!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Vicki S Ritchie on April 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I couldn't put this book down. One could feel all the anguish that each of the family members were feeling. No swearing.
no heavy sex just good reading. Ava was the chain that connected everyone Would love to see a sequel. I am reading another of Holly Robinson's book now.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By SMG on May 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had never read anything from Holly Robinson so I wasn't sure what to expect. However, I really enjoyed this book. It is a great story on the complications of family, but also how important it is to keep those connections strong. I loved the focus on the women in the story, and the emotional complications and challenges. I really enjoyed this book. Great read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Betsy on May 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is my first Holly Robinson book and the read was well worth it!! This is a story about love and forgiveness. If you are looking for a read that has many layers and depths to it, this book is for you!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By KelKaps on May 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was a quick read. Thoroughly enjoyed this book and will now read more by this author. The author makes you feel like you really get to know the characters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Herbie on May 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I didn't know what t expect when I started the book, but quickly found the story captivated me and I couldn't put it down, reading we'll not the night.
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