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Showing 1-10 of 206 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 299 reviews
on July 1, 2016
This book was recommended for me as an interesting novel that deals with family history. When it arrived in the mail, I eagerly read the back cover. My first thought was that it was another "feel good" book, the kind that has sweetness and light shining on every page. Not that would be a bad thing, just not my usual cup of tea.

It starts with Mia Landan, a breast cancer survivor, finding that her husband was unfaithful to her. Torn on many different levels, she runs back to the last place she felt some peace, a breast cancer survivor retreat. The owner of the retreat, Belle Carson , realizes that Mia needs to find herself, needs some time to sort out her life and become whole again. She offers Mia the use of a disused fishing cabin that she had inherited . Mia quickly finds that the cabin holds secrets that have caused family discord for decades....and she becomes obsessed with reuniting Belle and her long dead Grandmother, while carving out a new life of her own.

I found myself totally absorbed in the book after the first chapter. It turned out to be so much more than a "feel good" book, including a great mystery, well written characters, and a very real sense of a family torn apart by innuendos and rumors. There were some aspects that I felt were overdone, including fly fishing, of all things. A few of the occurrences seemed contrived, and the ending was too predictable, in my opinion. Regardless I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to others.
Note: Some hints of sex, nothing bold....no bad language...no violence….good writing with well developed characters…

No disclosure needed - I am a “reviewer” of Amazon products and often get things at a discount, however this item I have bought at FULL price for my own personal use. Thank you for reading my review!
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on September 7, 2017
From my perspective, this novel had everything! Beautiful descriptions of the Carolina mountains and Charleston, pain and heartache, romance and reconciliation, mystery and history, and best of all an awakening of self identity and peace with self. I really enjoy everything I've read so far by Mary Alice Monroe (6 books) and keep going back for more. She understands human nature and its complications in amazing ways, making her characters multi-faceted. There is usually something in all of them, I can identify with. This novel explored the trout streams of the mountains, the natural surroundings, the joy of fly-fishing so expertly, it made me want to visit and learn more about fishing! (and I don't even like fishing!) I have felt the same way about each or her "low country" novels as well. It is obvious in each of them, she has researched the natural aspects she descries whether sea turtles, dolphins, trout, hurricanes, beach and mountain living and the history of the area. Love it!
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on May 28, 2016
This was a fantastic read. I was unaware of great development the story would hold. To escape for a retreat to take a break from hurtful decisions, was an extraordinary adventure. This story has mystery, love, heartbreak, uncertainty, fear, and compassion. You will hold your breath hoping the character does the right thing, or has the right encounter. I was especially in reading about the fly fishing, after reading Hemingway also had a passion. Women as strong characters are a blessing. Realizing the ancestors of our past were stronger women, is magic. I loved this story line, the interesting characters and all the developments along the way. I couldn't put the book down. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading another title from the author.
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on January 1, 2016
So interesting and so real. Thanks Mary Alice for your wonderful writing! I love the way you think and describe, "The air smelled of ripeness and rot, sweet and pungent, that made her think of pumpkins. Resident birds flitted in a thicket of wild mt Laurel ~~".
I've noticed in all the books of yours I've read, the way you describe things, it's so fulfilling to read! Usually, with an author, this tends to make me fast fwd, not with yours.
I love the way each of your books has a theme. I've actually learned a lot about fly fishing from this book, and from others, about Dolphins and turtles.
It makes me feel Sooo good to know, I still have more of your books to read!
Thank you!
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on May 20, 2016
I think every woman that enjoys reading should definitely make this book a
priority on her list. I actually felt I was in the mountains of western NC inside the cabin that Mia was able to reunite with her inner self.
I dearly loved the Watkins history and women fly fishing for trout in the mountain
river stream and best of all after the catch
make sure you return the fish to the river and let them live.
Mary Alice Monroe congratulations on a fabulous book.
BB
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on May 30, 2016
I always enjoy Mary Alice Monroe's books, but I found this one the best I have read. I liked the story line very much and especially liked how Mia, the lead character uncovered, bit by bit, an old mysterious death that had involved the late owner of the cabin she is staying in.
As a breast cancer survivor myself, I found Ms. Monroe's descriptions of how different men dealt with mastectomy right on point. I could identify with the different stages of emotions Mia was going through. All said and done, an excellent story!
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on August 6, 2017
I do not usually gush over any book no matter how wonderfully written or how wonderful the author does their job.
This book, however, was a total surprise as I had purchased it for a "summer read" to get away from the heavy reading
my book club does during the year. This story had everything it needed and then some! The author managed to have an important
story for those who have been through breast cancer weaved through a story of marriage disappointments, family devotion,
new love, the love of nature, AND. . .another story unto itself about a woman from long ago and her love of fly fishing, along with intrigue
and setting the untold story straight. I do believe it was one of the best books I have ever read, and if you know someone who has
been through the trauma of breast cancer, based on that alone it would be worth reading and recommending. Great job, M.A. Monroe!!
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on July 23, 2016
I thought that I had read all of Mary Alice Monroe's books but somehow I missed this one. I listened to it on a long drive and my involvement in this book made the miles fly by.

Mia is a breast cancer survivor on the physical side of recovery but still dealing with it from a mental and emotional standpoint. Her sister sends her to a survivor retreat in the NC mountains called Casting for Recovery, where breast cancer survivors learn to fly fish and connect with nature and each other as a means of recovery. When Mia returns home, she finds her husband in bed with another woman and she flees back to the NC mountains. She rents a small cabin and decides to stay there for the summer to try to figure out her future life and gets involved in the mystery surrounding the original owner of the cabin.

As with all of Mary Alice's books, her love of nature and the environment shines throughout this book. The river and the mountains are as much a part of the story as the characters. One additional note, Casting for Recovery is a real group that is involved with breast cancer survivors and I am very impressed with their work.

This is a great book - not only do you get a wonderful story but you get to mentally spend time in the beautiful NC mountains.
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on July 19, 2017
Having recently come face to face with our human mortality and having no idea how to move forward, the dynamics between the women and generations in this book gave me a new direction in thinking. While i'm not planning to take up fly fishing, I now have the encouragement I needed to put one foot in front of the other and start moving forward again. Thanks for the nudge.
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on September 12, 2017
Anyone who likes to read needs to read this book. I could not put it down but would love to see a part two to follow up on some of the characters.
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