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Publisher's Summary

The women who spent their childhood summers in a small Southern town discover it harbors secrets as lush as the marshes that surround it....

Bonny Blankenship's most treasured memories are of idyllic summers spent in Watersend, South Carolina, with her best friend, Lainey McKay. Amid the sand dunes and oak trees draped with Spanish moss, they swam and wished for happy ever afters, then escaped to the local bookshop to read and whisper in the glorious cool silence. Until the night that changed everything, the night that Lainey's mother disappeared.

Now in her early 50s, Bonny is desperate to clear her head after a tragic mistake threatens her career as an emergency room doctor, and her marriage crumbles around her. With her troubled teenage daughter, Piper, in tow, she goes back to the beloved river house, where she is soon joined by Lainey and her two young children. During lazy summer days and magical nights, they reunite with bookshop owner Mimi, who is tangled with the past and its mysteries. As the three women cling to a fragile peace, buried secrets and long ago loves return like the tide.

©2017 Patti Callahan Henry (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Patti Callahan Henry has written the best novel of her career with The Bookshop at Water’s End. I absolutely adored it and predict it will be one of the most-loved books of the year. In fact, it’s so good I wish I’d written it myself!” (Dorothea Benton Frank, New York Times best-selling author of Same Beach, Next Year)

The Bookshop at Water’s End carries us along the graceful curves and outwardly serene story line of two childhood friends returning to their summer riverside home. But like the river she writes about, Patti’s plot roils with strong undercurrents of murky secrets, tragedy and the pulsing tides of self-discovery. No one writes about the power of family and friends like Patti Callahan Henry. The Bookshop at Water’s End is a must-read for your summer!” (Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times best-selling author of Beach House for Rent)

“From the very first page, Patti Callahan Henry draws you in like the tide, revealing long-simmering secrets that will test family and friendships, and explores the question: do we tell our stories or do our stories tell us? In lush, lyrical prose, Henry explores the power of forgiveness, especially in ourselves. Every page was a treat.” (Laura Lane McNeal, best-selling author of Dollbaby)

What listeners say about The Bookshop at Water's End

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very satisfying

Why Read it? Do you need to ask? It has bookshop in the title what other reason do I need! I have listened to at least one other by this author and liked it as well.

Plot. Two summer friends end up back at the beach house they knew as children. Lainey lost her mother there when she was 13 yrs and has never got over it - lost as in went missing. Bonnie is a doctor who had something go wrong in the emergency room and she is awaiting the outcome. And she has just left her husband. As well there is her daughter Piper who has a few issues. Mimi runs the bookshop and she knows what her buyers need to read, not what they might want.

What Appealed to me? I loved this story of three women, lost somewhat, at turning points in their lives. It was thought provoking as well. It was about loss and love, making mistakes, finding out who you really are. I listened to the audio version of this book and the three narrators were excellent. I think this will be one of my favourite books of 2017.

15 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Almost a really good book

I had read another book by this author, The Stories We Tell, and liked it, and was looking forward to this one. I liked the female characters, their very real anxieties, foibles, and struggles with authenticity. But as with many books of this genre, I find the male characters sorely lacking in depth. They may have depth, but they just aren’t fleshed out. They seem to be foils for the female protagonists, love interests who are rather one-dimensional. With a little more attention to their stories, I think this could have been an even better book.

5 people found this helpful

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Feelings

80% was what the characters were feeling. Switching from persons feelings to another. Definitely not credit worthy

3 people found this helpful

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Had high hopes, then...

The Bookshop at Water’s End started out strongly for about the first two chapters, then devolved into a repetitive slog. Most characters were spinning in circles, were irritating, and this book became unnecessarily long, quickly. Could have been tightened up by about half it’s length — and then, I would have still wondered why I bothered. It had potential; it just didn’t use it.

1 person found this helpful

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Thoroughly Enjoyed

This was a wonderful book! Twists and turns kept me interested and intrigued with what might be coming in future chapters.

1 person found this helpful

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For Soap Opera fans only

I thought the story was tiresome. I didn’t finish listening to the whole thing and quit with a little more than an hour left. I no longer cared about the resolution. I thought that I had wasted enough time. The plot was very formulaic. The narration was ok given the material the reader had. Ugh!

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the perfect end-of-summer read!

I absolutely loved this book. This was my second book by Patty and I love this one even more. I loved all of the female relationships and struggles that each of the characters face. I loved the choices that the characters made and how they overcome their own mistakes. I'm super excited to discuss this book and a book club with friends and fiction book club members and other fans alike!

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relatable

this book warms my heart and makes me feel so normal in my story. I've never felt like my experience was real until I heard these words. thank you for the softness and gentle reading. it was beautiful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Requires too much suspension of belief

I was drawn into this story at first, but the deeper the story went, the less engaged I became. Too many romance tropes - two young characters are “in love” after knowing each other for a couple of weeks, and of course having a magical experience of perfect sex, and the guy in the r’ship has no flaws. Too many main characters. A missing person mystery that was resolved in a very unsatisfying way. I found myself listening just to have completed the book.

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Entertaining book

I liked the way that all characters participated in the story. No one person dominates. Story is seen from many angles. Enjoyed hearing about the low country of SC.