Series: Books By the Sea

Jane Brannen dreams of becoming a famous author someday, just like her idol Jane Austen. When bestselling author J. E. Fairfax comes to Whickett Harbor, Jane thinks it's the perfect opportunity to ask her about the secret to literary success. When a hurricane rolls through, Jane misses her chance and gets thrown together with the author's snobby, science-geek son instead. In addition to an exceptionally annoying boy, the storm blows in bad news for Jane's future: her mother has filed for custody and intends to bring Jane back to California with her. Jane doesn't want to leave her beloved small town, so she sets her sights on finding the perfect match for her father and proving to her mother that Whickett Harbor is where she's meant to be. Full of Austen-isms and a lot of heart, this middle grade novel is sure to delight adult Austen fans, too.
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Bookshop
From the publisher: "Two very different people, one very small island. For Sophie Ducel, her honeymoon in French Polynesia was intended as a celebration of life. The proud owner of a thriving Parisian architecture firm, co-founded with her brilliant new husband, Sophie had much to look forward to. For Barry Bleecker, the same trip was meant to mark a new beginning. Turning away from his dreary existence in Manhattan finance, Barry had set his sights on fine art, seeking creative inspiration on the other side of the world. But when their small plane is downed in the middle of the South Pacific, the sole survivors of the wreck are left with one common goal: to survive."
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
I’ve long said that Harper’s first novel The Dry is her best work, but now I might have a new favorite. In her latest, Harper returns to the themes that worked so well in her debut: a man returns to his tiny hometown to find that neither the community nor his family have forgotten or forgiven FROM his involvement in a past tragedy—and that’s before a fresh crime brings painful memories raging back. Much of the story is set in seaside caves that the local teens enjoy exploring—but flood when the tide comes in. A deliciously creepy (and sometimes claustrophobic) tale of buried secrets, family tensions, and life after tragedy.
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
See spins a tale of female friendship spanning eighty years, set against the backdrop of history in an incredible setting—the very real South Korean island of Jeju. On Jeju, women are the breadwinners, making their families’ livings by free-diving into the chilly waters of the Pacific Ocean, harvesting seafood to sell, while the husbands stay home with the children. This tradition has gone on for thousands of years, and we see it lived out in the lives of Young-sook Mi-ja. The two girls become fast friends as seven-year-olds in 1938, but their respective marriages take them down different paths, and bring unforeseen tensions into their relationship. (The real historical events woven into the pages make for heartrending reading.)  A second storyline, set in 2008, gives readers hints of what may have caused the rift between the girls, but it’s only in the final pages that all is revealed. A fascinating, rewarding story of strong women, little-known history, and human resilience.
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Libro.fm
Buy from Bookshop
This page-turning family saga has everything you could want in a beach read: surfers, rockstars, 80s pop culture, and a mansion going up in flames. It’s 1983, and the four adult children of rockstar Mick Riva are preparing to host Malibu’s party of the year, unaware of how this one night will irrevocably change their lives. Reid employs an interesting structure to unpack what happens, hour by hour, the day of the party, intercutting the present-day narrative with scenes from the family’s past that go back generations. With well-drawn characters and a strong sense of time and place (I hung on every reference to Tab, big hair, and belted t-shirts), it’s a perfect summer selection for fans of messy family stories and compulsively readable literary fiction. I couldn’t put it down. (Content warnings include an open door sex scene, substance abuse, and death of a loved one.)
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Libro.fm
Buy from Bookshop
From the publisher: "A riveting story about the abiding yet complex power of friendship. One beautiful September day, three men convene on Martha's Vineyard, friends ever since meeting in college circa the 60s. They couldn't have been more different then, or even today - Lincoln's a commercial real estate broker, Teddy a tiny-press publisher, and Mickey a musician beyond his rockin' age. But each man holds his own secrets, in addition to the monumental mystery that none of them has ever stopped puzzling over since a Memorial Day weekend right here on the Vineyard in 1971: the disappearance of the woman each of them loved - Jacy Calloway. Now, more than 40 years later, as this new weekend unfolds, three lives are displayed in their entirety while the distant past confounds the present like a relentless squall of surprise and discovery."
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
From the publisher: "It was called 'The Titanic of the South.' The luxury steamship sank in 1838 with Savannah's elite on board; through time, their fates were forgotten--until the wreck was found, and now their story is finally being told. When Savannah history professor Everly Winthrop is asked to guest-curate a new museum collection focusing on artifacts recovered from the steamship Pulaski, she's shocked. The ship sank after a boiler explosion in 1838, and the wreckage was just discovered, 180 years later. Everly can't resist the opportunity to try to solve some of the mysteries and myths surrounding the devastating night of its sinking. Everly's research leads her to the astounding history of a family of eleven who boarded the Pulaski together, and the extraordinary stories of two women from this family: a known survivor, Augusta Longstreet, and her niece, Lilly Forsyth, who was never found, along with her child. These aristocratic women were part of Savannah's society, but when the ship exploded, each was faced with difficult and heartbreaking decisions."
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
In this standalone novel from the author of Next Year in Havana, three women’s lives become entangled over the course of Labor Day weekend, 1935, when the storm of the century slams into Key West. The story is told from three perspectives, that of three different women who seem to share little in common, but whose lives are about to intersect in ways no one could foresee. Helen is a Key West native, poor and pregnant, fleeing her abusive husband. Mirta is Cuban, newly married to a man she barely knows, and just beginning her honeymoon. And Elizabeth, who’s come south on a dangerous search for a long-lost loved one. A captivating novel about a little-known historical event.
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
Aspiring writer Florence is determined to get her stories published—no matter what it takes. But after her initial underhanded efforts to get a book deal result in getting fired from her low-level publishing job, she receives a fortuitously-timed offer to play assistant to a blockbuster novelist whose identity is a closely-guarded secret. Soon she’s privy to the secrets of “Maud Dixon,” who hit the bestseller charts with her debut about a sinister Southern murder, but whose sophomore novel is long overdue to the publisher. When the prickly writer invites Florence to accompany her on a research trip to Morocco, Florence can’t say yes fast enough … and that’s when the book takes a suspenseful turn I never saw coming.
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
“Where does a mistake begin?” So begins Amity Gaige’s literary thriller, inspired by a real-life 2014 Coast Guard rescue. Michael and Juliet, facing an ailing marriage and midlife malaise, decided to sell all their worldly possessions and spend a year sailing around the Caribbean. But now Juliet is home, Michael is absent, and we don’t know why—but it’s clear everything changed on the yacht. In dual narratives, we see Juliet struggling mightily to cope with her current life in the suburbs, and—thanks to her early discovery of Michael’s captains log from the voyage—we get Michael’s real-time, emotional account of their harrowing times on the open seas, and the unbearable stress it placed on their already-crumbling relationship. A harrowing portrait of a boat in peril and a marriage in crisis.
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
Three generations of women grapple with good intentions gone wrong as a hurricane barrels towards the coast of Maine. In 2008, Skye visits her grandmother and confronts family secrets that unspool in alternating timelines from 1944 to 1970 and back to the present, where the residents of Haven Point brace for major power outages. The stormy atmosphere adds to the drama of this multigenerational family saga that explores how secrets of the past unlock happiness and peace in the present.
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
I found this book to be a delightful, engrossing, just-the-right-amount-of-zany surprise. Our heroine is Daphne Berg, a popular plus-size fashion influencer. Daphne’s hard-earned equilibrium is rattled when her old frenemy Drue surfaces after a 7-year absence, begging Daphne to lend her platform and presence to Drue’s high-society wedding to a reality tv star. Daphne’s instincts say no, but she’s never been able to resist her charming friend. Soon enough, she’s at a million-dollar affair on Cape Cod, learning the troubled bride she’s attending engineered the whole event with social media in mind—right down to the brand sponsorships Drue sold for big bucks. And that’s when things really take a turn for the worse. A fun and fresh tale of female friendship, family secrets, influencer culture, and love.
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
A mind-bending mystery, alternate history, and queer romance rolled into one. In the new time-slip novel from The Bedlam Stacks author, Napoleon conquers England in the Battle of Trafalgar and a stone portal in the sea serves as a passageway between centuries. When Joe steps off a train in the city of Londre, 1898, he has a postcard in his pocket written in forbidden English, with a postmark dated 1805 though it inexplicably bears the image of a recently-constructed lighthouse. “Dearest Joe, come home if you remember,” says the postcard, signed simply “M.” Joe’s search for M leads him to the Outer Hebrides and back and forth through the stone portals many a time on his dangerous quest to reunite with his family without changing the course of history—or erasing his own existence.
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
Don’t be fooled by the cheery cover; I loved this book, but it’s no rom-com. January is a 29-year-old romance writer who no longer believes in happily-ever-after. Demoralized and broke, she moves into the beach house she inherited when her father died, hoping to lick her wounds and finish her current manuscript. But then, in a cruel twist of fate, she discovers her neighbor is the beloved literary fiction writer Augustus Everett, her college rival (and crush), whom she was hoping to never see again. It turns out Gus has troubles of his own, and so the two make a bet to get their writing back on track: January will try her hand at the “bleak literary fiction” that Gus writes, and Gus will write a romance novel. A warm and delightfully meta take on love, writing, and second chances.
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Libro.fm
Buy from Bookshop
The premise is guaranteed to make some readers mad, but the execution sucked me right in: At the request of his dying mother Mallory, Link places a call and is shocked when Jake McCloud answers. Link knows who Jake is: his wife is expected to be elected president in the upcoming 2020 election. But how could Jake possibly know his mother? Well. Unbeknownst to Link and almost everyone else, Jake and Mallory have a history. When they first met on Nantucket in 1993, they decided to borrow the premise of the film Same Time, Next Year for their own relationship, and have since spent 28 Labor Day weekends together on the island, despite marriage, children, and everything else. An exploration of love in all its forms that pushes readers to ask What if...? This would make a fabulous book club selection—there’s so much to talk about.
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
Polly’s life is in ruins: in one fell swoop, she’s lost her business, her boyfriend, and her flat. She can’t afford a place in town, so she’s forced to move out of the city—way out of the city, to a remote British island town, in a flat above an abandoned shop. (Everyone’s reaction to her new home: shouldn’t this place be condemned?) Polly turns to baking to cheer herself up, and before long her favorite hobby turns into something more substantial than she ever dared to dream. (Many readers will appreciate the lack of lascivious scenes. Her characters aren’t all chaste, but that action happens offscreen.) A sweet and multilayered story about starting over, with lots of heart, perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jojo Moyes.
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Barnes and Noble Nook
Buy from Bookshop
In this whimsical fantasy, a 40-year-old career case worker has his life turned upside down by a special assignment. Linus Baker’s job is to ensure the children are safe—or at least he’s convinced himself that the field visits he makes to the orphanages sanctioned by The Department of Magical Youth are crucial to the well-being of these unusual children. But everything changes for Linus when Extremely Upper Management sends him to report on an island orphanage that’s a place of last resort for magical children viewed as misfits by the establishment, as well as their unconventional caretaker. Linus may have always been a company man, but this visit forces him to question everything he thought he knew about the world—and himself. Many readers are going to find this quirky book a delightful surprise.
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
Pilcher's novels are sometimes categorized as romance, but if you're not a fan of the genre, don't let that scare you off. This family saga tells the story of three generations of a modern British family, brought together again during a time of crisis, all of whom have been burned by love and must figure out how to move forward. Full of interesting, well-developed, flawed-but-likable characters. This is a great beach/travel read, but it's LONG, making it perfect for your ereader library. It's one of the top 100 novels in the BBC's Big Read.
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop
From the publisher: "Some summers are just destined to be pretty. Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer—they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along."
Buy from Amazon Kindle
Buy from Amazon
Buy from Audible.com
Buy from Bookshop