Title: A Mother Like Mine by Kate Hewitt
Hartley-by-the Sea Series Book Three
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Welcome to England’s beautiful Lake District, where a reluctant reunion forges a new bond between a daughter and her wayward mother….
Abby Rhodes is just starting to get her life on track. After her fiancé’s unexpected death, she returned with her young son to the small village where she grew up and threw herself into helping her ailing grandmother run the town’s beach café. Then one evening, her mother, Laura, shows up in Hartley-by-the-Sea and announces her plan to stay. After twenty years away, she now wants to focus on the future—and has no intention, it seems, of revisiting the painful past.
Laura Rhodes has made a lot of mistakes, and many of them concern her daughter. But as Abby gets little glimpses into her mother’s life, she begins to realize there are depths to Laura she never knew. Slowly, Abby and Laura start making tentative steps toward each other, only to have life become even more complicated when an unexpected tragedy arises. Together, the two women will discover truths both sad and surprising that draw them closer to a new understanding of what it means to truly forgive someone you love.
A Mother Like Mine by Kate Hewitt is a captivating novel of healing, forgiveness and new beginnings. Although this newest release is the third installment in the Hartley-by-the-Sea series it can easily be read as a standalone.
Abby Rhodes is a single mom to five year old Noah and she lives and works with the grandmother who raised her after her mother, Laura, abandoned her. So, just imagine her shock when she discovers Laura has returned after a long absence and plans to remain in Hartley-by-the-Sea permanently. An unexpected turns of events finds mother and daughter trying repair their fractured relationship as they work together to make the family cafe a success. Laura wants nothing more than forge a relationship with Abby, but can they repair the rift between them when she is not willing to answer her daughter’s questions about her painful past? Can Abby risk trusting Laura’s assertion that she wants to be a permanent part of her and Noah’s lives?
Abby is quite upset over Laura’s sudden reappearance and she has every reason to be skeptical that her mother will be content to stay in their small hometown. Although she tries to put aside her bitterness toward Laura for her beloved Gran’s sake, their discussions are often filled with anger and resentment. Abby really is trying to make an effort to be friendly, but with so many unresolved issues simmering between them, it is virtually impossible for her to remain cordial during their conversations. She is quick to distrust Laura’s motives and with her mother’s track record for leaving, Abby cannot bring herself to believe Laura won’t disappear if the opportunity presents itself.
Laura initially comes across as quite self-absorbed and rather superficial. She refuses to provide Abby with her reason for abandoning her nor does she appear to realize how her desertion emotionally scarred her daugher. Laura’s expectation to let bygones be bygones without any explanation is unrealistic and makes her appear somewhat indifferent to Abby’s very real need for answers. Laura’s expectation for Abby’s gratitude after she makes a self-serving decision is rather incredulous and highlights exactly why her daughter finds it difficult to trust her.
The changes in the relationship between Abby and Laura do not happen overnight. Abby remains skittish and doubtful Laura is sincere about staying in Hartley-by-the-Sea. Laura is impatient with Abby’s hesitation to take chances of any kind. Abby slowly relaxes her guard where her mother is concerned but things between them remain fragile since Laura is so reluctant to discuss the past. Will Abby and Laura’s relationship truly heal without an open and honest conversation about their unresolved issues?
A Mother Like Mine is a very moving novel of redemption, forgiveness and starting over. Kate Hewitt brings the setting and the eclectic cast of characters vividly to life. The storyline is emotionally compelling with realistic issues to overcome. An absolutely marvelous story that old and new fans of the very charming Hartley-by-the-Sea series are sure to love!