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Driftwood Summer    by Patti Callahan Henry order for
Driftwood Summer
by Patti Callahan Henry
Order:  USA  Can
Signet, 2009 (2009)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

The Sheffield sisters are coming together to celebrate the two hundredth anniversary of Driftwood Cottage (the location of their family bookstore) and their mother Kitsy's seventieth birthday. They are doing this in an attempt to save the business which has been struggling in a tough economy.

Riley, the oldest sister, runs the business along with Kitsy. They have planned a week of events to bring people into the bookstore. They will be having author signings, poetry readings, and cooking demos from the pages of cookbooks adorning the shelves. They plan to have many draws and giveaways, and the final evening will be Kitsy's celebration. People from the seaside community of Palmetto Beach, Georgia have been invited along with summer residents and individuals who have moved away over the years.

Kitsy, who enjoys a glass or two of wine, fell down the stairs at home, and ended up in the hospital with bruises and broken bones. Now it looks like the other sisters (Maisy and Adalee) will have to stay longer than planned to help with the events and their mother. Maisy is flying in from California, and Riley hasn't seen her in twelve years. Adalee, the youngest, is not happy to be helping out longer than planned as she hoped to spend her summer in Florida with her boyfriend Chad.

When the girls were in their teens, Maisy made a move on Riley's best friend and secret love, Mack Logan. Riley retaliated and her actions caused a rift between the sisters. Riley has just received Mack's RSVP for the week long events and is wondering how everything will play out with all of them back together after so long apart.

Riley has learned devastating news of her mother's health and has agreed with Kitsy not to share it with anyone until after the week is over. Riley's life is already complicated. She runs the bookstore and she lives above it with her twelve year old son Brayden. She is a devoted mother, but has guarded the secret of his father's identity. Now she could lose her job and her home.

Maisy has been living with a secret that took her from Palmetto Beach. She has a successful career as an interior decorator in Laguna Beach. She is currently involved with a married man and is not happy with the way things are going. She dreads coming home, afraid of being confronted with the mistake she made years ago. Worried about working with Riley, and seeing Mack again, Maisy feels her controlled life beginning to unravel.

In Driftwood Summer, Henry tells the story of three sisters reunited after years apart. All have flaws and imperfections but she makes them feel real. The community is filled with quirky characters who add to the plot, and the love the Sheffields have for each other and their town comes through. Romance and mystery are woven into the story as lush scenes from the small Southern beach town add to the atmosphere.

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