I discovered the author a few years ago because of the name. Later I´ve learned that behind it stands a man who apparently knows very well what women want to read. So far, for me, the best book from the author. The perfect combination of romance, a great setting, wonderful characters, and a plot you can´t resist.

The Summer Cottage*
by Viola Shipman
Publisher Graydon House on April 23, 2019
Genre Novel
Pages 400
Format Hardcover
Source Library

Adie Lou Kruger´s ex never understood her affection for what her parents called their Creaky Cottage, the charming, ramshackle summer home – complete with its own set of rules for relaxing – that she´s inherited on Lake Michigan. But despite the fact she´s facing a broken marriage and empty nest, and middle age is looming in the distance, memories of happy childhoods on the beach give her reason for hope. She´s determined not to let her husband´s affair with a grad student reduce her to a cliché, or to waste one more minute in a career she doesn´t love, so it becomes clear what Adie Lou must do: rebuild her life and restore her cottage shingle by shingle, on her terms. But converting the beloved, weather-beaten structure into a bed-and-breakfast isn´t quite the efficient home-renovation experience she´s seen on TV. Pushback from Saugatuck´s contentious preservation society, costly surprises, and demanding guests were not part of the plan. But as the cottage comes back to life, Adie Lou does, too, finding support in unexpected places and a new love story on the horizon. One cottage rule at a time, Adie Lou reclaims her own strength, history, and joy by rediscovering the magic in every sunset and sandcastle.
Adie Lou inherited the summer cottage she´s spent so many summers with her family in. And while getting her divorce agreement settled, she decides against the will of her unfaithful husband, to keep it and give it her very own flair. But renovating a cottage that has seen far better times is not as easy as thought. And life keeps giving her unexpected moments and another chance to find love.

I am thrilled. There are so many fantastic lively dialogues in this novel that you have no other choice but to smile or laugh while reading. The setting is beautiful, and I could literally see everything right before my inner eyes. The author writes in an easy to read style, the reading pace is speedy, and the entire story very versatile. The atmosphere warm, with a hint of humor and you get to know some of the other people who live there, very well. Without having the author writing pages about them. The way how they act, speaks volumes.

And the scene at the bar with those two guys – to die for! I was laughing tears while reading it and couldn´t stop for a long time. Ladies, you are fantastic.

Viola Shipman has created figures which seem to come right from real life. Trish, Adie´s friend, and lawyer - fantastic! The things she comes up with to get her best friend the divorce and money she thinks Adie deserves, was simply said wow! That woman is one heck of a friend and one you never want to miss in your life.

Adie is the mother and woman you know when we speak about warmth, kindness, and loving person. That she is working for a far less salary as her male colleagues, but doing their job as well and even better, is something she knows. But after one talk with her boss, she has to learn that she can do whatever she wants, she will not get what her male colleagues get so easily. With the death of her parents and her son moving out for college, Adie wants a new start. I admired her strength, the hope she has, and that she is willing to give the cottage her very personal look and touch.

Sensitive, romantic, and dreamlike novel. A hilarious read who shows you that nothing in life is worth it to give up. If you don´t know Viola Shipman, this is the perfect book to getting to know her.

Happy reading

*I read the German edition new release by Fischer KRÜGER on April 24, 2019

Wade Rouse
Wade Rouse ©John Quiri

Viola Shipman is a pen name for Wade Rouse, a popular, award-winning memoirist. Rouse chose his grandmother’s name, Viola Shipman, to honor the woman whose charm bracelet and family stories inspired him to write his debut novel, which is a tribute to all of our elders. Rouse lives in Michigan and writes regularly for People and Coastal Living, among other places, and is a contributor to All Things Considered.


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