Sunrise on Half Moon Bay
by Robyn Carr
Release Date: April 14, 2020
Reviewed by PJ
Adele and Justine have never been close. Born twenty years apart, Justine was already an adult when Addie was born. The sisters love each other but they don’t really know each other.
When Addie dropped out of university to care for their ailing parents, Justine, a successful lawyer, covered the expenses. It was the best arrangement at the time but now that their parents are gone, the future has changed dramatically for both women.
Addie had great plans for her life but has been worn down by the pressures of being a caregiver and doesn’t know how to live for herself. And Justine’s success has come at a price. Her marriage is falling apart despite her best efforts.
Neither woman knows how to start life over but both realize they can and must support each other the way only sisters can. Together they find the strength to accept their failures and overcome their challenges. Happiness is within reach, if only they have the courage to fight for it.
Once again, Robyn Carr has brought a story to life that engaged my interest, and my emotions, from start to finish. Using flawed characters, and realistic situations, she takes readers on one family's journey of heartbreak, self-discovery, reconciliation, unexpected change, and new beginnings. I couldn't put it down.
Of the two sisters, I had a greater affinity for Justine, the older sister whose marriage is falling apart. That may be due to my age, or the fact that I'm the (take-charge) oldest in my family and have a sibling twenty years younger. But in Addie, Carr has also created a younger character who put her life on hold to spend the past eight years as a caregiver. I'm sure many readers, myself included, who have walked that path will also be able to relate to the difficulties Addie has moving forward once those duties come to an end. (I'm glad Carr shows the importance of therapy in dealing with Addie's issues as well as for Justine's daughters). I suspect most readers will identify with one sister or the other, while still more will feel a greater empathy for Justine's teenage daughters as they navigate the changes brought about by the divorce of their parents and the fall-out from their father's ongoing actions. That's part of Carr's skill as a writer: creating a community of unique characters who appeal to a broad range of readers and then bringing them together to create a heart-tugging whole that can be appreciated by all. In this book, she utilizes those skills to allow readers into the thoughts and emotions of each of the women, allowing us to experience their strengths, weaknesses, joys, and fears as they work to overcome the challenges life - and a self-absorbed louse of a husband - have put in their way, strengthen their familial bonds, and redefine what they want their futures to be. I spent a lot of time cheering them on.
In addition to the primary characters, Carr has also assembled a cast of secondary characters who add depth, conflict, and hope to the story. I especially enjoyed the social workers at the workplace reentry center where Addie works. There are also love interests for both Justine and Addie (great guys I was pulling for all the way) who play significant roles in their lives and their personal evolution, though this is not a book that I would classify as romance. It's more women's fiction with romantic elements. The most important journey here is that of the women. Sunrise on Half Moon Bay is an emotion-packed, empowering story that I enthusiastically recommend.
Robyn Carr is an award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than sixty novels, including highly praised women's fiction such as Four Friends and The View From Alameda Island and the critically acclaimed Virgin River, Thunder Point and Sullivan's Crossing series. Virgin River is now a Netflix Original series. Robyn lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Visit her website at www.RobynCarr.com