|(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)|
Readers who love Susan Wiggs and Susan Mallery will adore New York Times bestselling author Mary McNear newest novel. A young woman travels home to Butternut Lake, confronting her past and the tragedy she and her friends have silently carried with them for over a decade while also facing an unknown future.
Butternut Lake is an idyllic place—but for one woman, her return to the lake town she once called home is bittersweet…
Sometimes life changes in an instant.
Quinn LaPointe grew up on beautiful Butternut Lake, safe, secure, sure of her future. But after a high school tragedy, she left for college and never looked back. Becoming a successful writer in Chicago, she worked to keep out the dark memories of an accident that upended her life. But now, after ten years, she’s finally returned home.
Butternut is the same, and yet everything is changed. Gabriel Shipp, once her very best friend, doesn’t want anything to do with her. The charming guy she remembers is now brooding and withdrawn. Tanner Lightman, the seductive brother of her late boyfriend, wants her to stick around. Annika Bergstrom, an old classmate who once hated Quinn, is now friendly. Everyone, it seems, has a secret.
Determined to come to terms with the tragedy and rebuild old relationships, Quinn settles into Loon Bay Cabins, a rustic but cozy lakeside resort, where she begins writing down her memories of the year before the accident. Her journey though the past leads her to some surprising discoveries about the present. As secrets are revealed and a new love emerges, Quinn finds that understanding the past is the key to the future.
Book six in the Butternut Lake series, The Secrets We Carried can be read as a standalone novel, which I just loved. I like it when you can pick up a book from a series and dive right in - gives you a taste of what the author is about and what the series is about without making you feel lost. In this latest book, we find ourselves back at Butternut Lake via Quinn La Pointe. Its been ten years since she left this beautiful town and now she's back with some emotional baggage from her past. Yep, Quinn left town, but was never able to fully distance herself from her past. She moved on, but she didn't move forward. Turns out that there was tragic accident Quinn's senior year. Three guys died and one of them was Quinn's boyfriend. In fact, she had just broken up with him when he decided to drink a bit too much and wound up drowning. Guilt-ridden to the nth degree, Quinn can't seem to shake off the emotional wallop that her boyfriend's death left her with. College and focusing on her writing career have taken Quinn away from home, but she has never fully recovered from the tragedy that marred her departure from high school. So, now she's back, ready to face her past and try to move forward with her life in every which way.
Talk about an emotional and heartbreaking read. McNear explores friendship, loss, second chances, and romance in this terrific installment of her beloved Butternut Lake series. Her writing is top notch with tons of delicious details about the idyllic town, its residents, and this tragic history. The characters are relatable and interesting - you want to find out more about each and every one of them. As for the story itself, well, its simply unputdownable. I found myself addicted to this story from the start - I read and read, late into the night. I had to find out what would happen to Quinn and how she would finally be able to move forward in her life. Suffice it to say, McNear did not disappoint. The Secrets We Carried is a terrific story that fans of the Butternut Lake series will devour - its a must-read!!
I would happily recommend this book to anyone and everyone looking for their next great read.
Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Secrets We Carried