Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Book Review: Pieces Of Blue by Holly Goldberg Sloan


What good was thinking the future only held cloudy skies? Wasn’t the reality that pieces of blue were always there, waiting to break through?

When Paul Hill drowns in a surfing accident, his broken-hearted wife, Lindsey, and their three children are left in huge financial trouble. Once Paul’s life insurance finally comes through, Lindsey impulsively uses the money to buy a charmingly ramshackle motel in Hawai’i, hoping for a fresh start. Teenage Olivia quickly develops a crush on a handsome but monosyllabic skateboarder. Twelve-year-old Carlos reinvents himself as a popular kid named Carl. And Sena, the youngest, will do whatever it takes to protect her beloved motel chickens.

But while the kids adjust, Lindsey is flailing, trying to pretend she knows how to bring a motel―and herself―back to life. Then a handsome stranger rolls into the motel parking lot, and she’s surprised to feel a long-dormant part of herself stirring. She accepts his offer to help, unaware that he may have secrets of his own. And all the while, out in the Pacific, the trade winds are fiercely blowing.

Funny and tender, full of twists and turns and heart, Pieces of Blue is a portrait of an irresistible family learning to start over.


Every year I look forward to the month of May, it is the time that I begin searching for my summer beach reads. I have a soft spot for any book that takes place in a tropical or beach setting, I think mostly because I am stuck in the middle of nowhere, landlocked from the beautiful ocean. They are my escape when I am stuck inside trying to stay cool, while it is 100 degrees outside combined with about 90 percent humidity. Stepping outside here is like stepping into Dante's 9th circle of hell- because of course since that is where the worst of the sinners go, it's got to be hella hot right?

Thanks to MacMillan Audio I was able to get my hands on an early listen of Holly Goldberg Sloane's new novel Pieces of Blue, and it was the perfect way to kick off my summer of beach reads.

It is set in Hawaii where Lindsey and her three children move after a tragic surfing accident results in her husband's death. Lindsey takes the life insurance money and buys a ramshackle motel on the island of Ohau, and attempts to start their life over. I loved the setting, I use to live in the area that the book takes place in, in fact, Sloane even mentions one of my favorite casual eating establishments Giovanni's ( IYKYK ), so reading it was like taking a trip back to my old stomping grounds, thus making the book so much more enjoyable to me.

As far as the characters in the book, I liked them all, but the stand-out characters to me were her three children, Olivia ( 14 ) Carlos ( 12 ), and Sena ( 7 ). They each had such strong personalities, and they added a great deal of depth to the story.

Lyndsey was a great mom to the children, ad she worked hard on trying to make their new life as normal as possible, even with the enormous amount of changes that were taking place in their lives, she was a real trooper with all her responsibilities.

Also, there was Chris, a visitor from the Mainland, he and his wife had often come to Ohau and spent time at the motel before she had passed on. He takes on some handyman duties that need to be done around the place to pay for his room there, and of course, he comes with a complicated past and secrets.

This was a quick read, a great story about repairing your life after tragedy and learning your inner strengths. It was a great family saga, which I have always been drawn to. But also, the descriptions of the lush island were so visible they also became a bit of a character in the story, and they put you right in the middle of the area. Sloane even put in several twists that kept the story from feeling dry and kept the story moving along. All in all, it was not a bad choice for my first beach read of the season.

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