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Delighted to discover another Australian author with this book, I am looking forward to reading more. In this book, Nicole is apparently running from her past. She moves into a rundown cottage in a small seaside town in NSW. The rent is cheap on the condition that she do some 'light renovations' which turns out to be a serious understatement. As Nicole sets about restoring the cottage, a thread of the story picks up going over her past few years of falling in love and becoming engaged. Another thread is also picked up when she discovers a hidden box of letters. These have been penned by Ivy a young war widow and apparently a former occupant of the cottage. Nicole finds respite in the small quiet town and despite her avoidance, some friends who stand by her and help her restore the cottage as well as her self-esteem and spirit. This is a lovely story, the only thing stopping it being a 5 star read for me (and perhaps this is selfish) is for me the ending was too abrupt! I wanted to know more - I don't want to spoil anything, but there is so much potential for another book to pick up where this left off.
A lovely, feel good book, I couldn't put this one down and raced through it in a day. We meet Nicole, devastated by a breakup from a relationship in Sydney, so she heads to the small town of Rosella Cove to find herself. She takes up the offer of free rent in an oceanside cottage, with the proviso that she does some renovations on the cottage. She soon meets the towns quirky characters, who all pitch in to help her with the renovations. Then there's gruff old hermit Charlie, who lives in a boathouse near her. He obviously has secrets, but doesn't trust anyone, yet Nicole and he soon find an understanding. Then one day while restoring the old fireplace Nicole finds a wooden box containing letters written by the cottages previous owner. In the following months Nicole gets to know this lady, Ivy, through her letters to her husband, which slowly reveal her story, and that of Charlie's and Nicole becomes invested in the story, as well. Sandie Decker has written a wonderful book about love, hope and friendship. Even when we think there is nothing left for us, something will come along to lend us faith. In Nicole's case she finds the townspeople become her family, and she starts to learn to love again. A first rate read, I recommend this book to all lovers of contemporary fiction.