The Guest House by the Sea

The Guest House by the Sea
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Fiction
Tag: Ireland
Publisher: Aria & Aries
Publication Year: 2023

Faith Hogan wrote The Ladies Midnight Swimming Club, a feel-good book about women’s friendships and I loved the fictional, coastal Irish town of Ballycove where her novels are set. This one is about a guest house in Ballycove and the aging owner, Esme, who is losing her sight–but is a keen observer of her guests. She gives them not just a place to stay, but a place to find their next steps in life.

While the guest house and setting are indeed dreamy, this story unfortunately just didn’t connect like Hogan’s previous novel did. The owner seemed to have some sight (though it was fading) at the start, then had an ankle injury, then was suddenly almost fully blind–this small point was disorienting. This is an easy, cozy read, but some of the backstories and relationships just didn’t quite gel for me.

About the Book

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Publisher’s Description

People come to the guest house for fresh air and views across the Atlantic. But if they’re lucky, they might just leave with the second chance they didn’t know they needed…

Esme has run the guest house for as long as anyone in Ballycove can remember. But in her declining years, her sight is failing, and when she has a fall on the eve of the summer season, she is forced to take a back seat for the first time in her life.

From her chair in the entry hall, not much passes Esme by. There’s Cora, the wife visiting indefinitely… without her husband; Niamh, the city professional with a life-changing decision to make; and Phyllie, the grandmother whose family is slipping away from her.

Esme’s guests provide the colour that helps her keep her grip on the world. All of them have something they want to escape – or to hold on to. But can Esme help them find their way before the summer is over?

From bestselling Irish writer Faith Hogan comes a new, uplifting story about discovering love, friendship and the healing power of the Irish sea air. It will charm fans of Sheila O’Flanagan, Heidi Swain and Susanne O’Leary.

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