Review: The Bookstore on the Beach by Brenda Novak

Author: Brenda Novak
Publisher: MIRA
Released: April 6th, 2021
Received: NetGalley

4 kitties

Written by Brenda Novak, The Bookstore on the Beach is one of those books that immediately screamed ‘summer read’ to me. It’s one part romance, one part chick lit, and one part women’s fiction, which will make it perfect in the minds of many readers.

What do you do when you’re seeking closure and comfort? If you’re Autumn Divac, you pack up your stuff and your children and head back to your beachside hometown for the summer. Here she has family and comforting memories to help her cope with the reality of her situation.

That reality is a missing husband with no idea how to move on without him. Not that she has much choice. Life must go on, as they say, and her children need her.

“And the thought of revealing the past, seeing it all through her daughter’s eyes, made Mary feel ill.”


The Bookstore on the Beach is a novel that will tug on the heartstrings of its readers, forcing us to feel for Autumn as she deals with the unthinkable. While we’d all like to imagine that we would never find ourselves in her footsteps (missing husband and all), there was something so natural and so human about the way she struggled and fought to cope with it all.

I was surprised by the number of different storylines that ran through The Bookstore on the Beach. I went into this read expecting an easy and smooth read. I was very much surprised by what I got – and not in a bad way.

This novel handles trauma and loss beautifully, portraying a family dealing with a tragedy – and worse, a disaster that comes with no real sense of closure. It felt so raw and honest, almost too real in some places.

The inclusion of the bookstore scenes added a touch of nostalgia for me, a sense that was likely picked up by the way it was portrayed. This store is part of Autumn’s past, and it could easily have been any bookstore that any reader had visited while they were younger.

Thanks to MIRA and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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