Sunday 18 July 2021

Book ~ "The Woman on the Beach" (2021) Julia Roberts

From Goodreads ~ I was so sure I saw Sophie on the beach that day. But it couldn’t be her. Sophie’s dead.

Ever since we locked fingers and swore to be best friends at school, Sophie was there for me. When she married my brother, we became family. We laughed together and cried together. We never kept secrets from each other.

At least, that was what I thought.

And then she was gone. The terrible accident that took her life devastated me. Without her I had no one to turn to, and I had to take a break.

Now I’m standing on the beach we visited when we were younger and there’s a woman with long blond hair a few metres away, playing with a dog in the sunshine. She turns and I see Sophie. Heart racing, I struggle to my feet but before I can reach her she’s vanished, leaving only footprints in the sand.

It can’t be Sophie ... but if it is, why did she disappear? What was she running from? And if the answers change everything I believe about the people I love, will I ever be able to forgive her?

Liv had been best friends with Grace and Sophie since they were children.  Sophie ended up marrying Liv's brother, Tom, and Liv then married Tom's best friend, Jamie.  Three years ago Sophie was killed in a train accident while visiting Grace and Grace, believing it was her fault, disappeared.

Liv had a lot of sorrow in her life all of a sudden with the death of Sophie, Grace disappearing, a miscarriage and the sudden death of her father.  When she and Jamie have a trial separation, Liv heads to Tulum, Mexico, for a week.  There she thinks she sees Sophie at the beach ... but how can that be since Sophie is dead?  When Liv arrives home, she receives a letter that will explain everything but it makes Liv eventually deal with unresolved issues from the past and present.

I thought this was an interesting premise.  I liked the writing style.  There are lots of twists and turns that had me wondering what was going on.  It all comes together in the end, perhaps a bit too neatly and I wasn't really buying it.  The chapters jump back and forth in time and are from Liv and Sophie perspective (they are labeled).

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