Nina is a 30 year old nurse living on the same island she grew up on, in the same house she grew up in, with her mom, Bonnie, and her mom’s partner, Bertie. Blackberry Island has always been Nina’s home, but lately it has felt more like a prison. Growing up, Nina had to take care of not only herself, but also her sister, Averil. Bonnie, their mother, can only be defined as having “Peter Pan syndrome” meaning she has never wanted to grow up, leaving Nina responsible for their run down house and run down antique shop. Her mother’s refusal to grow up made Nina grow up faster than expected and left her no choice but to give up her own dreams to take care of everyone else’s.
After years of being unhappy, things start to change for Nina. Not only does she find herself dating a younger fighter pilot for the Navy, but she also begins to rekindle a love for an old flame that she had throughout high school and well into college. Between juggling two men, trying to figure out why her married sister is back on the island without her husband, and trying to untangle the many messes her mother has left for her while away on one of her long antique hunting trips, Nina is about to lose it. What do the stars hold for Nina? Find out in Evening Stars by Susan Mallery.
I really enjoyed this novel. It took me a while to get into it because I kept having to put it down for various reasons, but once I became immersed in the character’s lives’, I couldn’t stop turning the pages. I loved how each character was given the opportunity to shine throughout the story. Not only does Nina’s story capture your heart, but so does her sister’s, who is an aspiring writer trying to start and finish her first novel. Susan Mallery also takes time to depict both of Nina’s “boyfriends” as the good guys. We get to know each of them as the perfect guy; I even started to fall for them both, which is why I can acknowledge Nina’s predicament in choosing one or the other. In the end though, I think she picked the right one; you’ll have to read the book yourself to see what I mean.
There are several different storylines in this novel. Each storyline weaves its way into the other’s and leaves you wondering how everything is going to tie up in the end. The end of the story did not disappoint. I was, for once, satisfied with how each character’s life wrapped up and was amazed how each character grew and changed from the first page to the last. The ending was not predictable; if you saw my face as I was turning the last page, you would have seen me with my mouth open. Not many books can surprise me, and this one certainly did.
If you’re looking for a book to get lost in; a true love story about romantic love, family love, and friendship, then Evening Stars by Susan Mallery is the novel for you. Curl up by the fire, grab a cup of tea, and get to know Nina and her small world on Blackberry Island, Washington.
Evening Stars is the third book in The Blackberry Island Series. You do not need to read the first two books to enjoy the third book. I had never heard of the series before reading this book. After reading this one, I would love to go back and read the first two. By reading the first two novel summaries, it seems to me that some characters peek their heads in and out of all three books. While you are learning more about The Blackberry Island Series, check out these mouth-watering blackberry recipes that could be used as a tie into a Susan Mallery book club night.
I was given an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.