The lives of the three Emery sisters were changed forever when Alex, eleven at the time, found their mother drowned in the bathtub of their home. After their mother’s suicide, the girls’ father shut down emotionally, leaving Alex responsible for caring for Colleen, then eight, and little Riley, just four. Now the girls are grown and navigating different directions. Alex, a nurse, has been traveling in India and grieving her struggle to have a child; Colleen is the devoted mother of preteens in denial that her marriage is ending; and Riley has been leading what her sisters imagine to be the dream life of a successful model in New York City. Decades may have passed, but the unresolved trauma of their mother’s death still looms over them creating distance between the sisters.
Then on a March night, a storm rages near the coast of northeastern Massachusetts. Alex sits alone in an old farmhouse she inherited from a stranger. The lights are out because of the storm; then, an unexpected knock at the door. When Alex opens it, her beautiful younger sister stands before her. Riley has long been estranged from their family, prompting Colleen to hire the private investigator from whom they’d been awaiting news. Comforted by her unexpected presence, Alex holds back her nagging questions: How had Riley found her? Wouldn’t the dirt roads have been impassable in the storm? Why did Riley insist on disappearing back into the night?
After her mysterious visitation, Alex and Colleen are determined to reconcile with Riley and to face their painful past, but the closer they come to finding their missing sister, the more they fear they’ll only be left with Riley’s secrets. An unforgettable story about grief, love, and what it means to be haunted, The Ocean in Winter marks the debut of a remarkable new voice in fiction.
The Sexy Nerd's Review
The Emery sisters will forever live in my soul. Novels like this one come once in a lifetime, and boy am I glad I’m here to bear witness.
Eleven-year old, Alex, finds her mother in a bathtub unresponsive. Even though she’s the eldest of the three sisters, she wanted to fall apart, but held it together to summon help for their mother. Unfortunately, Alex, Colleen and Riley were motherless. Their mother had committed the ultimate sin of taking her own life. What kind of mother would do something so heinous? What did her husband and children do to make her leave her family behind permanently? This is what Alex carried with her throughout her life, as did her sisters.
Riley, the youngest of them, was a fashion model living in New York and doing whatever her carefree life afforded her. Her family hadn’t heard from her in years. When the girls were younger, they made a pact when their mother killed herself. They would always stay close. Hmm, that’s nice in theory, but you try carrying it out when life begins to happen. Colleen, the middle child, has the perfect life. She’s married to a successful lawyer, has two great kids and a great house and a great marriage. But, was her life as perfect as she thought?
Colleen was worried. She hadn’t seen her baby sister in years nor had she spoken to her. She couldn’t understand why Riley wasn’t returning her calls or emails? She decides to take a trip to New York to go in search of her. Once she arrives, she soon discovers her sister is no longer living in the last known apartment address she had on her. The landlord refused to advise her of Riley’s whereabouts. So, Colleen does the next best thing. She contacts a private investigator.
Once the ink is dried and the money has exchanged hands, Nate, the P.I. sets out to find Riley, and he’s successful. When he reports back to Colleen that he’s found her sister, of course, she’s elated with the news. While Colleen was paying for private dicks to find her sister, she had no idea that Riley showed up at Alex’s doorstep. There was no way for her to have known this fact. Alex was so thrilled to have her baby sister back. There was so much for them to catch up on. Oh, there's only one problem—and that, readers, is where our story skyrockets!
This story unfolded like a poet’s words in motion. Each of the sisters’ stories were the fabric sewn together to make up the material of the plot. The Emery sisters were impacted by one vicious and selfish act—the suicide of their mother. Each of them was forced to carry a piece of their mother’s act that comforted them like a warm winter’s coat. deVeer did an amazing job in outlining the backstory leading you up to what these sisters endure. All I can say is have the tissue box handy because I cried like a baby in several sections of the book. You will see yourselves in these sisters’ lives. They will resonate so strongly with many of your souls. I was misty eyed a great deal throughout the story.
The Sexy Nerd gives The Ocean in Winter five pair of winter gloves, hats, scarves and boots! This was an incredible story of what can happen to those left behind after a suicide. You are going to go through the motions with this story. It’s an emotional roller coaster ride that is worth the ride. The Ocean in Winter will be on sale this summer at your favorite book retailers on Tues., July 6, 2021. I urge you to get this book and do not add it to your bookshelves but read it as soon as you download or purchase your copy. It’s so good, you’ll not want to put it down!
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