June 3, 2021
Haven Point by Virginia Hume
Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction (1944 to present day), Multi-generational Family Drama, Family Life, Maine
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Thanks to #NetGalley @StMartinsPress for a complimentary eARC and @Macmillanaudio for a listening copy of #HavenPoint upon my request. All opinions are my own.
Originally from Minnesota, Maren works as a cadet nurse at Walter Reed Medical Center. The story begins in 1944 as she meets a handsome doctor who sweeps her off her feet. Oliver is from a prominent family who has a summer residence in a small, exclusive community on the coast of Maine. As a newlywed, Maren feels insecure as she tries to fit in with the tight-knit crowd of Haven Point residents. But Haven Point becomes part of their summer life and their children grow up for part of the year in Haven Point. In 1970, their oldest daughter Anne falls for a young man who doesn’t meet with the approval of Maren and Oliver. A tragedy occurs. In the present day (2008), Anne’s daughter Skye has a close relationship with her grandmother, Maren. In the end, Maren shares the whole truth with Skye about what happened in the summer of 1970.
Writing and Structure: The setting is vividly described and the writing is lovely in this heavily character-driven family story. The Haven Point narrative is easy to follow as it jumps between three time periods and two main perspectives (Maren’s and Skye’s). I love family stories, so this is an interesting, albeit quiet and reflective, read. The end of the story picks up the pace a little as secrets are revealed and reconciliation, acceptance, forgiveness, and understanding are explored. Haven Point is a poignant story that builds slowly and I noticed that I was gradually raising my star rating as I progressed. By the end, I was pleased to arrive at 4 Stars. I love satisfactory endings!
Thought-provoking Themes: Haven Point is a quiet and reflective family story with a few thoughtful themes including keeping secrets, insiders and outsiders, small community helping each other in crisis, beautiful and seemingly perfect people have troubles, infidelity, reconciliation, forgiveness, grief, understanding, the role of grandparents, unstable home, second chances, friendship, and survival after tragedy. One important lesson I gained from the story is that it’s helpful when the older generation can be transparent and honest about events that occur in the family and in their lives so that a younger generation doesn’t make incorrect assumptions about the behaviors, actions, and choices of parents and grandparents. I think one observation about grief and tragedy is especially poignant: when you have suffered a tragedy, your job is to survive….it’s the job of family, friends, and community to take care of all the other arrangements and tasks. I love the community support that the family receives.
***may contain spoilers***
Trigger Warnings and Content Considerations: grief, loss of a young adult child, death of a parent, child neglect, alcoholism. All romance is closed door and there is a minimum of profanity.
Recommended: I’m recommending Haven Point for fans of multi-generational, complicated family drama, for readers who love a heavily character-driven story, for those who might be looking for histfic that doesn’t involve war, and for book clubs.
My Rating: 4 Stars
Meet the Author, Virginia Hume
Virginia Hume is a freelance writer and editor. Her early career was spent in politics and public affairs. She lives outside Washington, D.C. with her husband, their daughters, and an under-groomed bichon named Chester. Haven Point in her debut novel.
Is Haven Point on your TBR or have you read it?
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Sounds like it could be sort of an American Rosamunde PIlcher story– I’d like to find that! thanks Carol!
You’re welcome Rhonda! Enjoy!
Lovely review Carol. I wish I had requested this now. 🤦♀️🤷♀️❤📚
I requested it at the last minute! There might still be time! Pub date Tuesday.
I have requested the audiobook. ❤📚
Lovely review Carol. I am looking forward to this one, it has a lot that I love. Family dramas always tend to either teach me something or remind me of things.
Thanks Carla. This is an impressive debut!
I love all those things so will have to check this one out, Carol!
[…] 3.5 Stars. (ARC) Light-reading, character-driven family drama. Historical Fiction. My review of Haven Point here. […]
I agree, it sounds fabulous for book club!
Yesss it drives me nuts when older people floss stuff over
It was a secretive generation! My mom was incredulous when I looked up my bio cousin on ancestry and connected with her! It had been a family secret all our lives. I was the one who introduced her to her bio half siblings. No reason to keep secrets in my opinion!
I think it’s refreshing when historical fiction isn’t set during a war!
It’s definitely a nice break!
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Does anyone else feel that this book closely resembles Colony by Harriet Rivers Siddeons? Both take place in Maine, and characters are almost identical!
Oh I haven’t read Colony ….interesting.