Take me away to Nantucket
Confession : I have never read a book by Courtney Walsh. Now I am left wondering why it took me so long.
Immediately, I was swept into the life of Emily Ackerman. Her pain is tangible, her reluctance is understandable, and her insecurity is relatable. There wasn’t a single facet of her life that I could not connect to in some way and I believe that is why it was so easy to immerse myself into the life and mind of Emily.
As the scenery of Nantucket began to unfold, I found myself longing to be there, even in these cooler temps. Ocean waves, sand between the toes, and a quant seaside cottage placed me right in the middle of this perfect getaway location. Sadly, it wasn’t so perfect for Emily and her family.
Enter Hollis. Can I just say that I think he is one of my favorite “heros”? He is real and raw and full of flaws that so many can relate to. I appreciated the reflection Ms. Walsh put into this character as he navigated life with a tween girl. It is scary enough for a mother, I can’t imagine how terrified a dad would feel. Ms. Walsh did a stellar job exhibiting that fear.
Now, I was only given a portion of this book from the publisher through CelebrateLit BUT I loved what I had read so much that I bought the Audible version so I could find out what happened next. I was so enthralled in the story that I knew I had to have the paperback on my shelf. As soon as I was able, I purchased the book. It was worth every moment and dollar spent and I look forward to reading it again and again.
About the Book
Book: If For Any Reason
Author: Courtney Walsh
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 3, 2020
Emily Ackerman has traveled the world, her constant compass and companion a book of letters her mother left for her when she died. With no father in the picture, her mom’s advice has been her only true north. But when professional failure leads Emily back to Nantucket to renovate and sell the family cottage she inherited, she wonders if her mom left advice to cover this . . . especially when her grandmother arrives to “supervise.” And especially when her heart becomes entangled with Hollis McGuire, the boy next door–turned–baseball star who’s back on the island after a career-ending injury.
As sparks fly between her and Hollis, Emily is drawn to island life, even as she uncovers shocking secrets about the tragic accident that led to her mother’s death. With her world turned upside down, Emily must choose between allowing the voices from her past to guide her future or forging her own path forward.
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About the Author
Courtney Walsh is the author of ten inspirational novels. Her debut, A Sweethaven Summer, was a New York Times and USA Today e-book bestseller. Courtney lives with her husband and three children in Illinois, where she is also an artist, theater director, and playwright.
More from Courtney
3 Bits of Wisdom Every Mother Hopes Her Daughter Cherishes
By Courtney Walsh
There are so many types of mother-daughter relationships, and I’ve discovered that in most of my novels, these relationships are explored in one way or another. My most recent book, If For Any Reason, delves a little deeper into this universal relationship, as the main character’s only connection to her late mother is a book of letters she left behind for daughter when she died.
It was interesting to think through the advice and wisdom I would want to be sure to share with my own daughter, if for any reason I wasn’t here to share it in person. There’s so much I would want to say, so many lessons I would want to share, but if I had to boil it down to three bits of wisdom, I think it would be these:
Ask for help when you need it.
I’m not sure why it’s so difficult to admit we need help sometimes, but in the past year and a half, my family has faced some pretty significant medical challenges, and I learned that it’s necessary to let other people help you. One of the quickest ways to burn out and get overwhelmed is to try to do everything on your own. Now, I’m not talking about laziness. I’m not talking about figuring out ways to get other people to do things for you that you don’t want to do, but genuine help in this journey of life—spiritually, mentally, physically—all the ways that you need to be strong and healthy. You were never meant to figure everything out on your own. And it’s less lonely when you let people in.
Mistakes are good . . . as long as you learn from them.
Okay, it’s inevitable. You’re going to mess up. You’re going to make a million mistakes and sometimes you’re going to really, really regret them. It’s okay. It’s okay to make the wrong choice now and then . . . but only if you learn from it. Because even though there’s a lot of grace for your mistakes, there are still consequences, and if you’re not willing to learn what you did wrong, you’re just going to keep making a mess of things. Don’t do that. Don’t be stubborn and unmoving. There are opportunities to learn something new every single day, and there are people all around you who can help teach you—but only if you humble yourself, realize you don’t know everything, and are willing to learn. Remaining teachable is one of the greatest things you can do. Learn this lesson early, and you’ll go far.
This is one of the most important and most challenging lessons any of us could learn. It’s a platitude, isn’t it? Advice you’d find on the outside of a coffee mug or embroidered on a throw pillow. But it’s more than that, this whole idea of being who you are, who God created you to be. Here’s the tricky part—how do you know who that is? The only way I can tell is to spend time with yourself. And to not be afraid to sit in the quiet with your thoughts. Learn what God says about you so that if those ideas are challenged or someone else tries to put a label on you that you don’t want, you’re armed with the truth. This will serve you well as you work to discover who you are.
The truth is, as a mother, I’m constantly learning. As a person, I’m constantly learning. And while these are just three bits of wisdom I hope my daughter carries with her, there are so many other lessons I hope she learns, lessons I hope I can teach her so she doesn’t need to learn the hard way.
What about you? What’s one bit of wisdom you want to be sure to pass along to the next generation?