Growing up amid the upheaval of the 1960s, Sam Tibbits enjoys his family's annual summer vacation at Piddock Beach. He falls in love with the sea and with a local girl named Aubrey, whom he plans to marry. But time and circumstance separate them. Sam becomes a minister, and tragedy after tragedy brings him to the end of his faith. Aubrey, meanwhile, marries and raises three children with an alcoholic husband.

Through chance, Aubrey and Sam meet again, broken and lonely, on a visit to Piddock Beach. Can they remember their shared past and find closure and healing, or will a marriage and a ministry be destroyed by more tragic choices? Bedford wraps the reader in the bittersweet magic of love and loss. She opens hidden doors of the heart to reveal truth and beauty in unlikely places. This splendid read has only momentary hitches from flashbacks to present day. (Nov., 304 pp., $12.99)
Reviewed by: 
Jill Elizabeth Nelson