Wiggs delves deeply into the hearts and minds of her characters, illustrating the development of their unbreakable bond with subtlety and finesse. Summer by the Sea is much more than a beach read—but it would suit that purpose admirably.

The sudden reappearance of her first love, Alex Montgomery, shakes successful restaurateur Rosa Capoletti to her core—but she won't admit it. The difference in their social status is more obvious now than before, and though Rosa respects the wealthy Alex for his well-known philanthropy, she sees little of the boy she adored in the man he's become.

Torn apart by a tragedy in the past, Rosa and Alex are reunited by a second in the present—ironically, both events are linked by a long-buried truth. Alex wants to make amends for leaving when she needed him most—the question is, does Rosa trust herself enough to let him try?

(Jul., 416 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Catherine Witmer