An Imaginary House by the Sea - Cecily Gates (2014)

Dawn Campbell has just moved back to her hometown after losing her job in the city. Feeling down and unsure about what the future holds, Dawn finds comfort in reuniting with her childhood best friend. John is now married with two kids, but Dawn isn't about to let that get in her way when the romantic feelings she once harboured for him resurface. John's wife, Marguerite, appears cold and selfish, and Dawn is convinced that he would be happier if he left her. However, once Dawn discovers Marguerite's secret, they develop an unlikely friendship, and as time progresses, Dawn assumes an important role in both John and Marguerite's lives. Admittedly, I was almost half-way through this book before I began to feel invested in the characters. On the surface, none of them are particularly likeable; however, throughout the course of the novel, the main characters, and Dawn in particular, redeem themselves. The story's conclusion is bittersweet but also hopeful, as Dawn begins to create a more meaningful life. (LB)

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