About a year ago when I was doing reviews in ex-change for books from Book Sneeze, I got an e-book, Tidewater Inn. And… I never wrote a review on it. I’m not sure now why I didn’t. Maybe because I was busy or because I wasn’t quite sure what to write (not my normal read). Anyway, I was realizing I never wrote the review, so I bought the book and read it so I can write a review since I said I would.
If you would have asked me before I re-read the book what it was about, this is what I would have told you: It’s about Historic-building-lover Libby Holladay finding out she has a family she never knew about and her fight to win them as friends and figure out her past while trying to decide what to do with the beautiful, old Inn that her father willed to her. (Run-on sentence, much?) That’s what stuck in my mind because I’m a character-driven reader. I love delving into what makes the characters do what they do and how will they resolve conflict, especially when the conflict is another person who they desperately want to love. Like a long-lost sister.
Re-reading the book though, I realize that’s only half the story. The other (and maybe bigger?) half is about her business partner, Nicole, being kidnapped and Libby’s search to find her. They story is told from three perspectives (all in third person), Libby’s, Nicole’s and Alec’s, a guy who’s a coast guard.
What I liked about the book:
- Libby was an interesting character to follow. She’s really into old buildings, so she would always try and gauge the age of whatever building she was in, that was pretty cool. And she ate jalapeno jellybean. What character does that? Characters with little quirks are so much fun. Plus, Libby was so totally different from me. At times that could be annoying, but it was also interesting to see life from such a different perspective.
- Libby really wanted to do what was right and worked hard doing what she thought Jesus wanted her to do with her new-found siblings.
- I liked Aunt Pearl a lot, which was what readers were supposed to come away feeling. 😉
- Old buildings are just cool settings for books. And little islands. The two of them together were great.
- When Alec talked to his teenage nephew, Zach, who lived with him, about Zach’s parent’s deaths, he didn’t just say “all things work together for good” which is what I see a lot of Christian authors doing. Instead, he said that God doesn’t promise for it to be easy, but He does promise to help us.
What I didn’t like about the book:
- There were a couple of things that really didn’t make much sense. Like, if someone tried to drowned you, would you afterward just sit on the beach as dusk rolled in?
- There was too much romance in the book for my liking. I skimmed over those parts, and I don’t think there were any details (they kissed like a couple of times). Still, not my cup of tea and I think the book would have been just as great without it (of course, I was totally rooting for Libby and her relationship with her family the whole time, so the other relationships didn’t matter so much).
- (SPOILER ) There was too much violence in it for me. Mainly a kidnapping that they eventually think was a murder, but isn’t. And, then another time they think someone was murdered, but they weren’t.
Really though, if you like the kind of book that has a kidnapping in it, then this book was pretty great. I liked the writing style and I enjoyed reading the different characters voices. The pace was good, too. And, as I said, watching Libby with her new-found family was pretty great.
Would I read another book by the same author? Most likely not. Just because it’s not really my style and there were a few elements (the violence and romance) that I steer clear of most of the time. If you’re ok with those things though, then you’d probably really enjoy the author. 😉
This book is about 320 pages long.
Who is it meant for? Well, let me put it this way: The main characters seem to all be in their 20’s or 30’s and have their careers firmly established. There is a good, strong Christian theme throughout the whole book.
**And of course I was given this book (the first copy anyway!) free in exchange for an honest review. All views expressed where my own.**
5 thoughts on “Book Review – Tidewater Inn by Colleen Coble”
Sounds like a very interesting book! Good review. I am very fond of that name (or nickname) “Libby.” 🙂
Based on your review, it doesn't quite sound like my kind of read, either. I really like what you said about how Alec handled explaining to Zach about God's promises. “Instead, he said that God doesn’t promise for it to be easy, but He does promise to help us.” I really like how you stated that. There are a lot of “preachers” out there who are teaching a false message of “God wants you to have (fill in the blank).” Like I said, not my type of read, but I enjoyed your review.
Thanks. It was interesting and I hate it when someone reads a book they aren't used to and gives it a bad review for that reason, so I tried to find the correct balance… 😉
Good point! There is always something good if you look hard enough. 🙂