FYI: The Healing Island, Barbara Bond's second book, is a sequel to this one.
The Life of St. Francis
Come not between the dragon and his wrath. (King Lear, Act 1, Scene 1)
Saturday, Thanksgiving weekend: Frannie stood, her small hands arched like ghost crabs, pressing down on Elspeth's dining room table to keep the trembling at bay. She wasn't afraid; it was barely controlled anger that threatened to surface. She had to keep it in check. Should she just walk away? After all, it had only been days since she'd met Elspeth Cleary.
The Friday 56 (from 56% on my Kindle):
[In this dialogue, the conversation is about Elspeth's daughters.]
"When did duty become a dirty word?" Frannie paused. "When they were young, and you were attempting the impossible--a single mother, building the firm--weren't there days, maybe weeks, maybe months when you did your duty to them? When they were being willful, bratty, inconsiderate, was it love or devotion that saw you through it?"
Genre: Women's Fiction (not romance)
Length: 220 pages
Amazon Link: The Beach Walkers
The Beach Walkers: a story of mothers and daughters, of kinship lost and friendship found on an island in northeast Florida.
Can walking the beach heal the heart?
In her grand beachfront home on Amelia Island, Elspeth Cleary is devastated when Jess, a daughter she adores, refuses her inheritance. She sends her back to New York—to the delight of two older daughters summoned to the island on family business. A wealthy, weary, lonely widow, Elspeth hoped to spend months with each of them. She couldn't ask of course; they might say no. What was she thinking in trying to bribe them?
Frannie had warned her not to expect gratitude for sharing her wealth, or to hope that her daughters would help fill her days. Frannie Dawson is the energetic woman Elspeth met on the beach. Frannie was right. The eldest daughters take their inheritance and flee, leaving her alone, even at Christmas. When grief and a diagnosis of breast cancer bring her to the edge, she tells only Frannie, her new beach friend and a retired teacher of Shakespeare.
Can Frannie help this modern Queen Lear? She’s determined to try. She draws Elspeth into a group of beach walkers; an eclectic group that includes women who tell her she's not alone in her woes with adult children. The gentle women of the walking group share their stories and their unique celebrations. They support her through cancer treatment. For the first time in years, she has a sense of belonging.
But does mending a heart take more than a walk on a beach?