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The Bookshop at Water's End

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  3,082 ratings  ·  505 reviews
The women who spent their childhood summers in a small southern town discover it harbors secrets as lush as the marshes that surround it...
Bonny Blankenship’s most treasured memories are of idyllic summers spent in Watersend, South Carolina, with her best friend, Lainey McKay. Amid the sand dunes and oak trees draped with Spanish moss, they swam and wished for happy-eve
Kindle Edition, 345 pages
Published July 11th 2017 by Berkley
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3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,082 ratings  ·  505 reviews

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Carol (Bookaria)
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, fiction, netgalley
This is a novel of female friendship, tragedy and new beginnings in a wonderful setting.

This is the story of Bonny, Piper and Lainey. Bonny Blankenship is an ER doctor who has been suspended from her job and is under investigation for her role in the accidental death of a patient. Lainey is Bonny's best friend and an artist. Piper is Bonny's daughter who has recently come into some trouble.

The three of them move into Bonny's river house for the summer, located in the town of Water's End. This w
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

A summer home that has been left abandoned for years, but a summer home that Bonny now desperately needs to return to regardless of the pain and memories it holds.

The town of Watersend, South Carolina, was quaint, a treasure from childhood, and had the best bookstore with a marvelous bookstore owner that could pick out a book you "need" not a book that you want.

We meet many likable and believable characters except one in THE BOOKSHOP AT WATER’S END. You are able to empathize with the characters
Book of Secrets
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THE BOOKSHOP AT WATER’S END is an engaging story about two fifty-something friends at a crossroads in life who return to their childhood vacation home to face the ghosts of their past. Lainey and Bonny were known as the Summer Sisters around the idyllic waterfront town, and they had the happiest times together until tragedy struck. Lainey’s mom disappeared without a trace, something that has haunted her for nearly 40 years. Bonny is dealing with her own issues, including a crumbling marriage and ...more
Theresa Alan
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a sweet story of two grown women who are now mothers. Bonny is an ER doc trying to find her way out of a loveless marriage. After an accident in the ER, she needs some time to regroup, so she returns to Watersend, a small sea side town where she and Lainey became friends when they were thirteen years old. Back then, they had been inseparable. They were known as the Summer Sisters. They had the Girls’ Detective Club, inspired by Nancy Drew mysteries, and their safe haven was a bookstore r ...more
Dorothea Frank
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Best book of her career! Loved it!
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I really enjoyed this book. I was really pulled in by the writing and ended up loving the characters. The story was a little bit different than I had thought it would be based on the title but it ended up being a good surprise. Once I started reading this book, I found myself picking up this book every free moment I had until I reached the last page. I am really glad that I decided to give this book a try.

Bonny and Lainey called them
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Bonny Blankenship’s most treasured memories are of idyllic summers spent in Watersend, South Carolina, with her best friend, Lainey McKay. Amid the sand dunes and oak trees draped with Spanish moss, they swam and wished for happy-ever-afters, then escaped to the local bookshop to read and whisper in the glorious cool silence. Until the night that changed everything, the night that Lainey’s mother disappeared.

Now, in her early fifties, Bonny is desperate to clear her head after a tragic mistake t
You've read one, you read them all. No.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
All of my reviews can be found on

The Bookshop at Water’s End is told from multiple perspectives giving four different women all the chance to narrate and tell their personal story. Bonny and Lainey have been best friends since they were children and Piper is Bonny’s troubled daughter, and finally Mimi is the owner of the bookshop. These women ranged in age from nineteen to eighty and the author did such a brilliant job of creating distinct and powerful voices for each of them
Sherri Thacker
For some reason I feel like I never connected with this book. I wanted to quit at the half way mark but kept going and it just didn't get much better.
Dale Harcombe
When young Bonny Blakenship and Lainey McKay spent their summers together with the families at Watersend, they called themselves the summer sisters. They promised to always be best friends and be there for each other. The disappearance of Lainey’s mother put an end to those summers, even though the friends keep in touch by mail and phone as they grow older. When in the Emergency Room of the hospital where Bonny is a doctor, she encounters Owen, Lainey’s brother and the one she had always been in ...more
Mrs. Europaea
3.5 Stars

This rating seems really low for a novel with such great writing but I really didn't connect to any of the characters or the plot.

You start off with a prologue to Mimi, the Title Wave's bookshop owner, and Piper, Bonny's daughter's first encounter in the bookshop. Mimi's narrative I feel was the strongest in all of the novel and I was very disappointed to see that her perspective is only given a couple of times when it seemed like Mimi's character was where Henry did her strongest wr
How I love this time of year when a beach read seems inevitable and going to the beach actually is a reality. The thing that I loved most about this book was Mimi's bookshop, it seemed like such a nice peaceful old fashioned type of bookstore, the kind that we really do not see often anymore. Then there was the mystery of what happened to Lainey's mother all those years ago when she disappeared, where did she go? Did she drown? This is entangled up in Lainey's everyday life as she tries to find ...more
Chris  C - A Midlife Wife
This book had so many different levels and layers to peel back, I just don’t even know where to start. So I guess at the beginning is a good place.

This is the story of two best friends who spent summers at the beach and their lives became intricately woven together over the years. But then the happiness fell apart over a tragedy that changed their lives forever.

Fast forward to today. Dealing with a tragedy at work, a loveless marriage, the only place to escape to is the water and the house where
When Bonny and Lainey were girls their families were summer friends in the small coastal town of Water’s End. They did everything together and were even called the “Summer Sisters” by some of the locals. The summer they were 13 something horrible happened and their families never returned to Water’s End. Bonny’s family owned the house where both families stayed and now Bonny was the owner. She’d fixed it up and rented it out over the years but now she was going to prepare to sell it. That was th ...more
Sep 19, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Talk about a book written with calculation. This book is certainly geared to readers like me (sucker for books about books and bookstores, and a "mystery" involving longtime friends), but the bookstore really was insignificant to the story (any meeting place would have done), and the mystery totally unrealistic and anticlimactic. In addition, the characters were fake and annoying, all seemed to hold onto long ago trauma (some if it not really so traumatic) and overreact to everything. The book s ...more
Apr 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher Berkley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a great summer read, not to heavy but still there is depth to the story of two friends who reunite at the river house where one of the friends lost her mother. Bonny's parents bought the house when she was a child and each year they would return for the summer. It was here that she met Lainey and her brother Owen who would also along with their parents come to the house each year. Bonny and La
Bonny is a well respected ER doctor, married, with a 20 year old daughter who is a bit of a train wreck. When a blast from her past disrupts her life, she loses focus and makes a fatal error.

Now on suspension, she escapes her bad marriage taking her daughter to the summer river house in Watersend, South Carolina. She has so many fond memories of the summers she and her best friend spent there and once considered it home until a tragedy, and she and her family never returned. The other part of th
Luanne Ollivier
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Books and the beach. Two of my favourite things! And you'll find them both in Patti Callahan Henry's new novel, The Bookshop at Water's End.

Bonny and Lainey were known as the Summer Sisters when they were younger and spent summers in Watersend, SC. But those idyllic days ended when Lainey's mother disappeared one night. Now in their fifties, they are still friends, but have never gone back to Watersend. Bonny is a doctor, but a tragic mistake may cost her her career. Her marriage is also on the
Virginia C
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great read. You will fall in love with the characters. You will want a copy and cuddle down and enjoy.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern-fiction
I love Southern fiction and have read all of Patti Callahan Henry's books and will tell you that this book was another fantastic book by a great author. I have been in a reading slump lately and this is the book that ended that slump. I thought it was Southern fiction at it's best.

Bonny and Lainey had been friends since childhood when they spent three summers sharing a beach house with their families. They were now in their 50s and Bonny, an ER doc who has made a terrible mistake, begs Lainey to
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A warm hug of a book...

Messed up people. Hurt people. Wonderful people.

Friends. Family. Friends are family.

Death. Loss. Hope.

I fell into this book and breathed in the corner of the river house watching the lives unfold.

I’ll read this book again. It’s going on my “MAKES MY HEART HAPPY” list...
Kristy Harvey
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Patti Callahan Henry is one of the best storytellers around, and it isn't only because of her fascinating plots and relatable, real characters. It is also because her beautiful, lyrical prose weave together in a way that makes the stories even more poignant, more emotional and more moving. I love all of her books, but I think this might be my favorite yet. Henry adeptly balances four protagonists, ranging from 19 to 80, in a believable, authentic way. There are a few plot twists in this one, and ...more
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, first-reads
I won this novel in the Goodreads Giveaways! I'm such a sucker for beach reads that take place in the Low Country and this book did not disappoint! I was thrilled to win this book!

The book is told from three different female perspectives: Bonny, her summer sister Lainey, and Bonny's nineteen year old daughter Piper. After a medical procedure gone wrong and in the midst of a bad marriage, ER doctor Bonny heads back to Watersend, SC to the summer home her parents had left to her. She also brings h
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: release-2017
The Bookshop At Waters End- a juicy southern novel, and another fantastic summer read. It's main setting is a river||ocean cottage in Watersend, South Carolina which reunites the Summer Sisters for one heck of a 'sentimental' girls vacation before the cottage is put up for sale. The storyline is sizzling with shocking family secrets, lifelong friendships, love.. and books, of course. I rated all the stars.
Beautifully written novel about the power of family and friends. Book Club selection for August, 2018 - going to be a great discussion!
Several thought-provoking quotes:
"But she did the best she could. We all do the very best we can. . . . We do what we can with what we know at the time, and with what we believe."

"Then let's not sit around waiting for something good. Let's do good."
Hailey Fish
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A superbly and beautifully well written story by one of my favorite Southern fiction writers!
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I adore a book that is character driven, one that lets me see in to a life and helps me understand what makes that person tick. This book did just that for me. I came to love the characters in this book, especially Bonny, Lainey and Piper. As the story unfolded and I came to understand why each one made the choices they did and what drove them, I just loved them even more.

The setting of WatersEnd was pure perfection, and a little town I'd love to live in myself. I can see why it was special to e
Dottie Legatos
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
First, I’d like to thank Netgalley and Berkeley Publishing Group for an advanced copy of The Bookshop at Water’s End. I was intrigued by both the cover and the title, as I had never read anything by Patti Callahan Henry. Besides recommendations from some of my friends, this is usually how I like to try new authors. I was not disappointed. Told from different character’s perspectives and different time periods, this was a story of two women, Bonnie and Lainey, who spent summers as young girls in ...more
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
I enjoyed this little beach read. It is told from the perspectives of Bonny, her teenage daughter, and her childhood friend Lainey, which added some depth to the story. The mystery is surrounding Lainey's mother, who disappeared when Lainey was just a child. Overall, it was a little predictable and cozy. The word bookshop in the title caught my eye originally. I would have liked more scenes there. I loved Mimi, the bookshop owner who always knew just the right thing to say or the right
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Patti Callahan Henry is the New York Times Bestelling novelist of eleven novels. Her latest is THE BOOKSHOP AT WATER'S END with Penguin Random House/Berkley

“Sometimes we tell our stories and sometimes our stories tell us.” 5 likes
“There was forgiveness in this admission. We were all doing the very best we could: as women, as mothers and as daughters. We hurt each other; we heal each other; we mend and we break and we try again, until we can’t and the headstone has its final say. And yet still our hearts reach out for both love and forgiveness, granted and accepted.” 0 likes
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