August 5, 2002
Life goes on in the small coastal town of Cedar Cove, Wash., as real life does everywhere—with small dramas and personal epiphanies—in this sedate slice-of-life drama. The last time readers visited Cedar Cove in Macomber's 16 Lighthouse Road, family court judge Olivia Lockhart had refused to grant a divorce to a young couple trying to come to terms with the loss of their infant daughter. This time around, Olivia has problems of her own; her ex-husband wants her back, which makes her on-again, off-again relationship with newspaper editor Jack Griffin even rockier. Elsewhere around town, Olivia's daughter finally follows her heart and marries her high school sweetheart instead of the troublemaking older man she'd been dating; Zach and Rose Cox find their marriage falling apart when Rosie begins neglecting her family for volunteer work; and Maryellen Sherman, the manager of the local art gallery, becomes pregnant after a brief affair with an artist. Despite all these goings-on, the book's main focus is librarian Grace Sherman, whose husband of 35 years is still missing after disappearing six months earlier. The first few chapters, in which Macomber reacquaints readers with the town and its occupants, may feel sluggish to those familiar with the series, but this smooth yet simplistic offering will claim the reader's attention once the introductions are over.