The Sea Glass Sisters by Lisa Wingate is an novella prequel to The Prayer Box, which I read and reviewed last year. A major character in that book is Sandy, owner of Sandy’s Sea Shell Shop on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, who has a significant influence on the life of main character Tandi. The Sea Glass Sisters shares some of Sandy’s background and the circumstances involving the hurricane that hit the area just prior to The Prayer Box.
The main character in this story, however, is Sandy’s niece, Elizabeth Gallagher. Her life is coming unraveled: pressures on her job as a 911 dispatcher, distance in her relationships with her husband and children, problems piling up she doesn’t know what to do about. Just as she is riddled with guilt that a mistake she made on a call may have cost a young girl her life, her mother recruits her for a multi-state drive to Hatteras Island, NC. Her mother and Sandy are sisters, and her mother wants to “talk some sense” into Sandy and get her to move back. All the rest of the relatives live on properties all touching each other. Sandy, seemingly on a whim, went to NC and opened this shop, and now wants to sell her property in Michigan. Besides wanting to keep the family properties together and have Sandy back, she is worried about hurricanes and Sandy’s neglected health.
In fact, as Elizabeth and her mother drive to NC, a hurricane is on its way to the area. But her mother is convinced she can persuade Sandy to come back with them before they’re in danger. When they arrive, they can understand what attracted Sandy to the area, but they still want her to come home. When the hurricane presses toward them, they ride out the storm together and get to know each other better in the process.
Some standout quotes:
I decipher the brewing machine because I am, after all, trained to save lives, and this is a life-or-death situation. We need coffee. Now. Or heads will roll.
Every decision you make in life has benefits and consequences. Sometimes you just have to go on faith, and even that comes at a price. It means you have to give up the idea that you’re the one in charge of the universe.
No way out but through the storm now.
That’s the only thing you can do with a mess. Start cleaning it up, a little at a time.
The shadow of the highest evil intermingled with the light of the highest good. Maybe all lives are filled with this. Maybe it is always a choice between embracing the darkness of one or the saving grace of the other.
We’ve tried to set her straight, but you don’t set that woman anywhere. She’s like the value of pi. She just is.
Maybe life is a series of little deaths and rebirths, of passages and rites of passage, of God teaching you to stop clinging to one thing so you can reach for another.
Lisa packed quite a lot into this little book. I loved what Elizabeth learned along the way and the sense of place or setting Lisa created in the book. I love that cover! It looks like a shop I would want to visit. I enjoyed my second visit to the outer Banks via Lisa’s books – or third, actually, including A Sandy’s Seashell Shop Christmas – and look forward to more.
Genre: Christian fiction
Objectionable elements: None.
My rating: 10 out of 10