As the Great War rages on, Sunset Cove continues to feel its impact. Running the small town newspaper, Anna McDowell can’t escape the grim reports from the other side of the world, but home-front challenges abound as well. Dr. Daniel is serving the wounded on the front lines. And Katy, expecting her first child, with her husband in the trenches, tries to support the war effort with her Red Cross club. Even as the war winds down the costs are high—and Sunset Cove is not spared.
About Melody Carlson
Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, True Colors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita, and the Gold medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.
The fourth and final book in the Legacy of Sunset Cove series by Melody Carlson, “Turning Tide” lives up to its name and proves to be my favorite installment. Whereas “Surf Smugglers” left off with a bit of a somber feeling but with burgeoning love and relationships, “Turning Tide” truly does turn things upside down. Reality comes crashing in, and once again Carlson draws readers into an atmosphere that is at once both cozy and overwhelming.
This book was a very apropos read right now because of its candor in addressing World War I. Without going into gruesome detail, Carlson informs readers via Anna’s newspaper of the high number of fatalities of American troops overseas and the injuries to both body and mind that they faced. Shell shock, which is now known as PTSD, is discussed. What makes this part of the narrative so interesting is that it is presented as it was in 1918, with doctors’ thoughts and opinions revealed. Also, the Spanish Flu is an important part of the story, especially the latter quarter or so, which plays into the current Corona virus pandemic. As in this story and the rampant fear generated by the flu, our current response should be like that of Katy when she reaches the end of herself: “She knew it was time to pray.”
Relationships form the backbone of “Turning Tide”, just as they have for the previous three books in this series, and reading all four offers the advantage of witnessing relationships blossom and grow and, in some cases, end. The characters have become endearing over the course of this series, and I will miss several of them, especially Mac and Lucille.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.