Harlow Smith is part owner of the popular bookstore Open Book in the Cape Cod town of Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Harlow is the oldest of five children, whose parents own a local art gallery and are still madly in love with one another. Harlow had always been the most stable and reliable of the children. But she has kept a big secret from her family. When she was seventeen years old, she got pregnant while in college and worked with an adoption agency to find the perfect parents for her baby. The day Matthew was born, Harlow held her new son for a short time and then turned him over to the loving arms of Sanjay and Monica Patel. Now almost eighteen years old, Matthew convinces his parents to rent a summer home on Cape Cod not knowing their son was planning to meet his birth mother. Once Matthew approaches Harlow in her store, an emotional journey begins. For Harlow, she has to deal with her long-buried feelings about giving up her son for adoption. Monica feels betrayed and threatened by Harlow, who Matthew appears to be enamored with. Matthew grapples with feelings of abandonment and starts to wonder what life might have been like if Harlow would have kept him.
Kristan Higgins has such talent for creating strong character-driven stories. A Little Ray of Sunshine is about what makes a family. It will tug at your heartstrings as Harlow and Monica have to work through their complicated emotions. At almost 500 pages, Higgins is able to make many characters come alive. It was very nice to see good diversity in her characters. And if you were a fan of Higgins' last book Out of the Clear Blue Sky, which I recommend, you'll enjoy the return of some of the Wellfleet locals (Harlow made a brief appearance in the last book.)
Many thanks to Berkley Romance for the advance. I enjoyed returning to Higgins' Cape Cod filled with people I'd like to meet and places I'd like to roam. Save a place in your beach bag for this book.
Rated 4.25 out of 5 stars.
Romance / Contemporary Fiction.
Publication Date: June 6, 2023.
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