I'll Be Your Blue Sky
by De Los Santos, Marisa

Three weeks after an elderly neighbor helps her find the courage to end an unhealthy relationship, Clare unexpectedly inherits a small house from the woman and with the help of loved ones pieces together the story of the house and her courageous benefactor.

*Starred Review* Clare's wedding weekend-three days of perfect weather dappling every corner of a picturesque Blue Ridge resort-was filled with the people she loved the most. So why did she feel like she was on the verge of a huge mistake? After sneaking out of her bridal brunch to hide a panic attack, Clare bared her soul to Edith, a kindly older woman with the exact advice Clare needed to hear. The conversation crystallized something in Clare, who walked back into the resort and called off her wedding. Clare never thought she'd hear from Edith again, let alone be named as a beneficiary in her will, but Edith leaves Clare her house, a small beachfront inn in Delaware. Overwhelmed by Edith's generosity, Clare looks into the history of the old house and finds far more than she ever imagined. De los Santos (Connect the Stars, 2015; The Precious One, 2015) brings her signature style, wit, and charm while weaving in beloved characters from her previous novels. Fans of Suzanne Finnamore and Marian Keyes will fall in love with the clarity and poetry in de los Santos' voice. This tender, genuine, and joyful novel is one to savor. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Marital abuse is the central issue in de los Santos' (The Precious One, 2015, etc.) latest, which is made up of two intersecting stories: a contemporary woman is engaged to a man with possibly scary anger issues and, in the 1950s, another woman faces difficult choices after the death of her beloved husband.One day before Clare (who, along with other characters here, has appeared in previous de los Santos novels) is scheduled to marry good-looking lawyer Zach at a Virginia resort, an elderly stranger walks by while she's making centerpieces and says, "Courage, dear heart," which happens to be a quote from one of Clare's beloved Narnia books. The next morning, Clare finds herself talking in more depth to the stranger, Edith, who warns her not to live with someone who scares her. Already deeply apprehensive about marrying Zach because he has to work "so hard to be good," Clare takes Edith's advice and calls off the wedding. Edith dies shortly afterward and bequeaths her house on the Delaware coast to Clare. At loose ends after the non-wedding, Clare—who, unlike Zach, is naturally good as well as sensitive and loving—goes there to recover and to avoid Zach's borderline stalking. The novel moves back and forth between Clare's current romantic quandary and Edith's difficult life in the '50s: her idyllic but tragically brief marriage, her years as a young widow running a vacation boardinghouse, her affair with a handsome stranger from the city who involves her in his "relocation system" for women escaping abusive husbands, the risk she takes to help a young mother who has killed her violent husband in self-defense. Readers learn most of these details long before Clare figures them out, although her natural curiosity about Edith draws her and her best friend/former boyfriend, Dev, into Nancy Drew-like sleuthing. Their playful, increasingly romantic enjoyment of the adventure in uncovering Edith's past creates an odd contrast to the actual se r ious drama of Edith's life. De los Santos writes with disarming fluidity even when her plot takes far-fetched turns, but her heroine's inexhaustible perfection grows cloying. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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