The Sea Keeper's Daughters (Carolina Heirlooms Series #3)

The Sea Keeper's Daughters (Carolina Heirlooms Series #3)

by Lisa Wingate


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2016 Christy Award Winner! (Contemporary novel category)
From modern-day Roanoke Island to the sweeping backdrop of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and Roosevelt’s WPA folklore writers, past and present intertwine to create an unexpected destiny.

Restaurant owner Whitney Monroe is desperate to save her business from a hostile takeover. The inheritance of a decaying Gilded Age hotel on North Carolina’s Outer Banks may provide just the ray of hope she needs. But things at the Excelsior are more complicated than they seem. Whitney’s estranged stepfather is entrenched on the third floor, and the downstairs tenants are determined to save the historic building. Searching through years of stored family heirlooms may be Whitney’s only hope of quick cash, but will the discovery of an old necklace and a Depression-era love story change everything?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781414386904
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date: 09/08/2015
Series: Carolina Heirlooms Series , #3
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 60,141
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Sea Keeper's Daughters

By LISA WINGATE, Sarah Mason

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2015 Wingate Media, LLC
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4143-8827-4


Perhaps denial is the mind's way of protecting the heart from a sucker punch it can't handle. Or maybe it's simpler than that. Maybe denial in the face of overwhelming evidence is a mere byproduct of stubbornness.

Whatever the reason, all I could think standing in the doorway, one hand on the latch and the other trembling on the keys, was, This can't be happening. This can't be how it ends. It's so ... quiet. A dream should make noise when it's dying. It deserves to go out in a tragic blaze of glory. There should be a dramatic death scene, a gasping for breath ... something.

Denise laid a hand on my shoulder, whispered, "Are you all right?" Her voice faded at the end, cracking into jagged pieces.

"No." A hard, bitter tone sharpened the cutting edge on the word. It wasn't aimed at Denise. She knew that. "Nothing about this is all right. Not one single thing."

"Yeah." Resting against the doorframe, she let her neck go slack until her cheek touched the wood. "I'm not sure if it's better or worse to stand here looking at it, though. For the last time, I mean."

"We've put our hearts into this place. ..." Denial reared its unreasonable head again. I would've called it hope, but if it was hope, it was the false and paper-thin kind. The kind that only teases you.

Denise's hair fell like a pale, silky curtain, dividing the two of us. We'd always been at opposite ends of the cousin spectrum — Denise strawberry blonde, pale, and freckled, me dark-haired, blue-eyed, and olive-skinned. Denise a homebody and me a wanderer.

"Whitney, we have to let it go. If we don't, we'll end up losing both places."

"I know. I know you're right." But still a part of me rebelled. All of me rebelled. I couldn't stand the thought of being bullied one more time. "I understand that you're being logical. And on top of that, you have Mattie to think about. And your grandmother. We've got to cut the losses while we can still keep the first restaurant going."

"I'm sorry," Denise choked out. With dependents, she couldn't afford any more risk. We'd already gone too far in this skirmish-by-skirmish war against crooked county commissioners, building inspectors taking backroom payoffs, deceptive construction contractors, and a fire marshal who was a notorious good ol' boy. They were all in cahoots with local business owners who didn't want any competition in this backwater town.

Denise and I should've been more careful to check out the environment before we'd fallen in love with the vintage mill building and decided it would be perfect for our second Bella Tazza location and our first really high-end eatery. Positioned along a busy thoroughfare for tourists headed north to ski or to spend summer vacations in the Upper Peninsula, Bella Tazza 2, with its high, lighted granary tower, was a beacon for passersby.

But in eleven months, we'd been closed more than we'd been open. Every time we thought we'd won the battle to get and keep our occupancy permit, some new and expensive edict came down and we were closed until we could comply. Then the local contractors did their part to slow the process and raise the bills even more.

You're not the one who needs to apologize, I wanted to say to Denise, but I didn't. Instead, I sank onto one of the benches and surveyed the murals Denise and I had painted after spending long days at Bella Tazza 1, in the next county over.

I felt sick all over again.

"The minute we have to give up the lease, they'll move in here." Denise echoed my thoughts the way only a cousin who's more like a big sister can. "Vultures."

"That's the worst part." But it wasn't, really. The worst part was that it was my fault we'd gone this far in trying to preserve Tazza 2. Denise would've surrendered to Tagg Harper and his hometown henchmen long ago. Denise would've played it safe if only I'd let her.

Yet even now, after transferring the remaining food inventory to the other restaurant and listing the equipment and fixtures we could sell at auction, I still couldn't accept what was happening. Somehow, someway, Tagg and his cronies had managed to cause another month's postponement of our case with the state code commission. We couldn't hang on that long with Tazza 2 closed but still racking up monthly bills. This was death, at least for Tazza 2, and if we weren't careful, the financial drain would swallow Tazza 1, leaving our remaining employees jobless.

"Let's just go." Denise flipped the light switch, casting our blood, sweat, and tears into shadow. "I can't look at it anymore."

The click of the latch held a finality, but my mind was churning, my heart still groping for a loophole ... wishing a white knight would ride in at the eleventh hour, brandishing sword and shield.

Instead, there was Tagg Harper's four-wheel-drive truck, sitting in the ditch down by the road. Stalker. He was probably scratching his belly while sipping a brewski and smiling at himself.

"Oh, I hate that man." Denise's teeth clenched over the words. "I'd like to ..."

I couldn't help myself — I took a step in Tagg's direction.

"Whitney, don't get into it with him. There's no telling what he's capable of."

My despair morphed into a feverish anger. I'd never hated anyone the way I hated Tagg Harper.

Denise's hand snaked out and grabbed my jacket. "Don't give him any more satisfaction. It's bad enough that he'll see our equipment on eBay as soon as we post the listings. Jerk. Honest competition with his restaurant, I can handle, but this ..."

"I'd just like to ... walk down there and nail him with a kick to that great big gut of his." The past few months' drama had driven me to think about refresher courses in Tang Soo Do karate, a pastime I'd given up after leaving the high school bullies behind, twenty years ago. I hadn't told Denise, but someone had been prowling around my cabin at night.

As usual, my cousin was focused on the practical, on achieving containment. "We need to concentrate on digging out financially and keeping the first store alive."

"I know." The problem was, I'd been adding things up in my head as we'd made our auction list in the mill building. What we'd get for the supplies and equipment wouldn't even take care of the final utility costs here, much less the legal bills we'd amassed. With the flagging economy and the need to absorb as many Tazza 2 employees as possible into the other restaurant, I wasn't even sure we could make payroll. And we had to make payroll. Our employees were counting on it. They needed to pay their bills too.

Guilt fell hard and heavy, settling stone by stone as we crossed the parking lot. If I hadn't moved back to Michigan five years ago and convinced Denise to start a restaurant with me, she would've still been in a nice, safe teaching job. But I'd been sailing off a big win after quitting an upper management job, opening my own bistro in Dallas, proving it out, and selling it for a nice chunk of change. With four hundred thousand dollars in my pocket, I'd been so sure I had the perfect formula for success. I'd told myself I was doing a good thing for my cousin, helping her escape the constant struggle to single-handedly finance a household, take care of her aging grandmother, and pay for Mattie's asthma care on a teacher's salary.

Denise, I had a feeling, had been hoping that our starting a business together would somehow defeat the wanderlust that had taken me from culinary school to the far corners of the world, opening top-of-the-line kitchens for a multinational restaurant conglomerate.

"See you in the morning, Whit." A quick shoulder-hug and she disappeared into her vehicle, cranking the engine, then crunching across the leftover ice runoff of a polar-vortex winter. Rather than disappearing down the driveway, she stopped at the curb, near Tagg's truck. Through the cold-smoke, I could feel her watching, waiting to be sure I made it to the road without spiraling into a confrontation.

It was so like Denise to look after me. Since her long-ago days as my after-school babysitter, she'd always been fiercely protective. Like the rest of Mom's family, she'd worried that I was stuffing down the aftereffects of my father's death, and that Mom was making a mistake by exposing me to my grandmother on far-away Roanoke Island. It was no secret that Ziltha Benoit held my mother responsible for the untimely loss of her son.

Denise had silently understood all the things I couldn't tell my mom, or anyone — the painful inadequacy that had haunted my childhood, the sense that I could never be good enough, the ridicule in the exclusive private school across town, where Mom's music teaching job came with free tuition for me. The awkwardness of not fitting in with the silver-spoon kids there, even though my last name was Benoit. Denise had always been my oasis of kindness and sage advice — the big sister I never had.

Passing by her car on the way out, I couldn't even look at her. I just bumped down the winter-rutted drive, turned onto the road, and headed toward home, checking once in the mirror to make sure Denise was out of the parking lot too.

Tagg Harper's taillights came on just after her vehicle pulled onto the road. My anger flared with tidal force, and I was starting a U-turn before I even knew what was happening. By the time I made it back to the restaurant, Tagg was positioning his truck in the middle of the parking lot. Our parking lot. The driver's-side door was just swinging open.

I wheeled around and pulled close enough to prevent him from wallowing out. Cold air rushed in my window, a quick, hard, bracing force.

"You even set one foot on this parking lot, Tagg Harper, I'll call the police." Not that the county sheriff wasn't in Tagg's pocket too. Tagg's dumpy pizza joint was the spot where all the local boys gathered for coffee breaks ... if they knew what was good for them.

Lowering his window, he rested a bulky arm on the frame, drawing the door inward a bit. The hinges groaned. "Public parking lot." An index finger whirled lazily in the air. "Heard a little rattle in my engine just now. Thought I'd stop and check it out."

"I'll bet." Of course he wouldn't admit that he wanted to get his meat hooks on this place. He was probably afraid I'd be recording on my cell phone, trying to secure proof of the threats, the bribes to officials and contractors, the constant harassment.

Which was why he was smiling and blinking at me like a ninny now.

"It's my parking lot, until this is all settled. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. You're not welcome here." Don't back down. Not this time. Don't let him bully you. Gripping the steering wheel tighter, I swallowed hard.

"Heard you were moving out early to save on the rent." His breath drew smoke curls in the frosted air. I smelled beer, as usual. "Expensive to keep a building for no reason."

"Well, you heard wrong, because we've got a hearing with the state code commission in six weeks, and with that little bit of extra time to prepare, there's no way in the world we won't win our case."

His chin receded into wind-reddened rolls of neck fat before he relaxed in his seat, self-assured and smiling. He knew a bluff when he heard one. "It'd be a shame to drag yourself any deeper under ... what with your other business to think about and all."

What did that mean? Bella Tazza 1 was outside the county. There wasn't anything Tagg could do to affect it, other than posting derogatory food reviews online, which he and his peeps had already done.

But he was thinking of something right now. That was clear enough. His tongue snaked out and wet his lips, and then he had the gall to give the mill building a leisurely assessment before turning his attention to me again. "Guess I'll wait until the carcass cools a little more."

Pulling the door closed, he rolled up his window, and then he was gone.

I sat alone in the moon shadow of my dying dream, once again feeling like the little girl who would never be worthy of dreams, the Benoit name, or anything else.

No matter how far I traveled, no matter what I achieved, that girl remained just a few inches beneath the skin.

Right now, she was telling me this was exactly what I deserved.

Rounding icy curves as the headlights glinted against dirty mounds of leftover snow, I had the urge to let go of the wheel, close my eyes, and just stay wherever the car came to rest ... until the cold or carbon monoxide put an end to all of this. In some logical part of my brain, I knew that was an overreaction, but the idea of going broke and taking my cousin with me was unbearable.

There has to be a way out. There has to be something I can do. ...

Yet no miraculous possibilities came to mind during the thirty-minute drive home. Finally, the surface of Lake Michigan glinted through the trees, and I looked toward it seeking the comfort it usually provided. This time, all I could see was a vision of myself, floating cold and silent beneath the surface.

Stop. That. The words in my head were a reprimand, strong and determined like my mother's voice. You are not your father.

But occasionally over the years, I had wondered — was there, inside me, the same demon that had taken him from us before I was six years old, leaving me to remember him as a feeling, a snatch of sound, a mist of memory?

Could I, without seeing it ahead of time, come to a place where giving up seemed the best option?

How was the thought even possible for me, knowing firsthand the pain a decision like that leaves behind? Knowing what happens in the aftermath when a person you love enters the cold waters and swims out to sea with no intention of returning to shore?

Someone should tell the dead that saving the living isn't as simple as leaving a note to say, It's no one's fault. For the living, it's always someone's fault.

Turning onto the cabin road, I cleared my head and felt the tears beginning to come, seeking to cleanse. Tears seemed like the only thing I had left. They swelled and pounded in my throat as I drew closer to the little lake cabin that had been home since I'd moved back to Michigan. Fortunately, Mrs. Doyne, who lived in the house out front, kept her cabin rentals at 1950s prices. She was more interested in having responsible, long-term tenants than in making money off the property.

Dressed in her nightgown and probably ready to turn in, she waved from behind a picture window as I passed by the house. One of her ever-present crossword puzzles dangled in her hand.

I had the random realization that even Mrs. Doyne would be hurt if I lost myself beneath the lake's quiet surface. Get your act together, Whitney Monroe, she'd probably say. Life goes on. Mrs. Doyne had survived the death of her husband of fifty years, her one true love. She worked in her gardens, volunteered all over the area, and mentored a Girl Scout troop. She had the best attitude of any person I'd ever met and it went all the way through to the core. She was fearless, always up for a new adventure.

There had been a time when I'd thought that if I kept up the facade long enough on the outside, I'd become that on the inside, too. I'd opened world-class kitchens, driven others to maintain the pace, never let myself get rattled when a newbie on a hot line scorched a sauce or a waiter dropped a tray. I'd dealt with corporate higher-ups who weren't much different from Tagg Harper — bloated, self-important personalities bent on showing the world how special they were. I handled things well. I had things under control.

But what I'd never been faced with, what I'd avoided my entire adult life, was the very thing that had been squeezing me dry these past months. I'd never allowed someone else's wellbeing to depend on my own. Even during a short marriage that had both begun and ended with disaster, I'd maintained my own finances, kept my own life, and so had David. Both of us seemed to prefer it that way. I'd never been faced with the knowledge that my choices, my actions, my failure would destroy another person's life.

Turning off the car, I rested my head against the steering wheel as the cold needled through the windows and the engine's chugs settled to dull metallic pings. A sob wrenched the air and I heard it before I felt it.


Excerpted from The Sea Keeper's Daughters by LISA WINGATE, Sarah Mason. Copyright © 2015 Wingate Media, LLC. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Sea Keeper's Daughters 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could nit put it down
LanguageTCH More than 1 year ago
The Sea Keeper’s Daughters by Lisa Wingate is a well-crafted, enthralling story. Wingate, the author of The Story Keeper—another wonderful tale—is an acclaimed writer. I whole-heartedly agree that she is a masterful writer. The story begins when Whitney Monroe, a struggling restaurant owner, is summoned to her late mother’s home in North Carolina’s Outer Banks to assist her estranged stepfather. He resides on the third floor in an historic building, a former hotel, and the tenants on the bottom level call her after he has fallen and been hospitalized. His own family does not assume responsibility for him. Originally, she thinks that the sale of this building might help to relieve her financial problems and save her second restaurant from ruin. She feels responsible for her cousin and other employees’ welfare and thinks that this would resolve all of their problems. As she sorts through family heirlooms to sell or keep, she discovers a unique necklace among the jewelry and a treasure trove of old letters from her grandmother’s sister to her grandmother. These reveal the broken bond between them—a perplexing mystery—that leads to answers to Whitney’s own questions about her family and heritage. The letters reveal fascinating information about the Federal Writers’ Project during the Great Depression. Her great aunt had traveled and worked for the project. This is a wonderfully captivating story with many layers. The reader gleans much historical background and pertinent information about the time period besides becoming involved in Whitney’s struggles in life and love. This is another great work that I highly recommend. I received this book through TBCN in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!
LVandercook More than 1 year ago
Whitney has been traveling the world opening restaurants when she decides to settle down and start one with her cousin. It is a success, so they open another restaurant which is having legal difficulties when Whitney's stepfather needs her help. She travels from Michigan to the coast of North Carolina to help him though she never got to know him before her mother died. They have a difficult relationship at best, and she thinks it might be best to sell the house that her mother left her that he lives in and have him move to an apartment in an assisted living facility. The home though also houses a couple of shops on its first floor, a second floor that is used as storage from when her grandmother owned the home, and the third floor apartment that her stepfather lives in. She struggles with leaving the store owners without a place for their stores, dealing with the financial weight of the restaurant issues back in Michigan, and stressing out over the stepfather when she starts finding treasures and torn up letters in the second floor of the building. She begins to put the letters together which helps her form a bond with her stepfather and with the owner and an employee of one of the shops. As finds finds out the history of the letters she finds out some of her own history. The story starts off a bit slow, but the historical writing is phenomenal. I was intrigued by the historical part of the story, and it really drew me in. I really enjoyed that part best. I did not know much about the WPA writers during the New Deal or anything about the Melungeon people, and I found it fascinating. The story has a bit of romance and some humor thrown in occasionally. I was frustrated at times with Whitney, but she has had a difficult childhood, so I can understand her reluctance to committing herself to a project or a family besides her beloved cousin whom she runs the restaurant with. This is a good book for adults.
LEH0644 More than 1 year ago
Whitney Monroe returns to the Outer Banks and the old hotel she inherited. She needs money to save her restaurant and hopes she can find something of value to sell. Her cantankerous stepfather is determined she not take anything of her mother’s. Shop owners in the old building are alarmed that she might sell the building. Not only would they lose their businesses but they don’t want to see the historic building torn down and replaced by a high-rise. Whitney finds letters written by her grandmother’s sister and, as everyone gets interested in reading the interviews with the mountain people of western North Carolina, they come together as friends. Whitney has found a love and a family she has longed for. A heartwarming story.
Heather06 More than 1 year ago
I have not read the first books in this series but this one was very good on it's own. Whitney is a confused young woman who is an amazing cook that is trying to start a restaurant with her cousin. She receives a call that her step-father is not in good health and she returns to Manteo, NC, to take care of the hotel that her mother owned before her death. What follows is an amazing story of finding one's self. Decisions and choices that once seemed so easy don't continue to be that way. I loved this book from the beginning. I would recommend this book to anyone. I received a free copy of this book for my honest review from
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Sea Keeper’s Daughter is the final book in the Carolina Heirlooms Series by Lisa Wingate. The series includes The Prayer Box, followed by The Story Keeper, and ends with this book. I have not read the first two books and think this could be read as a stand alone, although I will probably read the other two now. This contemporary fiction is the story of Whitney Morgan and her family. Set in Roanoke Island it has a back story from 1930's North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains and goes back and forth. The book opens with Whitney and her cousin, Denise in a court battle against a competitor. The girls are trying to save their restaurant which is floundering. Whitney gets called away because her stepfather has fallen and is in the hospital with no one to help him or the struggling Hotel that Whitney's late mother owned. The main and secondary characters are relatable. Besides Whitney we meet characters such as Denise, Joel, Mark, Ziltha, Queen Ruby, Benoits, Alice, and Thomas. Each are unique and quirky in their own way. Some are lovable and some are not so much. All of the characters are well rounded and well developed. The dialogue flows smoothly and descriptions are on point so that I was swept away within the first few chapters. This is a delightful book. It has a bit of everything: romance, mystery, history, adventure, suspense, drama. Some parts pulled strongly on my heartstrings and made me grab for a tissue. Other parts made me smile and sigh. Ms. Wingate did a great job. I rated this book 5 out of 5 stars and would recommend it. I received a free copy of this book from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
loriweller1 More than 1 year ago
The Seakeepers Daughter is the third book in the series. But it could easily be read as a stand alone. The story is a mix of the present and past. It is a romance suspense. It involves a search into family history. Lisa Wingate books are always an enjoyable read. I received the book from the Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
SeasonsofGrace More than 1 year ago
It took me a month to read this book, but not because it wasn't good. It was amazing!! It was so very intriguing but also detailed and I didn't want to miss a single detail. To be honest, it was so fascinating I had to read slowly to take it all in. I absolutely loved it. It is actually two stories in one, that tie together in the end. Whitney Monroe is having some serious financial woes over a restaurant she is trying to get up and running. In the midst of it all, she gets a call that her step-father has been admitted to the hospital and really needs someone to come take care of business. In spite of her reservations about it, Whitney drives to Outer Banks, North Carolina from Michigan to see what she can do. After her mother's death, she inherited some property there as well as whatever was left of her grandmother's possessions, but there were a few strings attached so she has left well enough alone til now. Her mission is to see what her step-father needs, maybe sell a few things for some quick cash, and head back to save her restaurant. But life never goes as planned, does it? And Whitney finds much more than she bargained for in the old hotel. How does all this tie in with her current situation? Is she just wasting her time reading some old letters found in her grandmothers stored items? I can't say enough good about this book and yet, I don't want to spoil it for you. The story drew me in. I was fascinated not just with it, but with the historical aspect of it. Lisa had me looking into the past and wanting to know the stories of those who lived back then. I could also feel Lisa's emotional battle, the ties to her past, her mother, the building. And yet the need to let go, take a leap of faith, trust. It's a beautiful story. This is the first book, I have read by her, and Oh my! I am certainly going to be reading more! I can't wait to get my hands on another one of her books. This one is definitely worth the read!! I received this book from and Tyndale in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
jacksonmomLV More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed "going back" to the Outer Banks with Lisa Wingate in this engaging read. It's always fun to see various books "intersect" and catch glimpses of previous characters as they mature. This story centers around a successful young restaurant owner struggling to open a second venue in Northern Michigan while she processes her mother's death. Whitney's step-father is suddenly hospitalized, so she returns to North Carolina to arrange for his care and possibly liquidate the ancient Excelsior Hotel where he has been living. She finds the historic building full of emotional and physical "junk" - unresolved arguments, antiques and memories to untangle with the irascible old Clyde, who hasn't changed a thing since his wife died years ago. The most interesting finds seem to be related to the Lost Colony and her own f sister Whitney didn't even know she had, as well as Clyde's mysterious comments about her mother, make her wonder what she really knows about her family. Slowly, Whitney is drawn into her great-aunt's emotional journey as she recounts her travels through North Carolina as part of the Federal Writers Project. Alice couldn't be more different than the distant grandmother Whitney grew up resenting - or her own father, who took his own life when she was only five. Mix in a little romance, some business problems back home, and several lovable dogs, and Whitney's journey to find herself and her real purpose in life is a totally great read. I find many of Lisa Wingate's heroines follow a similar pattern - beautiful women with unhappy childhoods, large portions of self-doubt, the loss of close friends or family to death or abandonment, personal or business crises - yet they are so individual in their personalities and the resolutions to their issues that I never get tired of reading her stories. This book can stand alone, but I think you'll enjoy it more when you read the previous novels in the Carolina Heirloom series (The Sea Glass Sisters, The Prayer Box, The Tidewater Sisters, The Prayer Box, The Sandcastle Sister). Lisa Wingate has a real gift for spinning tales that are impossible to put down.
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
This was a fantastic story. It has been one of my favorite books by Lisa Wingate. She blended the past and present in this book wonderfully. This was a great story that had a little mystery and a bit of romance. I really loved Whitney and all the characters that she interacts with. Will Whitney be able to save her restaurant or will she lose everything in her life? I received this book from Tyndale Blog Network for a fair and honest opinion.
NanceeMarchinowski More than 1 year ago
This is a trip back in time to the once prestigious hotel Whitney's family owned, which now belongs to her. Many decisions are to be made about what the hotel can do for her, and what she can do for the hotel. Included are mystery, intrigue, history and very detailed letters from the past, written by a member of the Federal Writers' Project. The story weaves two timelines together through those letters, bringing a great deal of interest to the protagonist and her family. I had no idea this was part of a series of books. It reads very easily as a standalone, and swept me away from Michigan to the Outer Banks and the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Characters are strong, diverse, and numerous, but easy to follow as they are encountered. I loved the history and the stories of the very small group of people referred to as the Melungeons. Information obtained about these people is well researched and documented. I thoroughly enjoyed this somewhat complicated book, a lengthy one. The plot developed at a pace that kept my attention throughout. It was difficult to put the book down as clues to the past led to a better understanding of the present. The main character frustrated me at times, but that is "who she is." She was clearly defined as her personality is as real as any other individual's. I highly recommend this interesting and entertaining book! Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from The Book Club Network For Readers Only program in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
Laura_Pol More than 1 year ago
What an excellent story by Lisa Wingate! I absolutely loved this latest one by her! It reminded me a lot of her other novel, "The Prayer Box," which is one of my favorite’s by her, but this one might have surpassed it. I don’t know how Lisa does it, but she creates this perfect blend for a contemporary novel. There’s romance, mystery, and history, making this an amazing story that keeps you glued. I had to put the book down for a month to finish up the last few weeks of school. I had been about halfway through it at the time, but once I picked it up I was sucked right back in. I was so caught up in the story and when I couldn’t read it, I couldn’t wait to dive right back in! I can’t say what my favorite parts of "The Sea Keeper's Daughters" were because I was very intrigued by Whitney’s and Alice’s story. I loved the healing that Whitney experienced and the freedom God brings from pain in Alice’s. I was able to relate so much to both of them, especially Alice. It was very fascinating to read about the WPAand so glad Lisa shared a small part about it. I didn’t realize what it was about until reading Alice’s story. Also, living in North Carolina, I was also fascinated reading about the Outer Banks once again. I have only visited there once, but it makes me want to go and really learn about this part of North Carolina. Overall, this is definitely a must read and one I highly recommend to contemporary readers who enjoy a historical edge woven in as well as a subtle romance. *(I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts expressed are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.)*
lsnlj More than 1 year ago
I was not sure what to expect from this novel, and Lisa Wingate never disappoints. There is a lot going on from past to present in this novel. Whitney Monroe finds herself on a journey like none other. She is desperately trying to save her restaurant and all those who depend on her. She has a few trust issues, with some reason. Whitney must go back to the Outer Banks and deal with memories, family and secrets. Will she be able to save her restaurant and keep everyone happy, even those she has just met? Can she ever understand and get along with her step dad? When Whitney uncovers some letters she is not sure where they will lead her, yet she is drawn to them. She has some important and hard decisions to make. When everything seams to be falling apart will she ruin everything or will everything work out for the best? This novel is full of history, surprise, forgiveness, understanding, twist, and a dash of romance. We follow Witney through paths she may not wish to uncover but some secrets must be revealed. I was given a copy of this novel from for my honest opinion.
grammy57 More than 1 year ago
I did not realize this was a book in a series. It does not matter. It is a book that stands on it's own merits very well. The story is well written and flows along smoothly. The editing was well done. The characters were well developed and believable. The story was part love story, part mystery and kept my attention throughout. If you want a synopsis of the story, read the cover. I do not like to give away anything in my review. This is a Christian book, but not by much. The two of the main characters claim to believe in God but the story doesn't show it much. It is a nice, clean book, not heavy on religion. I was given this book in exchange for my honest review. I highly recommend this book.
KMarkovich More than 1 year ago
What a fascinating story that kept me wanting to know what would happen next! The book moves back and forth from modern Whitney’s story to letters from Alice written in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the 1930’s (as part of the Federal Writers Project). Although this is not really a sequel to The Story Keeper’s Daughter, some of that novel shows up in this one but I don’t believe you have to have read it to follow this story line. Not only did this book fascinate me throughout it, I loved the ending! Whitney has so many challenges – from the restaurant business in Michigan to the inheritance of a rundown hotel in the Outer Banks, from the abandonment of her father at a young age to the fairly recent death by cancer of her mother. Which way can she turn? With the discovery of old letters in the old hotel, she feels drawn to the woman Alice whom she had never heard of before. What a great read! I highly recommend this book! I received this book from in return for my honest opinion.
Karen02KD More than 1 year ago
Whitney Monroe finds herself nearly alone in the world. She was an only child. Her father committed suicide and her mother passed from cancer. Her stepfather Clyde has been verbally abusive, keeping her from her mother’s possessions. Her priority in life is her restaurant with which she is partners with her cousin, Denise. Unfortunately, they tried to expand quickly to another restaurant. That restaurant is involved in a legal battle and their original restaurant is not making enough money to pay their bills and their workers. It seems like an answer to prayer when she gets a call that her stepfather has fallen and is in the hospital. If he passes, she will inherit the vintage house whose sale just might get her out of her financial woes. That is true until she arrives on Roanoke Island and learns that Clyde plans to keep living there and the tenants of her building become meaningful to her. As Whitney begins to go through some of her grandmother’s possessions, she comes across some letters from a relative she never knew existed. As she reads the letters, she gets a different picture of her family and perhaps a different slant on her future. Any reader of Lisa Wingate’s Story Keeper will enjoy this book. This book also takes place in North Carolina. While it is not necessary to have read the previous book, as this is a stand alone book, it does make a nice tie-in. I really enjoyed learning about the Federal Writers project. The reader may also enjoy some justification for what may have happened to the Lost Colony on Roanoke Island. While the book does jump back and forth from current day to the past via letters, it is not hard to follow this transition. I received this book from The Book Club Network in exchange for my opinion.
HappyReader50 More than 1 year ago
This is the second book I have read by Ms. Lisa Wingate; the first being The Story Keeper. This book did not disappoint. It was a fantastic read and I would highly recommend it. In her acknowledgments, Ms. Wingate writes “writing fiction is the strangest of professions. Here is a job in which your task each day is to listen to the voices of people who don’t exist and describe events that never were. It’s the adult version of Let’s Pretend.” Pg. xi. Well, I say to Ms. Wingate, “you could have fooled me.” The characters in this book were very much real as were the situations they found themselves in. As with The Story Keeper, Ms. Wingate writes of the mountains and the history of some of the mountain people. In with this she has woven another story of Whitney Monroe, a struggling restaurant owner, who is called from Michigan to North Carolina’s Outer Banks to take care of a grouchy, solitary, hard to deal with step-father Clyde and The Excelsior (a historic building she has inherited). While meanwhile, back home in Michigan, her restaurants are barely surviving and money is very short. Along with Whitney and Clyde, throughout this book we meet Mark, Joel, Ziltha, Denise, Queen Ruby, The Benoit family, Alice, Thomas and Able. How are all these people connected? How are their lives woven together? Are they all striving for the same purpose? Can they come to an understanding of each other to save Whitney’s struggling restaurants and the Excelsior? Pick this book up. Find a nice cozy couch and blanket and read away. This book is another wonderful story by Lisa Wingate. You will not be disappointed you picked this book. Thank you Ms. Wingate for the opportunity to read yet another great story. I was given this book by in exchange for an honest review.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
The Sea Keeper's Daughters is the third installment of the Carolinas series. I thought this was a pretty good read. I enjoyed the true to life characters and situations. There's a mixture of mystery, drama, and even humor. I recommend this book. 4 1/2 stars. I received this book from in exchange for my honest opinion, which was given.
momof3boysj More than 1 year ago
This is a beautiful story! I highly recommend it. I love how it weaves the past and present through the lives of women. It is primarily set in present day Outer Banks. Whitney is called home because her step-father is in ill health. As she goes through her grandmother's home (former hotel and residence with shops on the ground floor) and late mother's belongings, she discovers letters with secrets to her past and that of her family. There are historical artifacts in the home, and she must to decide what to do with the building itself as she also has a life in another state. She's also in desperate need of money. Everyone has an opinion, but only she can decide what is the right thing to do with the information hidden in the letters, her family history, the home, how to make money, and even her step-father. How everything is tied up in the end is a pleasant gift to read. There are references to earlier books by the author, but it's not necessary to have read them to understand this book. (I had read those books.)
TCramer More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful finale to the Carolina Heirlooms Series by Lisa Wingate. The series starts with The Prayer Box, followed by the award winning, The Story Keeper, and now, The Sea Keeper’s Daughter. There are also fun novellas disbursed along the way. It is so difficult to use the term “finale” because I would love to see this series go on and on. It is that good. The Sea Keeper’s Daughter is a contemporary fiction novel set in Roanoke Island with a back story from the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains. The back story in the Blue Ridge Mountains is from the 1930s and features the assignments of WPA folklore writers. Ms. Wingate is very gracious in providing the reader with actual links regarding the real history of the WPA writers in her note at the end of the novel. This novel features the character of restaurant owner Whitney Monroe. She is fighting to save her business from a hostile takeover when she receives unexpected news that draws her back to Roanoke Island. Whitney is a likeable protagonist with a troubled past. She is hardworking and loyal to her business partner and cousin, Denise. The supporting characters are unique and well developed. And, of course, cameo appearances from some characters in the past books are always delightful. I am going to miss this series something awful. I look forward to reading it again in the future. I highly recommend this novel and the other books in the series. If you enjoy stories and folklore that are brilliantly articulated, you will love this novel. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, through The Book Club Network ( in exchange for my honest review.
lilacqueen75 More than 1 year ago
The story started out a little slow for me, as I was trying to figure out how everything and everyone connected, but it quickly picked up pace and had me completely engrossed. Whitney owns two restaurants that are struggling and when she inherits an old hotel in North Carolina, she leaves, to not only try and figure out a way to save what she has, but to try and decide what to do with what she has been given. I could understand her temptation to just sell it all off to get the money to save her restaurants, but what she discovers along the way is more important than all that. So many livelihoods depend on her and her decisions and it's not an easy role to be in. Whitney is a strong, capable woman, one who hasn't liked to put down roots for awhile. I love the transformation that happens when she discovers some old letters and a little mystery surrounding her family. She is so deep and real--I actually cared what happened to her. I loved that this book turns into two stories in one. We get the current situation and these letters take the reader back to the 1930s. Images are very vivid through wonderful descriptions. It made me think that it's a shame letter writing has fallen to the wayside, since we've now lost out on a way to keep memories alive. There are several really great characters in this book. Whitney's step-father, Clyde, is a curmudgeon. In fact, I was a little fearful for her safety around him. These letters did more than just entertain Whitney--they brought many people together, formed bonds, and helped them see each other in new ways. Joel, a wayward teen who needs a little direction; Mark, a shop owner who wants to keep his business alive and who is deeper than he seems; and Denise, the cousin with whom Whitney owns the restaurants. I found deep feeling and emotion within the pages and was caught up in the powerful storytelling. I love the way it comes full circle. The ending felt a little rushed, but I was completely satisfied. Content: very mild romance (implied affairs, kissing); very mild violence (one character is beat up); no language; this book is published by a Christian publisher, but it's not religious--no religious elements. Clean! *I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*
Christinekline More than 1 year ago
If You Love Lisa Wingate Books You Will Love This One Too! Lisa Wingate has done it again! This last book in the Carolina series certainly lives up to the previous books in the series. Lisa Wingate has such a talent for weaving stories together from the past and present. This story follows Whitney who is a restauranteur in Michigan, with family ties in Manteo, NC and much baggage to go with those ties. When she is called on to come back to Manteo because of her step father's illness, Whitney discovers many family secrets as well as many insights into her own personal issues. A fascinating part of this story was about the Federal Writers Project, which I had never heard has piqued my interest in finding out more and the author provides websites for further exploration of this topic at the end of the book. I love how the author combines history, mystery, romance and spiritual inspiration into her stories. Really enjoyed the ending of this story...surprising and sweet! I highly recommend this book as well as the whole series!
esosweet More than 1 year ago
When struggling restauranteur Whitney Monroe gets a phone call summoning her to the North Carolina Outerbanks she returns to the summer home of her youth. Her family history and legacy is waiting for her to uncover and decipher the truth. The fact of it is that Whitney has lost both herself and her way and must find out how to get them back. Will the unshared past of her great aunt and her stepfather help her to find them? Will she ever find a friendship with the cranky surf shop owner? Will she allow progress to threaten the historic building of which she is the custodian? The Sea Keeper's Daughter was a wonderful read. The story is fascinating and the book only gets better the longer you read it. By the end, I wanted to move to the North Carolina coast and find my way into the community there. There is a historical aspect to this story that centers on a group of people known as the Melungeons. I had not heard of this group of people and found their story fascinating. I am always glad when any historical fiction piece is true to the history. While there were implications in the story, nothing was overtly stated that could be considered made-up-history. This is a Christian Fiction book, but it was not preachy. In fact other than a few places where religion was discussed there was not much of a religious theme. I definitely recommend this book. While it would be great beach reading, it is also a great curl-up-somewhere-cozy book. A copy of this was provided to me from the publisher (through NetGalley) in exchange for a review of the book. I really enjoyed this book and I think that most people would too.