Book Order by Author

Mary Alice Monroe Books in Order

mary alice monroe books in order 1

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Mary Alice Monroe is a New York Times bestselling author, also known as Mary Alice Kruesi. She is recognized for her novels in the climate fiction genre. Mary was born in the U.S. on May 25, 1960.

She thinks moving to coastal South Carolina was the best decision she ever made, as it allowed her to get closer to the outdoors and improve her writing. The shifting habitat of the area exposed her to the important topics that she features in her books.

Many of Mary’s books are richly contoured. They dig into the many intricacies of the resemblances of humans and nature.  Her novels have been widely distributed around the world.

The novel’s success has earned Monroe a spot on several best-seller lists,  including USA Today, the New York Times, and SIBA.

Aside from focusing on environmental conservation in her books, Monroe is an active participant on the conservationists’ board.

She now lives with her family on a barrier island near Charleston, South Carolina. She completed her first trilogy in 2012 with the publication of ‘Beach House Memories.’ It is a prequel to her best-selling novel, ‘The Beach House.’

Mary Alice Monroe Books in order 

Beach House

  1. The Beach House (2002)
  2. Swimming Lessons (2007)
  3. Beach House Memories (2012)
  4. Beach House for Rent (2017)
  5. Beach House Reunion (2018)
  6. On Ocean Boulevard (2020)
  7. The Summer of Lost and Found (2021)

The Islanders Books

  1. The Islanders (2021)

Lowcountry Summer

  1. The Summer Girls (2013)
  2. The Summer Wind (2014)
  3. The Summer’s End (2015)
  4. A Lowcountry Wedding (2016)
  5. A Lowcountry Christmas (2016)

Standalone Novel

  1. The Long Road Home (1995)
  2. Girl in the Mirror (1998)
  3. The Book Club (1999)
  4. The Four Seasons (2001)
  5. Skyward (2003)
  6. Sweetgrass (2005)
  7. The Secrets We Keep (2005)
  8. Time is a River (2008)
  9. Last Light Over Carolina (2009)
  10. The Butterfly’s Daughter (2011)
  11. Second Star to the Right (2013)
  12. The Summer Guests (2019)

Picture

  1. A Butterfly Called Hope (2013)

Standalone Non-fiction

  1. Turtle Summer: A Journal for My Daughter (2007)

Similar authors

  • Kristy Woodson Harvey’s Under the Southern Sky follows Amelia Saxton, a journalist researching the most important story of her career concerning IVF couples and their experiences.
  • Mary Kay Andrews’s The Newcomer follows Letty Carnahan. She recently fled New York with her murdered sister’s child, Maya, to avoid suspicion. She wants to begin a new life working at a tourist attraction in Florida.

See also: Dorothea Benton Books in Order.

Most recommended books

  1. The Islanders (The Islanders, #1) (4.40 Goodreads score)
  2. Turtle Summer: A Journal for My Daughter (4.24 Goodreads score)
  3. Swimming Lessons (Beach House #2) (4.22 Goodreads score)
  4. The Beach House (Beach House #1) (4.22 Goodreads score)
  5. A Lowcountry Wedding (Lowcountry Summer, #4) (4.21 Goodreads score)

Awards

Marie is a winner of multiple Readers’ Choice Awards. She received the Writing Book Award from the South Carolina Center in 2008 and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the RT.

Latest releases

Mary’s latest release is called The Summer of Lost and Found, published on May 11th, 2021.


Book summaries

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The Beach House (2002)

Twenty years ago, Caretta Rutledge left her Southern roots far behind for a successful career as a businesswoman in Chicago. But an unusual request from her mother—coming just as her own life is spinning out of control—has Cara heading back to the scenic Lowcountry of her childhood summers.Before long, the rhythms of the island open her heart as she repairs the family beach house, becomes a bona fide “turtle lady” and renews old acquaintances long thought lost. But it is in reconnecting with her mother that she will learn life’s most precious lessons—true love involves sacrifice, family is forever and the mistakes of the past can be forgiven.Known for her moving characters and emotional honesty, Mary Alice Monroe brings readers a beautifully rendered story that explores the fragile yet enduring bond between mothers and daughters.


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Swimming Lessons (2007)

Toy Sooner has dealt with enough rough waves in her troubled past. It’s only been through the enduring love of a close-knit group of women on this tiny island that she’s finally started to find her footing. But as new challenges in her career arise for this young single mother, the choices and demons of her past will catch up to her. Soon Toy will learn that, like the steadfast sea turtles she cares for, a mother must find the strength within herself to make it safely to shore.


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Beach House Memories (2012)

Autumn brings haunting beauty to the sun-soaked dunes on Isle of Palms, where Lovie Rutledge lives in her beloved Primrose Cottage. As seasons change, Lovie remembers one special summer…In 1974, America is changing, but Charleston remains eternally the same. When Lovie married aristocratic businessman Stratton Rutledge, she turned over her fortune and fate to his control. But she refused to relinquish one thing: her family’s old seaside cottage. Precious summers with her children are Lovie’s refuge from social expectations and her husband’s philandering. Here, she is the “Turtle Lady,” tending the loggerhead turtles that lay eggs in the warm night sand and then slip back into the sea.In the summer of ’74, biologist Russell Bennett visits to research the loggerheads. Their shared interest soon blooms into a passionate, profound love—forcing Lovie to face an agonizing decision. Stratton’s influence is far-reaching, and if she dares to dream beyond a summer affair, she risks losing her reputation, her wealth, even her children.This emotional tale of a strong woman torn between duty and desire, between tradition and change, is an empowering journey through the seasons of self-discovery. Until this autumn, this time of winds and tides, of holding on and letting go…


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Beach House for Rent (2017)

Two women. One summer. One very special beach house.Cara Rutledge rents her quaint cottage on Isle of Palms to Heather Fordham for the entire summer. As beautiful as the Isle of Palms is, Heather’s anxiety keeps her indoors with her caged canaries as she paints birds for postage stamps. Eventually, however, the shore birds—and a man who rescues them—lure her outside.As the summer progresses and Heather begins to blossom, Cara’s life reels with sudden tragedy. She wants only to return home but Heather refuses to budge from her sanctuary. As everything around the ladies is coming apart, they discover they can only rely on each other. Now, the two women who don’t really know each other are forced to live together and support each other as they navigate the next chapter of their lives.


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Beach House Reunion (2018)

Cara Rutledge returns to her Southern home on the idyllic Isle of Palms. Comforting in its familiarity, it is still rife with painful memories. Only through reconnecting with family, friends, and the rhythms of the lowcountry can Cara let go of the past and open herself to the possibility of a new career and love.Meanwhile, her niece Linnea, a recent college graduate with an uncertain future, leaves her historic home in Charleston, with all its entitlement and expectations, and heads to her aunt’s beach house. On the island, she is free to join the turtle team, learn to surf, and fall in love. Remembering the lessons of her beloved grandmother, Lovie, the original “turtle lady,” Linnea rediscovers a meaningful purpose to her life and finds the courage she needs to break from tradition.


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On Ocean Boulevard (2020)

It’s been sixteen years since Caretta “Cara” Rutledge has returned home to the beautiful shores of Charleston, South Carolina. Over those years, she has weathered the tides of deaths and births, struggles and joys. And now, as Cara prepares for her second wedding, her life is about to change yet again.Meanwhile, the rest of the storied Rutledge family is also in flux. Cara’s niece Linnea returns to Sullivan’s Island to begin a new career and an unexpected relationship. Linnea’s parents, having survived bankruptcy, pin their hopes and futures on the construction of a new home on Ocean Boulevard. But as excitement over the house and wedding builds, a devastating illness strikes the family and brings plans to a screeching halt. It is under these trying circumstances that the Rutledge family must come together yet again to discover the enduring strength in love, tradition, and legacy from mother to daughter to granddaughter.


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The Summer of Lost and Found (2021)

The coming of spring usually means renewal, but for Linnea Rutledge, this spring is a season of challenge. Linnea faces another layoff, this time from the aquarium she adores, and her family’s finances, emotions, and health teeter on the brink. To complicate matters, her new love interest, Gordon, struggles to return to the Isle of Palms from England. Meanwhile, her old flame, John, turns up from California and is quarantining next door. She tries to ignore him, but when he sends her plaintive notes in the form of paper airplanes, old sparks ignite. When Gordon at last reaches the island, Linnea wonders—is it possible to love two men at the same time?Love in the time of COVID-19 proves challenging, at times humorous, and ever changing. Relationships are redefined, friendships made and broken, and marriages tested. As the weeks turn to months, and another sea turtle season comes to a close, Linnea learns there are more meaningful lessons during this summer than opportunities lost: that summer is a time of wonder, and that the exotic lives in our own backyards.


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The Islanders (2021)

Eleven-year-old Jake’s life has just turned upside-down. His father was wounded in Afghanistan, and his mother is going to leave to care for him. That means Jake’s spending the summer on tiny Dewees Island with his grandmother. The island is a nature sanctuary—no cars or paved roads, no stores or restaurants. To make matters worse, Jake’s grandmother doesn’t believe in cable or the internet. Which means Jake has no cell phone, no video games…and no friends. This is going to be the worst summer ever!He’s barely on the island before he befriends two other kids—Macon, another “summer kid,” and Lovie, a know-it-all who lives there and shows both Jake and Macon the ropes of life on the island. All three are struggling with their own family issues and they quickly bond, going on adventures all over Dewees Island. Until one misadventure on an abandoned boat leads to community service. Their punishment? Mandatory duty on the Island Turtle Team. The kids must do a daily dawn patrol of the beach on the hunt for loggerhead sea turtle tracks. When a turtle nest is threatened by coyotes, the three friends must find a way to protect it. Can they save the turtle nest from predators? Can Jake’s growing love for the island and its inhabitants (be they two-legged, four-legged, feathered, or finned) help to heal his father?


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The Summer Girls (2013)

Three granddaughters. Three months. One summer house.For years, Carson Muir has drifted, never really settling, certain only that a life without the ocean is a life half lived. Adrift and penniless in California, Carson is the first to return to Sea Breeze, wondering where things went wrong…until the sea she loves brings her a minor miracle. Her astonishing bond with a dolphin helps Carson renew her relationships with her sisters and face the haunting memories of her ill-fated father. As the rhythms of the island open her heart, Carson begins to imagine the next steps toward her future.In this heartwarming novel, three sisters discover the true treasures Sea Breeze offers as surprising truths are revealed, mistakes forgiven, and precious connections made that will endure long beyond one summer.


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The Summer Wind (2014)

It’s midsummer and Eudora, nicknamed Dora, is staying at Sea Breeze, the family’s ancestral home on Sullivan’s Island. For years, Dora has played the role of the perfect wife and mother in a loveless marriage. Now her husband filed for divorce, her child is diagnosed with autism, and her house is on the market. Dora’s facade collapses under the weight of her grief and she suffers “broken heart syndrome.” Mamaw and the girls rally around Dora—but it’s up to Dora to heal herself as she spends the summer prowling the beach, discovering the secrets of the island and her heart. This is a summer of discovery for all the women of Sea Breeze. Carson returns from Florida to face life-changing decisions, Lucille confronts a health scare, and an unexpected visitor has Harper reconsidering her life’s direction.When tropical storm winds batter the island, the women must band together and weather the tempest—both the one outside their windows and the raging sea of emotions within each of them. They must learn again what it means to be a sister. It is up to Mamaw to keep the light burning at Sea Breeze to guide the girls through the lies, the threats, and the rocky waters of indecision to home.


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The Summer’s End (2015)

It is the last summer that Marietta “Mamaw” Muir and her three “summer girls” will ever spend at their beloved Sea Breeze before it is sold. As the end draws near, Mamaw and half-sisters Dora, Carson, and Harper struggle to find new places in the world.Harper intended to stay only a weekend, but a rift with her wealthy, influential mother left her without a home. Free from her mother’s tyranny and encouraged by her family on Sullivan’s Island, Harper has at last discovered her talents and independent spirit. Now, the historic beach house’s fate hinges on her courage to decide the course of her own life. To do so, she must recognize her newfound strengths and accept love fully into her life—of her family, of the lowcountry, and, most of all, of ex-Marine Taylor McClellan, the wounded warrior who has claimed her heart.


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A Lowcountry Wedding (2016)

Nothing could be more enchanting than a summer wedding—or two!—in storied Sullivan’s Island. A centuries-old plantation, an avenue of ancient oaks dripping moss, a sand dune at sunset… it’s all picture perfect, and half-sisters Dora, Carson, and Harper, and their grandmother Marietta “Mamaw” Muir couldn’t be more excited. Wedding dresses are picked, venues booked, and delectable cakes tasted. What could possibly go wrong?The answer, the Muir clan is soon to find out, is everything. Carson loves Blake, but struggles with giving up her independence. Harper questions if a prenuptial agreement will help or hurt the future of her marriage, and a newly unfettered Dora is uncertain whether she really wants to walk down the aisle again. Just when it seems things couldn’t get more complicated for the Muir sisters, a stranger arrives bearing a long-held family secret that has the potential to upset even the most carefully laid-out wedding plans. With the weddings mere weeks away, the invitations sent out, and the family in tumult, Mamaw and her Summer Girls discover the enduring and powerful bonds of family, and realize that, no matter how different each bride might be, she can still have her perfect wedding.


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A Lowcountry Christmas (2016)

As far as ten-year-old Miller McClellan is concerned, it’s the worst Christmas ever. His father’s shrimp boat is docked, his mother is working two jobs, and with finances strained, Miller is told they can’t afford the dog he desperately wants. “Your brother’s return from war is our family’s gift,” his parents tell him. But when Taylor returns with PTSD, the stress and strain darken the family.Then Taylor’s service dog arrives—a large black Labrador/Great Dane named Thor. His brother even got the dog! When Miller goes out on Christmas Eve with his father’s axe, determined to get his family the tree they can’t afford, he takes the dog for company—but accidentally winds up lost in the wild forest. In the midst of this emergency, the splintered family must come together and rediscover their strengths, family bond, and the true meaning of Christmas.


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The Long Road Home (1995)

Her husband’s suicide left Nora MacKenzie alone, and his shady Wall Street dealings left the Manhattan socialite penniless. By a miracle she’s held on to their mountainside farm—and she’ll keep holding on, no matter what. The property is Nora’s one chance to wring some dignity out of the sham she’s been living.The Vermont locals think she’s a city girl on a nature kick, but she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty. Nora’s serious about learning the farming business…if she can figure out where to begin. Against the locals’ skepticism, she has only one ally: Charles “C.W.” Walker.C.W. is hardworking, gentle with the animals and a patient teacher of the hundreds of chores Nora needs to learn. Slowly she starts to believe she’ll survive in her new life, even flourish. She might even be willing to open her heart again. But she won’t return to a life of lies…and the truth about C.W. may be more than Nora’s fragile heart can bear.


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Girl in the Mirror (1998)

Charlotte Godowski was used to the horrified stares she received from strangers. She’d learned to accept her facial deformity, until one cruel incident compelled her to have the surgery that changed her life forever.Charlotte Godfrey is beautiful beyond compare. In Hollywood, where such beauty is power, her rise is meteoric. Suddenly she has everything she could want: acceptance, a future and a love she believes can see to the true beauty within.Charlotte Godowski and Charlotte Godfrey are two sides of the same women—a woman who can trust no one with her secret. But when fate forces Charlotte to deal with the truth—about her past, about the man she loves, about herself—she discovers that only love has the power to transform a scarred soul.


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The Book Club (1999)

On the surface, it is a monthly book club. But for five women, it is so much more. For Eve Porter, whose husband’s sudden death cheats her of every security she had planned on, the club is a place of sanctuary. For Annie Blake, a brilliant attorney intent on starting a family late in life, it is the chance to finally let down her guard and dream of other possibilities. For Doris Bridges, it is her support group as she acknowledges her dying marriage and finds the ultimate freedom in her husband’s betrayal. For Gabriella Rivera, the “perfect” wife, mother and friend who offers support to everyone but is afraid to ask for it herself, it is a sense of community. And for Midge Kirsch, an artist who has always lived her life against the grain, it is a haven of acceptance.They are five women from different walks of life, embracing the challenge of change. And as they share their hopes and fears and triumphs, they will hold fast to the true magic of the book club—friendship.


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The Four Seasons (2001)

They are the Season sisters, bound by blood, driven apart by a tragedy. Now they are about to embark on a bittersweet journey into the unknown—an odyssey of promise and forgiveness, of loss and rediscovery.Jillian, Beatrice and Rose have gathered for the funeral of their younger sister, Meredith. Her death, and the legacy she leaves them, will trigger a cross-country journey in search of a stranger with the power to mend their shattered lives. As the emotions of the past reverberate into the present, Jillian, Beatrice and Rose search for the girls they once were, in hopes of finding what they really lost: the women they were meant to be.


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Skyward (2003)

E.R. nurse Ella Majors has seen all the misery that she can handle. Burned-out and unsure of her next step, she accepts the temporary position as caregiver to Marion Henderson, a frightened five-year-old who suffers from juvenile diabetes.But Ella soon realizes there is more sorrow in the isolated home than the little girl’s illness can account for. Harris Henderson, a single father, seems better able to deal with the wild birds he rehabilitates in his birds-of-prey sanctuary than with his own daughter.Then something magical begins to happen: the timeless beauty of the South Carolina coast and the majestic grace of the wild birds weave a healing spell on the injured hearts at the sanctuary. But a troubled mother’s unexpected return will test the fragile bonds of trust and new love, and reveal the inherent risks and exhilarating beauty of flying free.


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Sweetgrass (2005)

Sweetgrass is a historic tract of land in South Carolina that has been home to the Blakely family for eight generations. But Sweetgrass—named for the indigenous grass that grows in the area—is in trouble. Taxes are skyrocketing. Bulldozers are leveling the surrounding properties. And the Blakelys could be forced to sell the one thing that continues to hold their disintegrating family together.


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The Secrets We Keep (2005)

They are the Season sisters, bound by blood, driven apart by a tragedy. Now they are about to embark on a bittersweet journey into the unknown—an odyssey of promise and forgiveness, of loss and rediscovery.Jillian, Beatrice and Rose have gathered for the funeral of their younger sister, Meredith. Her death, and the legacy she leaves them, will trigger a cross-country journey in search of a stranger with the power to mend their shattered lives. As the emotions of the past reverberate into the present, Jillian, Beatrice and Rose search for the girls they once were, in hopes of finding what they really lost: the women they were meant to be.


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Time is a River (2008)

Recovering from breast cancer and reeling from her husband’s infidelity, Mia Landan flees her Charleston home to heal in the mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. She seeks refuge in a neglected fishing cabin belonging to her fly-fishing instructor, Belle Carson.Belle recently inherited the cabin, which once belonged to a grandmother she never knew — the legendary fly fisher and journalist of the 1920s, Kate Watkins, whose life fell into ruins after she was accused of murdering her lover. Her fortune lost in the stock market crash and her reputation destroyed, Kate slipped into seclusion in the remote cabin. After her death the fishing cabin remained locked and abandoned for decades. Little does Belle know that by opening the cabin doors to Mia for a summer’s sanctuary, she will open again the scandal that plagued Belle’s family for generations.From her first step inside the dusty cabin, Mia is fascinated by the traces of Kate’s mysterious story left behind in the eccentric furnishings of the cabin. And though Belle, ashamed of the tabloid scandal that tortured her mother, warns Mia not to stir the mud, Mia is compelled to find out more about Kate…especially when she discovers Kate’s journal.The inspiring words of the remarkable woman echo across the years. Mia has been learning to fly-fish, and Kate’s wise words comparing life to a river resonate deeply. She begins a quest to uncover the truth behind the lies. As she searches newspaper archives and listens to the colorful memories of the local small-town residents, the story of a proud, fiercely independent woman emerges. Mia feels a strange kinship with the woman who, like her, suffered fears, betrayal, the death of loved ones, and a fall from grace — yet found strength, compassion and, ultimately, forgiveness in her isolation. A story timeless in its appeal emerges, with a power that reopens old wounds, but also brings a transforming healing for Mia, for Kate’s descendants, and for all those in Mia’s new community.


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Last Light Over Carolina (2009)

Every woman in the sultry South Carolina low country knows the unspoken fear that clutches the heart every time her man sets out to sea. Now, that fear has become a terrible reality for Carolina Morrison. Her husband, shrimp boat captain Bud Morrison, is lost and alone somewhere in the vast Atlantic fishing grounds, with a storm gathering and last light falling. Over the course of one terrifying, illuminating day, Carolina looks back across thirty years of love and loss, joy and sorrow: How she rejected a well-to-do upbringing to marry Bud and embrace his extraordinary lifestyle by the sea . . . how hard times and loneliness have driven them apart . . . and how, with one mistake, she may have shattered their once-unbreakable bond forever. While their the close-knit community rallies together to search for one of its own, Carolina knows their love must somehow call him home, across miles of rough water and unspeakable memories.


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The Butterfly’s Daughter (2011)

Every year, the monarch butterflies—las mariposas—fly more than two thousand miles on fragile wings to return to their winter home in Mexico. Now Luz Avila makes that same perilous journey south as she honors a vow to her beloved abuela—the grandmother who raised her—to return her ashes to her ancestral village. As Luz departs Milwaukee in a ramshackle old VW Bug, she finds her heart opened by a series of seemingly random encounters with remarkable women. In San Antonio, however, a startling revelation awaits: a reunion with a woman from her past. Together, the two cross into Mexico to await the returning monarchs in the little village Abuela called home, but they are also crossing a border that separates past from present . . . and truth from lies.


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Second Star to the Right (2013)

“The magic of innocence and the romance of hope will charm the reader.” Nora RobertsSometimes fairy tales do come true…As a single mother of two, Faye O’Neill has no time for fairy tales. She’s not even certain she believes in luck. Practical, smart and desperate to escape a shadowy past, Faye takes a job at a top advertising firm in London where she hopes she and her children can find a fresh start. When she finds the beautiful two-story flat for rent in a stately old Victorian complete with a neglected but tumbling English garden, she can scarcely believe her good fortune. But it’s not long before Faye realizes everything in the old home may not be as peaceful as it seems.A strange light begins to appear in her children’s rooms at night, and then there’s the reclusive elderly tenant, Crazy Wendy, her landlady warned her to steer clear of, the woman who spends her evenings spying on Faye’s children from her garret-room window. The woman who believes she is Peter Pan’s Wendy. To make matters worse, Faye, who has sworn off men, discovers her downstairs neighbor Jack is a disturbingly handsome professor with a talent for charming women and children alike. Before she knows it, Faye has embarked upon a whole new adventure into a world where anything might be possible, where broken hearts can be healed by a kiss, and where Neverland may not be a place of fables, but a forgotten land one can still find if they are only brave enough to follow the second star to the right.


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The Summer Guests (2019)

Late August is a beautiful time on the Southern coast—the peach trees are ripe, the ocean is warm, and the sweet tea is icy. It’s the perfect time to enjoy the rocking chairs on the porch. But beneath the calm surface bubbles a threat: it’s also peak hurricane season.When a hurricane threatens the coasts of Florida and South Carolina, an eclectic group of evacuees flees for the farm of their friends Grace and Charles Phillips in North Carolina: the Phillips’s daughter Moira and her rescue dogs, famed equestrian Javier Angel de la Cruz, makeup artist Hannah McLain, horse breeder Gerda Klug and her daughter Elise, and island resident Cara Rutledge. Strangers to all but the Phillips, they must ride out the storm together.During the course of one of the most challenging weeks of their lives, relationships are put to the test as the evacuees are forced to confront the unresolved issues they have with themselves and with each other. But as the storm passes, they realize that what really matters isn’t what they brought with them to the mountains. Rather, it’s what they’ll take with them once they leave.


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A Butterfly Called Hope (2013)

The colorful flowers in Mama’s garden reveal a strange-looking creature. “What is it? Does it sting, does it bite?” Join in this photographic journey as the young girl and her mother care for the caterpillar. Watch as it transforms into a chrysalis and then emerges as a beautiful monarch butterfly. How can the young girl “claim” the butterfly as her own but still let it go free?


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Turtle Summer: A Journal for My Daughter (2007)

This heart-warming journal shares the joys of a mother and daughter’s special bond and their summer together as Turtle Team volunteers. Photographs blend with art and prose to bring to life this loving story of their time together protecting endangered loggerhead sea turtles. Join mother and daughter as they patrol the beaches searching for sea turtle nests, and then stand with them under starry skies as they protect the eggs and young hatchlings.

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