Driftwood Tides
by Gina Holmes

Tyndale, 2014. ISBN 978-1-414-36642-5.
Reviewed by Helene Benardo
Posted on 12/16/2014

Fiction: Mainstream

Driftwood Tides grabbed me from the get-go. It's a rather improbable story revolving around a young woman who is about to get married and finds out she's adopted.

Several weeks before her wedding, Libby begins looking for her birth mother. The scene is North Carolina and, when she locates the house, she learns that the woman she's seeking has been dead for five years. She meets the husband, an alcoholic artist.

Our heroine, Libby, gets a summer internship, unpaid, as Holt, the artist, hasn't a spare penny. He's an extremely talented creator of driftwood pieces when he can exert himself to make one. Unfortunately, he spends almost all of his time drunk to the point of near death.

Which is where Libby finds him and, with the help of Tess, Holt's assistant, gets him to a hospital where the scare of near extinction helps him make up his mind to try to change. He is sedated for several days to undergo a detox regimen without the horrendous side effects this usually brings on. Upon awakening, he and Libby finally have the talk on the subject that brought her to his home. To her delight and astonishment, he says that he is her father. She is delighted, as her adoptive father left when she was a child.

In the spirit of family, Holt takes her to meet his mother-in-law and, lo and behold, Libby suddenly has a grandmother.

When Holt demonstrates his seriousness as far as his recovery is concerned, Libby and Tess, who turns out to be an artist herself and who has always loved Holt, set up an art show to help Holt get some sorely needed cash.

All the while, in the background, is the voice of the mother-from-hell—Libby's adoptive mom who is busy masterminding an extravaganza of a wedding that neither Libby nor her fiancé, Rob, wants. Caroline is quite over the top and, indeed, gets her comeuppance in the closing scene. The ending is a surprise but, somehow, does not feel out of place. It wraps up this off-beat charming tale very well.

Read an excerpt from this book.

Gina Holmes is the founder of the literary site Novel Rocket. Visit her website.

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