cover image Barefoot Season: 
A Blackberry Island Novel

Barefoot Season: A Blackberry Island Novel

Susan Mallery. Mira, $14.95 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-7783-1338-0

Gritty and magical, angst-ridden and sweet, this coming-home story by bestseller Mallery (Only His) pulls no punches. Veteran Michelle Sanderson has survived multiple deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, but she’s never forgotten the little island inn on Puget Sound where three generations of her family have welcomed visitors. After Michelle’s mother dies, onetime friend Carly Williams—whom Michelle betrayed by sleeping with her fiancé—is left to manage the inn until Michelle returns. Michelle wants nothing more than to fire Carly and reclaim the family legacy, but with a shotup hip, PTSD, and an unforgiving bank loan, she has no choice but to make their uneasy reunion work. This is only the beginning; Mallery adds layer upon layer to the women’s history, while revealing the raw core of each with expert pacing guaranteed to keep a reader up way past bedtime to see how it all works out. There’s a touch of romance, too, but it’s secondary. This first installment in the Blackberry Island series is about the journey from girlhood to womanhood to sisterhood, and the simple power of an honest apology. Agent: Annelise Robey, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Apr.)