A week by the sea

Table of contents:

A week by the sea
A week by the sea

I still remember the smell of sea s alt on my skin and the melodious lapping of the waves. I still remember the bright sun enhancing the colors of our beach towels, surfboards and swimsuits. I still remember my sisters' eager hands pulling me to the water, my mother's approving laugh and the warning look in my father's eyes. I still remember how I would bury myself on the beach, and then with my hand or foot I would cause a veritable volcano of sand. I still remember the moon jellyfish, the transparent, almost glassy pebbles and the curly algae that hid inside the tiniest and most perfect sea snails. I still remember the fire on the shore, the smell of toasted hotdogs and s alty fries, and the glow of the coals as the sky turned crimson from east to west over Block Island Sound…

From "A Week by the Sea"

About the book

All it takes is one phone call to bring Mallory Aldis back to her hometown on the Rhode Island coast. Twenty years ago, she ran away from there after a tragic accident with a family member. An accident that destroyed her parents' marriage, estranged her from her sisters, ended her relationship with her first love. The return is emotional and filled with painful memories, mysteries and unsolved secrets.

For Joy – Mallory's thirteen-year-old daughter, this is all new and unknown. Growing up without a father, she yearns for a big family and longs to spend more time with her grandfather, whom she barely knows.

Within a week, three women will test the strength of family ties and friendships. And they will discover the role of love and memories in their lives.

Reviews of "A Week by the Sea"


“An intriguing, heartwarming story about the unbreakable bonds of family.” – Publishers Weekly

"A wonderful beach read!" - Booklist

“Delinsky brings us a powerful novel about family, love, and the ability to embrace change with ease.” – Library Journal

About the author

Barbara Delinsky was born and raised in the suburbs of Boston. In 1967, he graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology from Tufts University, and in 1969 he received his doctorate in sociology from Boston College. Prior to her writing career, Barbara Delinsky worked as a researcher for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and as a photographer and reporter for the Bellmon Herald.

She has written over 60 books. After her first steps in the romance genre, she quickly turned to more serious women's prose. Her novels sell millions of copies worldwide.

How Barbara Delinsky chooses the destinations for her novels

Choose a place you know well

The most important thing in writing is to be able to paint an attractive picture for the reader, but to do this it must first be formed in your mind. Personal experiences help with this, because we write best about situations and places we know. I also choose destinations where I feel comfortable and pleasant, and then readers share that these emotions are felt in the text and the behavior of the characters.

Choose a place you want to be

However, readers want variety, and so do authors, so sometimes we can escape from the familiar and write about the places we most often dream about. I usually ask myself, "Where do I want to be in the next 18 months?"-that's about how long it takes me to finish a book, on average. I always get up at 5 am to write. How can I make myself get up so early if there is no promise of some interesting location waiting for me to spend the next few hours? Also, my characters are often faced with a difficulty or challenge, and those life battles are much easier to fight when you're in an inspiring place. That's why, for example, I chose Vermont for "Before and Again" and Rhode Island for "A Week by the Sea".

Choose a place readers will enjoy

We all love to get lost in a good book, and it's even easier when the action takes place somewhere we can happily transport ourselves to. That's why I try to select destinations that are sure to fascinate readers. After that, it often happens that the book leads to the organization of regular tourist tours of these places. Of course, the writer can also choose a completely random town… Come to think of it, it might be interesting to close my eyes, point to the map and write about the first point that my finger stops at…

Choose a location that fits the plot or match the plot to the location

If I'm writing a summer family story like A Week at the Beach, beautiful Rhode Island is a great solution. A lot of my family lives there and I can relate favorite personal moments to it. For Before and Again, I chose a fictional place in Vermont that I modeled after Woodstock because my husband and I go there all the time for vacations. Our children learned how to ski there. One of my sons lives in this area and just a few years ago threw me the best birthday party at his home… So this state and its localities are steeped in fond memories and emotions that I very easily translate into my novels.

However, the most important thing is that writing and reading bring pleasure. For me, choosing the right destination to take my characters to is a step in that direction. I hope you feel it too as you enjoy the beauty of Rhode Island and "Week by the Sea"!


Sometimes the rain is a real nightmare. It doesn't bother me so much when I'm shooting a spacious apartment, but when it comes to a small house, it's important that the border looks as good as possible. A downpour can make even the most elegant property look small, in a way that even photoshop can't cover up.

But I'm not at work now, so I don't mind it raining. In fact, I even like it because the rain slows down the traffic. While traveling, Joy and I like to listen to soft classical music, so I don't get angry when we get stuck in traffic for the third time. It's better for me that we arrive later.

I drive slowly; the wipers don't move as furiously. They actually move in time to Handel's Water Music, to which my daughter was drumming her fingers for two minutes before stopping to look at the navigation. We had just entered Connecticut. There's the wail of an approaching ambulance - apparently there's been an accident somewhere ahead of us - and the app suggests we take another route.

– Here, mom… Turn this way, Joy instructed me so insistently that it made me nostalgic for the time when she was sitting in the back seat busy with a bag of snacks. – Follow this car.

I disobey and she gives me a look of wonder, which is replaced by astonishment when she notices that I'm smiling. And how else? That's how Joy is - always rebellious, with an impatient expression and so on. Her hair is pulled back into a tight bun, secured with a wide turquoise elastic. Her tank top has red and white diagonal stripes. The denim shorts are high-waisted, as worn in the eighties. The eternal optimist even wore a bathing suit.

– The dot-com weather says that the weather in Westerly will be fine, she announced early in the morning and insisted we leave immediately. I flatly refused and Joy agreed to nine anyway. But then a broker from my favorite auction house, Sotheby's, called, and by the time I finished the edit he asked me to, it was almost noon.

I wanted to capture the holiday spirit despite my inner restlessness, so I wore a t-shirt and shorts, but no swimsuit. I tied my hair-lighter brown and not as curly as Joy's-in a ponytail with a simple rubber band. My featureless gray flip flops are in stark contrast to her bright orange.

My daughter is reclining on the seat and looking at me sternly.

– What? – I ask.

– You don't want us to get there at all.

– Would I have left if I didn't want to? - I object, but I'm playing with words. It's one thing to go home and quite another to want to. In agreeing, I only compromised for the sake of my daughter, who can't wait to go to Bay Bluff. Unlike me.

Staying on Interstate 95-North. Not only does the rush of traffic help me put off what I don't want to do, but it also proves to Joy that it's no easy feat to walk two hundred and twenty kilometers, as she's stated a million times over the past few days.

Also, I like to drive, so I pay a huge monthly rent for a parking space. I need my car when I'm photographing houses in Dutchess County or on Long Island, or when on weekends Joy and I tour the Cornwall Art Center, hike the rocky trails of Stony Brook, or go kayaking in Smithtown.

We are now traveling to Rhode Island. Not by my choice. Well, yes, maybe somewhat in my own way, because after all, I have the last word in our family. But when you have to choose between your conscience and your daughter, you don't have many options. It's been ten days since Jack Sabathian called, and even though he didn't call a second time, I can't stop thinking about the call and torturing myself.

– Wow! Joy exclaims as we approach the crash site.

An unhe althy curiosity makes her keep turning back. Finally, he leans back on the seat and declares: - I will not drive a car. Never. - With my peripheral vision, I notice how he looks at his phone, and not for the first time. Maybe she sent a message to a friend before we left and now she's waiting for a reply.

If the past can be any guide, then it will be a long wait. She's among the most unpopular members of the group, constantly messaging each other, which I'm thrilled about, and Joy isn't at all. She told me once that she used to eat her sandwich with sunflower oil in her school chair by herself because she couldn't stand the stench of the junk that others were eating. I assume she told them. Both the school counselor, who appreciates her courage, and the psychologist, Chrissy, argue that she is too mature for her age and the others will catch up with her. However, I worry about the damage my daughter will suffer while this happens. It's about her self-esteem.

I deliberately relax my hands on the steering wheel, but my heart is bleeding. Every child needs a good friend. I had my sisters - fearless Margot and sunny Anne. And Joy is an only child and sits alone in the school chair full of children. And now the phone is silent? That's why I agreed to spend a whole week on the coast. Rhode Island will take Joy away from her thoughts for a while.

Now listening to Ed Sheeran. Joy played the track before she dropped her phone, and I sensed a challenge in her choice. I can't wait to get home, he sings in "Castle on the Hill," which has become her anthem since we decided to leave. My daughter doesn't know that these words don't annoy me, but the next ones really touch me deeply. I was younger then, take me back to when I found my heart and broke it here. But Joy doesn't know.

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