Wednesday, June 20, 2018


Publisher:     William Morrow
Published:     June 12, 2018
ISBN:        978-0062742674
Genre:      Women’s Fiction
Format:     Print
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


Decades ago Cornelius Traeger came up with an idea for a very special retirement home.  A place where a special group of people – writers who create or put to pen the dreams of others, who create new worlds, exciting adventures and take their readers to a different time and place, could retire in peace and comfort among their own.  He also created it for what was perhaps his greatest love—Alfonse Carducci—who came only long after Taeger’s death and at the end of his own days. 

The Bar Harbor Retirement Home is more than a haven for famous authors.  It is a place of security and hope for the staff that work there.  Foremost among them is Cecibel.  A young woman with a sad past who finds her happiness in the writings of others, most particularly her personal hero, Alfonse Carducci.  When Alfonse arrives her world changes in ways she never imagined.  It gives her the courage to explore her own world, her personal demons and to find love.

I really wanted to not just like, but love Terri-Lynne DeFino’s THE BAR HARBOR RETIREMENT HOME FOR FAMOUS WRITERS.  I set my expectations too high.  Cecibel is a wonderful character who is buried in the author’s repetition of her being a “monster” due to a tragic accident that happened years ago.  Over and over she raises how Cecibel looks, how she hides how she looks, how she suffers from her past.  I got it the first twenty times—I didn’t need to be reminded on pretty much every page that takes place in the present.

The book alternates back and from between the 1950’s and 1999.  I’m seeing more and more of those back and forth between time period books and I personally find them jarring.  For me they don’t create a cliff hanger feeling of what is to come next—they mostly break up the story so I have to go back to the original time period to pick it up again.  What I’ve begun to do in those cases is I read all the earlier time periods and then move on to the next time period so the story reads chronologically for me.  If they’re done as flashbacks that’s fine.  But the bouncing back and forth is distracting. 

I loved the idea of a place for authors, famous or otherwise to retire together.  And I really loved the idea of four old friends writing one last book, together, a story told from each of their own characters. 

The book is worth a look if you are a dedicated reader.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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