The Banksia Bay Beach Shack by Sandie Docker. (2020).
**5 out of 5 stars**
When Laura discovers an old photo of her grandmother, Lillian, with an intriguing inscription on the back, she heads to the sleepy seaside town of Banksia Bay to learn the truth of Lillian’s past. But when she arrives, Laura finds a community where everyone seems to be hiding something. Virginia, owner of the iconic Beach Shack café, has kept her past buried. As Laura slowly uncovers the tragic fragments of that summer so long ago, Virginia must decide whether to hold on to her secrets or set the truth free.
Young Gigi and Lily come from different worlds but forge an unbreakable bond – the ‘Sisters of Summer’. But in 1961 a chain of events is set off that reaches far into the future. One lie told. One lie to set someone free. One lie that changes the course of so many lives…
I loved this book. I was drawn in from the very beginning and I was racing through the pages to find out what happened in the 1960s, even though it was obvious it was going to be a sad secret. I really liked lead characters Laura, Heath and Gigi; though I never quite warmed to Lillian/Lily. The story is told alternating between Laura’s current time period and the early 1960s. My heart actually broke a bit near the end, the events in both timelines were rather heart-wrenching! The setting sounded fabulous, the author really got the feel of a sleepy beach town across and made it sound really appealing.
A fantastic novel that I happily recommend, and also I definitely need to read this author’s previous novels if they are anywhere near as good as this one.