Letty Carnahan’s sister Tanya told Letty that should she ever be found dead, it would be at the hands of her husband Evan. In that case, she should take the already-packed bag in her closet and grab Tanya’s 4-year-old daughter, and run as fast as she can away from New York City. So when the worst actually happens and Letty discovers Tanya’s body in her expensive townhouse, she does as she was instructed. She grabs little Maya and the bag and drives out of the city, Maya screaming and crying in terror.
Letty doesn’t know where she should go, but she discovers the bag includes a large amount of money, an enormous diamond ring, and an old brochure for a motel in a small town in Florida called Treasure Island. So, not knowing what else to do, she heads to Florida.
Fueled on fast food and fear, Letty and Maya arrive at Treasure Island to discover an old, mostly run-down motel. Letty can’t even begin to imagine how her hoity toity sister would have any kind of connection to this town or place.
What Letty soon discovers, however, is that the motel owner Ava and her teenaged daughter Isabelle are kind and gracious, and willing to offer this stranger — this newcomer — a place to live with very few questions asked. The tenants, however, are mostly long-term renters, elderly, and set in their ways. They, unlike the motel owner, are suspicious and unwelcoming. Likewise for Ava’s son Joe, who is the town’s sheriff and who is certain that there is more to Letty’s story than she is telling, and he’s determined to learn what that is.
The Newcomer, by Mary Kay Andrews, is a pleasing story about friendship, acceptance, and knowing right from wrong. The plot has few surprises, but it is twisty enough to bring a smile to the reader’s face. The romance is fun, and watching the seniors grow to accept Letty and Maya is as sweet as eating cotton candy. And I love cotton candy.
The Newcomer was a wonderful book and just what’s needed during our tumultuous times. Definite thumbs up!