I’ve mentioned before that I’m not usually a fan of contemporary fiction. There are exceptions, but for the most part, when I read a novel, I tend to prefer historical fiction. Still, when I received a copy of Fade to Blue by Julie Carobini, it looked like it might be a fun read. So, one day recently I settled down with it to unwind and relax.
Fade to Blue tells the story of a young single mom, Suz Mitchell. She’s recently moved herself and her son across the country to the central California coast to live with her brother while she gets back on her feet from her recent divorce. Suz, an artist, lands a job restoring priceless historic paintings and artifacts at the Hearst Castle, overlooking the ocean. To her surprise, she discovers that Seth, an old flame, has also relocated to the very same small town! Every time she turns around, she seems to be bumping into him. On top of all this, her ex-husband, recently released from prison, shows up, claiming to have turned over a new leaf and found faith in God, and hoping to restore their family!
Suz struggles with confusion over what God’s will for her is: should she make an effort to let her ex, Len, back into her life? Can he really be trusted now? How should she resolve her relationship with Seth…the awkwardness over their split, all that’s happened to them both in the intervening years?
I loved the setting and really enjoyed the characters Ms. Carobini created. They were well-developed and very realistic and relatable. In fact, I’m curious now to read A Shore Thing, in which the story of Gage, Suz’s brother, and his fiance Callie, is told, because I feel like I “know” them. That said, the book just didn’t draw me in like I’d hoped it would. The writing wasn’t compelling, and the story itself didn’t captivate me, despite how much I appreciated the premise, setting, and characters. The plot was just a bit thin in my opinion.
So, in the end, I’ll say that I wouldn’t call this an outstanding, captivating read, but it was still a pleasant and entertaining one. If you’re looking for a moving, compelling, meaningful story, this may not be it. But, if you’re looking for a pleasant diversion or relaxing read, you’ll enjoy the beach town setting and likable characters in Fade to Blue. In fact, I just might try to get my hands on a couple of the other Otter Bay titles. They’ll make a good light summer read for the pool or beach and I’d enjoy catching up on the stories of some of the rest of the residents of Otter Bay.