“Sea Glass Island” (2013) | Book Review (2018) & Sherryl Woods Appreciation Post

Book Review THUMB


Chosen Book:

“Sea Glass Island” (2013) by Sherryl Woods

An Ocean Breeze Novel; Book 3 of 3.


Trigger Warnings:

PTSD (brief), substance use (alcohol), brief reference to suicide.


Themes:

Romance, meaning (life), purpose, acting, long lost love, forgiveness, faith, taking a chance, happiness, opening one’s mind and soul, letting go, dreams, work, dating, war heroism, second chances, hope, overcoming, new pursuits, southern state, meddling sisters (for the good overall), betrayal, disability, medicine (as a practice).


Summary:

This is the final part of a trilogy of romantic relationships at the hub of the story in which Samantha Castle finds love with a football player turned war hero named Ethan Cole. The story follows Samantha and Ethan and their growing love interest while the other two Castle sisters set weddings in order with their own romantic partners (as described in the first two novels).

Along the way, Samantha gets Ethan to take another look at happy endings and true love and to set his heart on the line to engage in a romance that could become life changing for the two of them. Samantha also leaves behind old acting dreams to pursue a new future. Based in North Carolina, this book offers love, dreams, hopes and insight on taking upon pursuits once foreign and daunting and making something beautiful, meaningful and life changing out of overcoming that fear. ❀


Recommendation Score:

5/5 Romantic Relationships


**Disclaimer: I hand wrote this review two years ago and will only trim down and somewhat edit it (so as to keep it shorter and more readable) to best portray my thoughts on this novel and my intense love and admiration of Sherryl Woods’ work as I gravitate towards her novels ever since I read this book in the last hospitalization I was in. I hope that you are able to enjoy the shine and the glitter of this review. Thank you, even years later. <3**


Striking Quotes:

1. “(Emily [sister]) ‘Why? Not everything is up to you to fix. If Samantha wanted help, she could have said something. That’s her way, though. She just suffers in silence, then resents it when nobody jumps in to save the day'” — Woods, (2013), p. 16

My Thoughts (18): This portion of the conversation jumped out to me as noteworthy regarding Emily’s stance in her sisterhood with Samantha and Gabi as well as relevant to my newest mode in my recovery journey. It was something that stuck out in my mind.

MT (20): I think it’s just a super relatable mental health theme, that we sometimes expect others to be there for us to help rescue us, forgetting that WE are the ones who have to put in the work, time and effort to be our OWN superheroes. It’s definitely possible and when we’re highly symptomatic it feels impossible and out of this world. We have to keep chipping away at our brain’s lies though, and we’ll do that best by talking openly and being there for one another. That is all. πŸ™‚ ❀ (And of course, that’s not to say that asking for help is easy, either!! It’s incredible hard and it’s also possible. Keep reaching out til someone hears you!!!)

2. “(Greg, Ethan’s friend, speaking): ‘But the woman’s (Lisa, E’s ex) still in your head. I’ve seen you show a spark of interest in someone new a time or two, and then in a flash I can almost see the wheels in your head turning and that tape of her dumping you playing again. I think that’s what I hate her for the most, not that she left, but that she ripped your soul to shreds in the process'” — Woods, 2013, p. 35

MT (20): I think this really sets up the issues that Ethan has with love and the betrayal that happened to his mind and heart after he got injured in the war and came back not himself. Lisa was a biiiiitch. And I’m glad he clicked with Samantha and gave her a chance and they fell in love and got through the hardships together!! Such a great story arc/redemption πŸ™‚

3. “And Ethan, who’d once caught (Samantha’s) attention with his charm, good looks and football prowess, was courageous. She had no doubts about that. Even in this morning’s brief encounter, she’d realized the kind of strength it must have taken for him not only to survive his (war) injury, but to move forward, to not accept limitations. In her view, that made him someone to be admired” — Woods, 2013, p. 41

MT 18: I thought this was just something to think about and keep in my mind. :3 Which one do you think you are for having survived and have worked on thriving through your own struggles?

4. “Samantha barely contained a sigh of envy at the conviction she heard in (Boone’s, her sister’s husband) voice. Boone sounded the same way when he talked about Emily. Was she ever going to find the same sort of devotion? Would anyone ever look at her as if she were the sun, the moon and stars all rolled into one?” — Woods, 2013, p. 58

MT 20: This is a beautiful depiction of some of the writing held within this book. ❀ I wonder if Woods has ever written same sex couples? It’d be amazing if she has.

5. “(E, saying things are all in black and white) S: ‘Oh, sweetie, there is an awful lot of gray in the world. Believe me, you’ll figure that out eventually'” — Woods, 2013, p. 61

MT 20: Beautifully said. And so, so, very, very true. ❀

6. “E: ‘ Can you identify with what [kids with disabilities are] experiencing?’ S: ‘No, that doesn’t mean I can’t feel compassion for any of you'” — Woods, 2013, p. 105

MT 18/20: Empathy exists, too. ❀ ❀ ❀

7. “(I believe this is Samantha’s father telling her): ‘The time to quit anything is when you no longer feel the same passion for it. There are people who work because they know they need the money, and there are people whose very soul depends on doing the kind of work they’ve chosen'” — Woods, 2013, p. 174

 

8. “‘(S): They key to living a good life, I think, is to wind up with more good days than bad ones. And you know what? I really do believe we have some control over that'” — Woods, 2013, p. 220

MT 18: Maybe the biggest takeaway from this book with all its romances and positivities. Makes me ponder on my own set of good days and the choices I have to make in my life as well as some part of the way to get there. It skirts on the edge of finality yet there’s a form of acceptance in that. πŸ™‚ (Maybe this too inspired me to do accomplishments of the day. :))

9. “Overnight one thought had echoed again and again–that the only way to grab the future she wanted was to stay here in Sand Castle Bay and fight for it. That meant letting go of New York and everything it had once represented. She needed to wholeheartedly embrace a new plan for her life, then throw herself into it with total passion” — Woods, 2013, p. 247

MT 18: Life is a bunch of series of knowing when to stay put and fight and when to let go and dream.

10. “‘Being here will only limit you as much as you allow it to'” — Woods, 2013, p. 251

11. “(Samantha’s father): ‘Let it be a lesson to you, Samantha. Life is short. I always thought there’d be time to do the things your mother wanted to do some time down the road. There wasn’t'” — Woods, 2013, p. 266

MT 18: I don’t know if the previous two books touched on how their Mom passed away but this quote is morbid and all too real. ❀

12. “Flowers were everywhere, a mix of white roses and blue hydrangeas. Small arrangements of the same flowers served as center pieces, set on periwinkle-blue tablecloths. Candles were ready to be lit as soon as dusk fell. Twinkling white lights in the shrubbery and trees would add a fairy tale element as guests danced under the stars” — Woods, 2013, p. 271

13. “(S) ‘You aren’t the same man, though. You’re a thousand times better. You’re courageous and brave. You’ve overcome a serious injury that could have destroyed you.’ E: ‘I haven’t overcome anything that thousands of other soldiers haven’t had to face.’ S: ‘And you’re all heroes, Ethan. You’re worth more than a hundred self involved, shallow women like Lisa'” — Woods, 2013, p. 279

MT 20: This makes me wonder how many mental health warriors there are out in the world and it reminds me that I’m not alone. Also, it’s important to think about what sets you apart from everyone else who has gone through similar circumstances. This can be a fun thing to play around with in terms of identity, passion and inspiration. πŸ™‚ ❀

14.Β  “Now all Cora Jane could do was sit back and pray that Samantha would find her way through the pain she was experiencing right this second and focus on the bright possibilities ahead” — Woods, 2013, p. 343

MT 18: This quote really stood out with me and resonates as something those around me likely feel. I’m starting to grow a view of the future beyond May or June. πŸ™‚

15. “Samantha had to think about this, determine how badly she wanted it. Was it enough to fight for it? Samantha: ‘I don’t know if I want to go forward.’ This whole incident had shaken her more than she’d realized. Sophia: ‘Of course you’re going forward. Backward is never a good option in life'” — Woods, 2013, p. 350

MT 18: A plight in my recovery that is timeless. ❀

Even in 2020. ❀


For A Moment to Fangirl over Sherryl Woods’ creations:

I love Sherryl Woods since this book, although I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t think I’ve successfully managed to read another one of her novels since then (I stopped reading for a while; unrelated) but I’ve taken out her books and bought others relentlessly since. I just love her positivity, her descriptions, her characters, her tone, her meaningful prose, her life changing reads (even if it was only the one so far). I just love HER. She’s an excellent author in a genre I don’t normally read very much at all. And she gave my life the calm and ability to think of the future possibilities ahead of me during a time where I was struggling to get through the next hour. So, for that, I owe her writing so much of what I’ve accomplished today. She may never know how deeply affected my stumbling upon her work in a psychiatric hospitalization was for me but it truly helped to spark change, hope and renewal within me. I felt so inspired after I read the story and could really better imagine a future for myself, if her books existed. I’m ever so grateful that that future DOES exist. ❀ I hope that this very long review helps to best depict that, too. I was drawn by the beauty of the cover and I’m so, so, so glad I was able to be. And yes, I totes stole like 5 or 6 other books from that hospital too, ahaha. I also haven’t read any of those… XD I have a bit of a book problem, if it’s not obvious yet. Thank you so much for reading. ❀ ❀ ❀ (And go check out Sherryl Woods novels!!)


Notes/Reminders/Less Significant Quotes:

    • “(Greg, Ethan’s friend, speaking): ‘But the woman’s (Lisa, E’s ex) still in your head. I’ve seen you show a spark of interest in someone new a time or two, and then in a flash I can almost see the wheels in your head turning and that tape of her dumping you playing again. I think that’s what I hate her for the most, not that she left, but that she ripped your soul to shreds in the process'” — Woods, 2013, p. 35

      MT (20): I think this really sets up the issues that Ethan has with love and the betrayal that happened to his mind and heart after he got injured in the war and came back not himself. Lisa was a biiiiitch. And I’m glad he clicked with Samantha and gave her a chance and they fell in love and got through the hardships together!! Such a great story arc/redemption πŸ™‚

    • “Even as the offer came out of his mouth, he was mentally kicking himself for making it. Spending any more time with this woman than absolutely necessary was probably emotional suicide” — Woods, 2013, p. 33

      MT (18): This is something that probably rubbed me the wrong way but luckily it didn’t cause me to give up and drop the book, rather I gave it another chance and I’m glad I did.

      MT (20): You could probably say I was bristled reading this line and it made me feel a lot of feelings because I was emotionally vulnerable at the time. Now, it’s definitely not my most FAVORITE thing, but I can shrug it off a bit better and not take it to heart as much. ❀ Yay, growth!!

    • MT 18: A quote that’s not super applicable for this review involved me just wondering in contemplation whether books were meant to be physically owned or returned? And, which of the two was the deciding factor? How do we know when a novel isn’t for us and when it could have a life altering secret to it?

      MT 20: When is it okay to quit mid-way through and can you, realistically, do so if you’ve already become invested in the characters? Could you live with not knowing how it ends?

      I don’t know these answers, honestly. It seems utterly absurd to me to not finish a book after I started to read it, no matter how terrible it is. Maybe this would be good for me to challenge in the future. :3

    • “(Greg) ‘Like I said, (Samantha) was out of my league. And I had enough issues living in the shadow of your popularity without risking rejection by one of your adoring fans'” — Woods, 2013, p. 36

      MT 18: This reminds me of Loki telling Thor in the MCU that Loki always had to live in “the shade of your greatness” and it’s a small insight of acknowledgement for my fanfic D&D, a high school AU.

      MT 20: Hehehe, sponsoring my fanfics even years ago!! But yeah, that’s definitely what it reminds me of, the quote, even today. Hehe. God, I love the MCU. ❀

    • I like to live my life with declarations of gratitude because you never know when someone is going to need to hear that confession, that support, that positivity. ❀ πŸ™‚
    • How do people/writers understand consciously such subtle clues of socializing and deeper emotional connection (that being body language)? (Depicting small movements, facial cues, emotional expressions etc.)
    • CONCEPT: good actors are supposed to be capable of engaging an audience to make them forget all about reality (Woods, 2013, p.115). MT 18: I love these characters and can really get behind their message and see through their eyes their thoughts and I wonder if I’ll ever look at actors the same way again. πŸ˜€
    • Reference to the title of this book is made on p. 122. MT 18: Shots fired!! I love how Sea Glass Island was described and the GORGEOUS photo for the cover of the book was used. It’s a way of describing that I could include in my own fanfics and stories. It’s also dawned on me at this point that my own experiences and the quotes I use to highlight these contents reflect my own thoughts and interpretations and may not necessarily be the same for someone else who comes by them because of the background of THEIR own experiences. Thought that was neat!!
    • Balance theme for juggling work, a social life, family/friends/support and hobbies and health, and chores. ❀
    • (Cora Jane to S): “‘Just keep in mind how much you love this man and how much he loves you. Do that and everything will turn out all right'” — Woods, 2013, p. 159 MT 20: This is the hope and romance every grandma could produce into the world and it’s so beautiful and true that I had to include it because reasons. ❀ ❀ ❀ Sherryl Woods’ novels are a perfect amount of hope and light when I pick out serial killer novels and nonfiction streams of words, ahaha.

    • “Maybe when someone loved deeply and lost, they never got over it. In the case of Ethan–a man with so much to offer–going through life alone would be a real tragedy” — Woods, 2013, p. 169 MT 20: A less significant quote but something I wanted to include all the same. :3
    • On page 171 I was reminded from a discussion of accommodation in relationships of a good example of love between Thor and Loki in my Severed fanfic. πŸ™‚
    • CONCEPT: This is a novel about love and happiness and at the same time it touches briefly on loss and grief yet the story is not central to it. It’s okay to have happy endings. Life is more than just the finality of death. Dare to explore and expand your world view and you’ll see brighter stars than ever before. ❀
    • Reminder that I wanted to organize my fanfics and my own dreams and ideas. πŸ™‚
    • Idea: One of the characters talks about being somebody else for a while (acting) and this made me wonder in what ways I could try that myself–writing is one way and other forms of art are too (reading especially). I wondered, too, if I could act. It’d be interesting. ❀
    • Question: How do us writers know when to keep writing and when to stop? What’s the understanding behind that? How are chapters and length of books decided? What’s the longest book out there?
    • It’s important to tell those you care about that you appreciate them and you recognize their strengths and when they’re trying their best. ❀
    • (On a behavior/viewpoint that’s outlived its usefulness) MT 18: It’s interesting how behaviors/thoughts serve us a purpose for a while and then are no longer needed or necessary.
    • CONCEPT: I used to really despise changes when I was younger but now I think that I’m a bit more flexible. Sometimes we fight changes and sometimes it’s nearly inevitable that we find ourselves capable of slouching back and relaxing into the process. Don’t fight your growth. You are worth it.
    • IDEA: I wonder how many authors and writers that have been published will accept questions or letters from readers about how they are aspiring writers and what ways they can best navigate the process. Yeah… πŸ™‚
    • Related Reminder: I could totally write a book and I really look forward to really setting aside time to work on this goal of mine. I really, really should soon. ❀ I have better ideas as to what they’d be about now, in 2020. πŸ™‚

Original days worked on this review (handwritten notes):

2/15/2018, 2/16, 2/17/18.

Days typing this post:

4/2/2020, 4/3, 4/5, 4/6


Ending note:

Hi again. I hope that this post was interesting, you found some inspiration from it, you read it because it took me forever and a lot of re-formatting to figure out again and that it’s something you can come back to in the future. πŸ™‚ I have TONS of old book reviews and now film reviews to upload for you guys. My next two posts involve: revisiting recovery and music with 3 new songs and a coming out blog post. After this, I will work on some other old reviews and hopefully by next week I’ll have a new book read from this year under my belt. πŸ™‚ Thank you so much!!! I’m off to eat and shower and write, hopefully, some fanfic. πŸ™‚ ❀  ❀ ❀ xxx

PS If there’s any glaring typos or misspellings, let me know! I don’t have the heart to fully scan through this post lmao

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