Coming Up for Air by Patti Henry

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On the coast of Alabama, there is a house cloaked in mystery, a place that reveals the truth and changes lives...

Ellie Calvin is caught in a dying marriage, and she knows this. With her beloved daughter away at college and a growing gap between her and her husband - between her reality and the woman she wants to be - she doesn't quite seem to fit into her own life.

But everything changes after her controlling mother, Lillian, passes away. Ellie's world turns upside down when she sees her ex-boyfriend, Hutch, at her mother's funeral and learns that he is in charge of a documentary that involved Lillian before her death. He wants answers to questions that Ellie's not sure she can face, until, in the painful midst of going through her mother's things, she discovers a hidden diary - and a window onto stories buried long ago.

As Ellie and Hutch start speaking for the first time in years, Ellie's closed heart slowly begins to open. Fighting their feelings, they set out together to dig into Lillian's history. Using both the diary and a trip to the Summer House, a mysterious and seductive bayside home, they gamble that they can work together and not fall in love again. But in piecing together a decades-old unrequited-love story, they just might uncover the secrets in their own hearts…


About Patti Henry

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PATTI CALLAHAN HENRY is a full-time writer, wife and mother and the New York Times bestselling author of eight novels, including Between the Tides, Driftwood Summer and The Perfect Love Song: A Holiday Story. She lives with her husband and three children in Mountain Brook, Alabama, where she is working on her next novel.
Published August 16, 2011 by St. Martin's Press. 272 pages
Genres: Other, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Spending time with Hutch shows her there could have been another life—one of passion—just as her mother could have had a different life with “Him.” By novel’s end, long-held secrets are revealed, the Alabama coast enchants Ellie into a new life, and Hutch, well… Romantic storytelling at its sim...

Aug 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Coming Up for Air

Publishers Weekly

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Middle-aged Alabama mom Ellie Calvin is trapped in a loveless marriage, but finding and reading her deceased mother’s secret diary gives her the courage to choose a different life and take control of her future.

Nov 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Coming Up for Air

New York Journal of Books

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Dismayed and upset by the entries, Ellie begins to understand some of the reasons for her mother’s actions with her—especially her coldness and need for control, as well as her appeal to Ellie back in the day not to marry her lover and soulmate, Hutch O’Brien.As Ellie delves deeper into her mothe...

Aug 16 2011 | Read Full Review of Coming Up for Air

Book Reporter

When the inscrutable Lillian Ashford Eddington passes away, her forty-something daughter, Ellie Calvin, struggles to deal with her grief --- the grief over losing a mother she both loved and resented --- and the realization that, despite a college-age daughter and their 20-plus years together, he...

Jun 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Coming Up for Air

Chick Lit Central

Patti Callahan Henry uses her gift as a writer to manipulate words so her main character, Ellie Calvin may also, as a painter, take broad strokes as an artist in order to capture the tranquility of the landscape.

Nov 25 2012 | Read Full Review of Coming Up for Air

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