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A Novel Idea!: Sailing Lessons - 2018

Sailing Lessons

Reviewed by Josie Mae R.

= Read & Recommend

Do you love chic lit, beach reads, or family drama (safely within a book of course)? Then you will thoroughly enjoy Sailing Lessons by Hannah McKinnon. Last summer, I read all of Nancy Thayer and Elin Hildebrand’s books, perfect beach reads set in places like Nantucket and Tuckernuck that involve families surviving turmoil and coming together. This summer, I will be reading Hannah McKinnon, whose work I was recently introduced to with Sailing Lessons.


Set in Cape Cod, the novel follows three sisters as adults, whose alcoholic father left them when they were children to be raised by their mother, who learned to be strong and set an example for the girls. Piper, who is lost after graduating and having never worked a job, must decide who she wants to be. Wren, who is venturing into the unknown opening her shop and raising her own daughter as a single mother must decide if she has chosen the right path, and Shannon, who must always be perfect to survive her own standards must learn to let go. All three women must come to terms with the past when their biological father returns to face what he left behind.


Throughout the story, we see the characters, who are well written and go beyond the surface, grapple with identity, the past, and what the future brings.

The end of the book is a bit rushed, but the author works to tie the loose ends together, and the reader will walk beside each character through difficult life decisions and challenges, seeing three strong women in very different relationships at diverse points in their lives learn who they are and who they want to be, as well as how to break free from the past.

  • Length: 384 pages
  • Published by: Atria/Emily Bestler Books (June 5, 2018)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1501162824
  • Category:  Fiction