SUNRISE ON HALF MOON BAY
Author: Robyn Carr
Publication Date: 4/14/2020
Publisher: MIRA Books
Sometimes the happiness we’re looking for has been there all along…
Adele and Justine have never been close. Born twenty years apart, Justine was already an
adult when Addie was born. The sisters love each other but they don’t really know each other.
When Addie dropped out of university to care for their ailing parents, Justine, a successful
lawyer, covered the expenses. It was the best arrangement at the time but now that their
parents are gone, the future has changed dramatically for both women.
Addie had great plans for her life but has been worn down by the pressures of being a caregiver
and doesn’t know how to live for herself. And Justine’s success has come at a price. Her
marriage is falling apart despite her best efforts.
Neither woman knows how to start life over but both realize they can and must support each
other the way only sisters can. Together they find the strength to accept their failures and
overcome their challenges. Happiness is within reach, if only they have the courage to fight for
Set in the stunning coastal town of Half Moon Bay, California, Robyn Carr’s new novel
examines the joys of sisterhood and the importance of embracing change.
“Has it ever occurred to Scott to get a serious job?” Adele asked. “I mean, forgive me,
since I haven’t had a serious job in my life.”
Justine smiled patiently. “Your jobs have all been serious, and without you we’d have
been lost. If you hadn’t dedicated yourself to Mom’s care, it would have cost our whole
family a fortune. We’re indebted to you. And I agree it would help if Scott worked more than
part-time, but I think that ship sailed years ago. He’s only worked part-time since Amber and
Olivia came along.”
Adele adored her nieces, ages sixteen and seventeen. She was much closer to them
than she was to Justine.
“I’m sorry you’re going through this,” Adele said. “I wish there was something I could do.”
“Well, the thing is, the future is looking very uncertain. I might need your help,” Justine
“What could I do?” she asked.
“Adele, I don’t like to push you, but you have to get it together. We have to make some
decisions about what you’re going to do, what we’ll do with the house. I realize what I’ve
given you for your hard work hasn’t been much, but I don’t know how long I can keep it
up—paying for the maintenance on this house, the taxes, a modest income for you… I don’t
want to panic prematurely,” Justine said. “Maybe I’ll be able to work everything out without
too much hassle, but if I run into trouble… Money could get very tight, Addie. All those
promises I made—that I’d help financially while you fix up the house, that I’d give you my
half of the proceeds when and if you sold it… I might not be able to come through. I know, I
know, I promised you it would be yours after all of your sacrifice, but you wouldn’t want me
to ignore the girls’ tuition or not be able to make the mortgage…”
“But Justine!” Adele said. “That’s all I have! And I was considering finishing school
myself!” Though if she was honest, she had no plans of any kind.
Justine reached out to her, squeezing her hand. “We’re a long way from me needing
money. I just felt it was only fair to tell you what’s going on. If we’re in this together, we can
both make it. I swear, I will make this all work out. I’ll make it right.”
But as Adele knew, they had never really been “in it together” in the past, and they
wouldn’t be for very long in the future. Addie’s dedication to their parents allowed Justine to
devote herself to her career. For that matter, it should be Justine and Scott shoring each
other up. At least until Justine had a better idea. But where was Scott today? Golfing?
Adele realized she had some difficult realities to face. When she dropped out of school to
help her mother care for her father, she wasn’t being completely altruistic. She’d needed a
place to run away to, hiding an unplanned pregnancy and covering her tattered heart. She’d
never told her family that her married lover—her psychology professor—had broken down in
tears when he explained he couldn’t leave his wife to marry Adele, that the college would
probably fire him for having an affair with a student. For her, going home was the only
At the time Justine and Scott had been riding the big wave and didn’t lust after the small,
old house in Half Moon Bay. That house was chump change to them. So, they worked out a
deal. Adele had become her mother’s guardian with a power of attorney. But the will had
never been adjusted to ref lect just one beneficiary rather than two. In the case of the death
of both parents, Adele and Justine would inherit equal equity in the eighty-year-old house
and anything left of the life insurance. At the time, of course, neither Adele nor Justine had
ever considered the idea that Adele would be needed for very long. But before Adele knew
it, eight years had been gobbled up. She was thirty-two and had been caring for her parents
since she was twenty-four.
Adele, as guardian, could have escaped by turning over the house, pension, social
security to a care facility for her mother and gone out on her own, finding herself a better job
and her own place to live. She wasn’t sure if it was her conscience or just inertia that held
her in place for so long.
“I just wanted to make sure you understood the circumstances before anything more
happens,” Justine said. “And since you don’t have any immediate plans, please don’t list the
house for sale or anything. Give me a chance to figure out what’s next. I have children. I’ll
do whatever I can to protect them and you. They’re your nieces! They love you so much. I’m
sure you want them to get a good education as much as I do.”
Does anyone want me to have a real chance to start over? Adele asked herself. This
conversation sounded like Justine was pulling out of their deal.
“I’ll think about this, but Scott has responsibilities, too,” she pointed out.
“He’s been out of the full-time workforce for so long…” Justine said.
“Just the same, we all have to live up to our adult commitments and responsibilities. And
you’ve had a highfalutin job for a long time. You’ve made a lot of money. You can recover. I
haven’t even begun.”
“I need your help, Addie,” Justine said. “You need to come up with a plan, something we can put in
motion. Make plans for your next step, put a little energy into this old house, make suggestions of
what we should do with it, everything. Let’s figure out what to do before I find myself short and
unable to help. I’m sorry, but we have to move forward.”
Excerpted from Sunrise on Half Moon Bay, Copyright © 2020 by Robyn Carr. Published by MIRA
Adele and Justine are sisters. Each living under the assumption that the other has in some way had the better life.
Justine is the high powered corporate attorney, two children, supportive house-husband, and beautiful San Jose home.
The perfect gilded lily of a life.
Or so one would think.
Adele, on the other hand. Left school in the middle of her Master's degree, pregnant, and the other woman in a relationship with her married professor.
But ready to drop everything to be the support that her ailing parents need.
Imperfect by far, But still clearly the apple of her parents' eye.
But after eight years...
Many things have changed. Addie now finds herself alone. After the deaths of both of her parents.
and for her part...
Justine discovers that the house of cards that was once her life is collapsing. One card at a time around her ears.
First, With the discovery that her husband has been involved in a long term affair with another woman.
After the company that she works for decides that due to a merger. A lateral career move and a decrease in pay. Is her only option within their changed landscape.
Not exactly the news that one welcomes at 52. With with a house, cheating house husband, kids on heir way to college, and no idea what the next phase of one's life landscape is going to look like.
In both cases...
What's a woman to do?
Relax, relate, rebuild, and reclaim, of course.
And let's not forget a few more important re's...shall we?
Like re-establishing a relationship between sisters who have never really been sisters.
And the release by both woman of people, pasts, and situations which lie at the root of pain that they currently feel.
This is the perfect book for those of us who find ourselves having to start over in any capacity. Especially if you are doing so as a woman in her 30's or later.
This book offers a more "true life" approach to its character's healing processes.
As as result. Readers spend a lot of time revisiting the same issues time and again.
Particularly in the case of Justine and her ex-husband.
That is the way that divorce works.
Separation and the physical, mental, and emotional trauma that it causes-for all involved is one that takes time.
And is quite a process.
So buckle up and be prepared for more than a few trips through the emotional revolving door.
Thank you Ms. Carr. For your sensitive and realistic, yep hopeful and essentially triumphant treatment of life issues that have come to be essential truths of the modern woman.
Robyn Carr is an award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than sixty
novels, including highly praised women's fiction such as Four Friends and The View From
Alameda Island and the critically acclaimed Virgin River, Thunder Point and Sullivan's Crossing
series. Virgin River is now a Netflix Original series. Robyn lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Visit her
website at www.RobynCarr.com