Saturday, May 20, 2023

All That We Are - A Book Review

 All That We Are is the third book in the Wyndham Beach Series. With this book, author Mariah Stewart concludes this trilogy of lighthearted tales of love and reinvention.

sand and shell beach scene at the ocean's edge

Readers of books one and two in this trilogy have met the three older heroines whose lives have intersected since grade school in the charming small town of Wyndham Beach, Massachusetts. Now in their fifties, married, then divorced or widowed, they have become mothers, and now grandmothers.

Book One featured Maggie Lloyd in An Invincible Summer

Book Two featured Liddy Bryant in Goodbye Again

Now in Book Three, All That We Are, the star of the story is Emma Dean.


All That We Are book cover
Emma Dean is the widow of Harry who died a decade ago and mother of Chris, a charming young man who pursued his dream, followed his music and today is a famous rock star.  

At this stage in her life, Emma has found fulfillment in running the Art Center in town and has been busy finalizing plans for the artist colony the Art Center will host this summer. She enjoys her peaceful and organized life in her hometown and the friendship of the two women she grew up with. Plus, she has recently been seeing a charming businessman. 

Then two surprises interrupt her life. First she accidentally finds evidence in some old papers of her husband's longtime affair she knew nothing about.

And the biggest surprise of all turns her life completely upside down when she opens her front door to discover a small, thin, 8-year-old girl with pig tails standing there. The little girl ~ Winnie ~ states that her granny in Georgia sent her on the bus to Emma “cause she said it's 'bout time you took your turn.”

The letter Winnie hands Emma states that her son, Chris Dean, is listed as the father on the child's birth certificate. Could Emma, unknown to her (and apparently to her son, Chris), be this child's grandmother? 

As Emma struggles between what was and what is, she discovers that the life she really wants may be unexpected, but is hers if she is willing to fight for it. 


beach scene with beach hat and flip flops
Image Source: Pixabay

The story is filled with a wealth of subplots, including the artists in residence at the art center, the charming businessman who has eyes only for Emma, a beach wedding, Chris Dean's relationship with Maggie's daughter and now the possibility that Chris has a daughter he knew nothing about. 

A story of friendships, forgetting and moving forward. An enjoyable read about love, loss, and second chances. 

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*All That We Are was reviewed by Wednesday Elf

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. I would imagine having a grandchild you know nothing about would put you into quite a tailspin and clearly would be life-changing to have them "left" on your doorstep. I can see from what you have written about the past actions of others, that Emma would have a lot of acceptance and forgiveness required of her. I have no doubt based on this review, that "All That We Are" is a great book and a wonderful way to end the trilogy.

    1. It actually turned out to be a very satisfactory ending to a wonderful series of books, Mouse. You end up really taking these three women into your heart and enjoy the way they have enjoyed their lives and worked out any problems as only 'best girlfriends' know how to do.

    2. And, this final book in the series has quite a surprise ending. :)

  2. This sounds like an excellent book, especially for nice, light, summer reading - I do love stories with subplots - they make the story, book, movie (whatever it is) more interesting - and I love twists and turns and especially love trying to solve the story line early on, then watching (or reading) the whole thing to see if I had it right!

    1. The whole trilogy was marvelous, Barbara. Not my usual genre, but since they were written by a favorite author of mine, I enjoyed the style and the stories very much.

  3. This does, indeed, sound like a marvelous way to wrap up the Wyndham Beach trilogy, Ms. Elf! I haven’t even read this series (yet) and already I feel drawn to the main characters and their interpersonal dynamic across the years.

  4. Yes, indeed it was a wonderful ending to a marvelous trilogy of novels, Margaret. Thanks for your visit.

  5. This sounds like an amazing trilogy each one with it's own focus. I think this set is going on my must read list right now. Thanks Pat for sharing this with me!


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