When Tara, a young woman in her mid twenties, who has just lost her boyfriend and orchestrated her mother's weding to a younger man, feels at a loss, she decides to go back to a simpler and happier place and time. Tara decides to move from Missouri back to Otter Bay in California with her youngest sister Camille. The middle sister, Liz, decides to try her luck in the big city of Manhattan. While eating breakfast in a diner in their new town, Tara is offered a job as desk clerk at the inn where she and Camille are staying. She accepts and the two girls begin life in Otter Bay. Unfortunately, it is not the happy place she remembers and when she hears negative stories about her father, she is deeply disturbed. Her happy memories of her father and of his marriage to her mother do not jive with the stories she is hearing. Even though the family always considers Tara the responsible, uptight one, she does have an interest in soap operas and one character in particular. Throughout the story she wonders what would soap opera vixen, Eliza Carlton do? This plot schtick gets old really fast. When she meets a young fireman, Josh, to whom she feels an attraction, the relationship seems to be getting off to a good start but also has some mystery to it. It seems Josh has issues of his own. Will they work them out? Will Tara reconcile the memories of her father and mother? Will she find happiness in Otter Bay? There are numerous twists and as many revelations in this book to rival any soap opera Tara watches. An underlying Christian theme throughout the book becomes overly preachy (in my opinion) toward the end. A reasonably predictable book more geared toward teen agers or women in their twenties just looking for some light, very light reading. 2 1/2 **
Karen at Bookin' with Bingo also reviewed Sweet Waters here.