Forever Beach is the story of Sarah, a former foster child who is waiting to finalize the adoption of her foster daughter, Leila. Without notice, Leila’s biological mother decides she wants her daughter back. Sarah, who is certain the mother is still using drugs, leaps to action in order to save Leila. Along with her caseworker, she hires Ilona Cartwright, a high powered and successful family attorney. When the two meet, Sarah realizes Ilona is actually Nonie… the young girl she grew up with in the foster system. They promised to be best friends forever, but when Nonie is adopted by a wealthy family, both feel betrayed by a turn of events. Now, many years later, the two must reunite to help save the life of a young girl.
This was a powerful story about love and what it means to be family. The women all discover that family can mean a great deal of things, including that family doesn’t always have to be blood.
I definitely grew to understand a lot about the foster system and adoption process through reading this one. The amount of work, love, and dedication that people put into the children is inspiring and at turns heartbreaking. Another storyline that crops up is that of Reesa, a caseworker who is struggling not only in her home life, but in her career. She questions how she can continue to see damaged, abused children day in and day out for the rest of her life. Then she remembers how when she sees a successful adoption or a loving family reunited. Really, it’s gut-wrenching stuff!
I enjoyed the main story of Sarah, Leila, and Ilona, but also appreciated the side stories such as that of Reesa, as well as a potential romance for Sarah and Wyatt, a man she constantly pushes away in fear of upsetting Leila. It was also interesting to see some flashbacks of Sarah and Nonie’s time in the foster system, and what became of their relationship.
A dramatic story with a vivid beach setting, I’d recommend this one to those who enjoy family drama and women’s fiction.
My Rating: 4/5