Mailboat by Cade Haddock Strong is a fairly low angst romance about two women separated by how and where they were raised, and the families they belong to. This is a really good example of a contemporary story with class disparity and rich girl/poor girl tropes.
While I do consider this to be a character driven tale, the setting plays an important role in the overall story. Coopersville is a small riverside town along the St. Lawrence River in an area called the Thousand Islands. In the summer it is a tourist town accommodating visitors to the area as well as the owners of the many summer homes (some of them almost mansions) located on the islands along the river. The rest of the year, the town shrinks to just the “town folks” who live there year round. This includes our main character, Wen Apollo, who runs the mailboat delivering packages and mail to the islands. The story begins when she delivers a package to Owl Island and meets Estelle Gage, a woman she has admired from afar but never thought she would get to know.
I really connected with Wen. She is so down to earth and likable. It took me a bit longer to do the same with Estelle, but I eventually did. The chemistry between the two is obvious from the first meeting, and their love story will keep you reading. The author did a exceptional job with the setting, the characters, and especially with the story itself.
This is an easy to read, beautiful romance that I really enjoyed. It would make a great summer vacation novel. You should try it.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bella Books for an honest review.