Heirlooms by Sandra Byrd | Contemporary Fiction Review

Heirlooms by Sandra Byrd

Contemporary Fiction

Answering a woman’s desperate call for help, young Navy widow Helen Devries opens her Whidbey Island home as a refuge to Choi Eunhee. As they bond over common losses and a delicate, potentially devastating secret, their friendship spans the remainder of their lives.

After losing her mother, Cassidy Quinn spent her childhood summers with her gran, Helen, at her farmhouse. Nourished by her grandmother’s love and encouragement, Cassidy discovers a passion that she hopes will bloom into a career. But after Helen passes, Cassidy learns that her home and garden have fallen into serious disrepair. Worse, a looming tax debt threatens her inheritance. Facing the loss of her legacy and in need of allies and ideas, Cassidy reaches out to Nick, her former love, despite the complicated emotions brought by having him back in her life.

Cassidy inherits not only the family home but a task, spoken with her grandmother’s final breaths: ask Grace Kim—Eunhee’s granddaughter—to help sort through the contents of the locked hope chest in the attic. As she and Grace dig into the past, they unearth their grandmothers’ long-held secret and more. Each startling revelation reshapes their understanding of their grandmothers and ultimately inspires the courage to take risks and make changes to own their lives.

Set in both modern-day and midcentury Whidbey Island, Washington, this dual-narrative story of four women—grandmothers and granddaughters—intertwines across generations to explore the secrets we keep, the love we pass down, and the heirlooms we inherit from a well-lived life.

Read an excerpt.

My Thoughts

Prepare to have your heartstrings tugged! In fact by chapter thirteen you're probably going to need a tissue. Sandra Byrd has become known for her stirring tales and in my opinion, Heirlooms, shoots to the top of the list.

The story begins in the late fifties and takes place on the beautiful Whidbey Island just off the coast of Washington state. There we meet Helen and Eunhee. They are two young widows that are as different as can be but through time they come to realize that their differences are also their strengths. 

Later in the story time shifts to the present day and we meet their granddaughters Cassidy and Grace. Both girls were very close with their grandmothers and I venture to guess they thought they knew almost everything about them. They didn't. In fact the two grandmothers shared a secret that sent shockwaves through the girls.

This was such a beautiful story of love and friendship. I will never look at my Rose of Sharon bush or my old handwritten recipe cards the same. I'm neither a foodie nor a gardener but I have an appreciation of both and this story just enhanced that appreciation. 

Heirlooms is definitely a story not to be missed. Treat yourself with this one. It would of course be a lovely gift as well.


I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.


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