True to Me

A By the Sea Novel
By: Kay Bratt
Series: By the Sea, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary
4.5 out of 5 stars (352 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the bestselling author of Wish Me Home comes a breathtaking novel about the secrets that families keep and one woman’s illuminating search for the truth.

Quinn Maguire has a stable life, a fiancé, and what she thinks is a clear vision for her future. All of that comes undone by her mother’s deathbed confession - the absentee father Quinn spent thirty years resenting is not her real father at all. With that one revealing whisper, Quinn embarks on a journey to Maui, her mother’s childhood home, a storied paradise that holds the truth about her mother’s past and all its secrets Quinn is determined to uncover. 

But settling on the island has its complications, and with the fiancé she left behind questioning every choice she makes, Quinn’s quest for her truth is even more difficult than she expected. As time passes and she digs deeper into her family history and her own identity, one thing becomes clear: Maui is as beautiful as she’d always imagined, and its magic is helping uncover the woman that Quinn was always meant to be.

©2019 by Kay Bratt. (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Deathbed Confessions and Lifelong Secrets

From one of my favorite authors comes, True to Me, a novel about a young woman bringing her mother’s ashes to Hawaii to the island of Maui, to learn about her mother’s and her own past. Flying to Hawaii alone (without her fiancee who has commitment issues) Quinn goes to scatter her mother’s ashes and to unbury the secrets kept from her all her life. Her mother’s deathbed confession that the man whom Quinn had always thought was her father wasn’t, has left Quinn reeling. And even after going through all her mother’s things, Quinn is no closer to finding the truth . . . except for finding a very old picture of two young girls, her mother and her best friend, with a name scribbled on it. For as long as Quinn can remember, it had been just her and her mother alone, barely scraping by, but after her mother’s death, she was surprised to find that she had an inheritance. Going against her own tendencies to always think things over and get her fiancée, Ethan’s input into every decision, Quinn used the money she inherited to buy a house on Maui (sight unseen). It was money she never expected to have anyway, she reasoned, and it would make a nice vacation and rental property. But when she arrived in Maui, she was shocked to find the house still occupied by the former tenants. Here is where the story gets most interesting. The ways of the native people of Hawaii are NOT like most of us rush-every-minute Americans. The expressions and culture of these people, as well as their fears and beliefs, are rich and go back generations. The author paints a picture of the island and its people that is so vivid and beautiful that I could nearly feel the gentle breeze blowing. The respect for and wisdom of the elders in Hawaii and the closeness of family goes deep. I loved learning all about their ways, and about the island, water and sea animals. I grew to love Quinn, as well. And I caught myself cheering the longer she was away from Ethan and his selfish influence over her. The hunt for Quinn and her mother’s family took several turns and wasn’t at all what I expected. Quinn’s patience and growing friendship with Maria, her children and with Liam, who was doing the renovations on the home which Quinn bought, was described in rich detail. Quinn’s own reconnection with her best friend, Maggie was a wonderful part of the story. Another favorite for me was Kupuna (grandfather) who was blind, and lived with his daughter, Maria and her two children. His wisdom and kindness when he first greeted Quinn with the traditional, Aloha, struck me right away, since the greeting has a much deeper spiritual meaning for native Hawaiians. As the tale unfolded, it became more and more beautiful, enveloping the listener into each person’s individual role, as well as the group’s story. The culmination was perfect. I can’t wait for the next in the series.

2 people found this helpful

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Sitting on the fence with this one...

I did listen to the end, but I skipped most of the epilogue...too wordy. Some confusing characters and felt like too much effort went into making characters/story line seem more mysterious. Some far-fetchedness in the story events, but a happy ending.

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful listen.

Smooth listen. My children listened in as well. The story covered actual situations experienced by the people of Hawaii, not just from Maui. The sense and connection of family, the land transfers, the homeless, etc. all exist. The development of the main character was good too.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

beautiful story about finding yourself

My review of True To Me:

This is a beautifully written story about a young woman's search for her family and finding her true self as well. Quinn was a successful business woman, had a fiance and thought her life was on track until her mother's deathbed confession. Now Quinn is set out on a journey to find her family on her mothers island of Maui. During this journey Quinn finds her true self and makes life changing decisions. She reconnects with old friends and find new friends along the way.

1 person found this helpful

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Good book

It was hard to get into because the reader sounded more lime an announcer but she got better as the book went on. Great story, endearing and overall good book.

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Excellent Story

This was my first listen by this author and I’m going back for more. I absolutely loved the story, full of heart and forgiveness, and doing the right thing. As a side effect I learned more about HI too, and almost felt like I was there. Just an excellent story. And the narrator was great too.

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Love

I really enjoyed this book. I love maui do this really resonated with me. It shows compassion, determination, love, family etc. Maui does have healing powers and this book is a perfect example.

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Good book

This book was good, it was fast-paced and had a lot of ups and downs like a roller coaster of emotions but very enjoyable..

what I really like about the story and the book is that the heroine didn't forget and forgive right away that she took her time to think things through and the same time that helped her to grow as a person... I love how she took her time and made the decision she needed in her life.. but also what I didn't like was that she second-guesses herself a lot inside her mind.. after what she went through with her "Fiance" I felt like she was to tamed..

The narrations by Sarah Mollo were good, at some part she felt a little stiff like she was reading the book but nothing major she really brought the character to life-giving it more power and feeling..

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Heartfelt

I really enjoyed this book it was well written and heartfelt. It was not what I expected which was very nice.

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Great book

Another great story by Kay Bratt. Her books always make me feel good. Strong women and some great men