Friday, July 31, 2020

July Reads

July is traditionally a big reading month for me, as we have our annual cabin vacation. I wanted nothing but fun beach reads, so of course I looked to Elin and a few first time authors for me who also excel in Summer season books.

Hello Summer, by: Mary Kay Andrews
Thank you St. Martin's Press for this copy, which I rec'd well ahead of the May publishing date but wanted to save it as a Summer read. Seeing Mary's books around, I knew she was a popular "beach/pool read" and this is the first time I have read her. She did not disappoint! Conley's goal in life is to leave her sleepy beach home town to be a big time reporter. After a series of jobs in big cities, her latest opportunity falls through, forcing her to go back to Silver Bay. She tells herself it's only temporary, as she helps care for her Grandmother and starts working at the family's newspaper which her sister is trying to keep afloat. These siblings have never really gotten along, but are soon forced to collaborate on the biggest story their town has ever seen. The suspicious death of a local beloved congressman starts leaking all kinds of secrets that shake up the old fashioned community. Conley becomes further invested as she realizes her family's need for her as well as a potential love interest. Really enjoyable!

The Island, by: Elin Hilderbrand
I found several older Elin reprints at Target, so I stocked up for vacation. I loved the strong female characters in this book. The two generations starts off with sisters Birdie and India. Birdie decides to divorce her husband of 30 years and is in a budding romance. India's artist husband committed suicide years ago and she is dealing with a controversial love affair with a younger female art student she is mentoring. Birdies daughters, Chess and Tate are dealing with a lot as well. Chess recently called off her engagement, and soon after her ex dies in a freak accident. Workaholic Tate has always been jealous of her sister and harboring a crush from years ago. All 4 women decide to get away from their troubles for a month at their family home on Tuckernuck Island, off the coast of Nantucket - a place with no electricity, phones, stores, internet. I immensely enjoyed this - the setting of Tuckernuck alone was so interesting. And then identifying with the issues so many of us women are plagued with in life (as my friend said the other day..... the movies really need to set us up for what marriage is really like). This is one of my favorite Elin books.

The Castaways, by: Elin Hilderbrand
This was another Target purchase. The deaths in this story were very sad which is an aspect of Elin books I am not used to. Still a good read:
Greg and Tess MacAvoy are one of four prominent Nantucket couples who count each other as best friends. As pillars of their close-knit community, the MacAvoys, Kapenashes, Drakes, and Wheelers are important to their friends and neighbors, and especially to each other. But just before the beginning of another idyllic summer, Greg and Tess are killed when their boat capsizes during an anniversary sail. As the warm weather approaches and the island mourns their loss, nothing can prepare the MacAvoy's closest friends for what will be revealed

28 Summers, by: Elin Hilderbrand
This is Elin's newest release, which I rented from the library. Loosely based on the concept of "Same Time Next Year", Mallory and Jake maintain a romance for 28 years - only meeting once a year over Labor Day weekend on Nantucket. They do not communicate all year, knowing they have this pact to see each other. Since Jake is Mallory's brother's best friend, they do unintentionally see each other from time to time at unavoidable events like weddings and funerals. It is during those times they have see the reality of each others spouses, relationships, kids. This was a fun type of book to read, but at the beginning of each chapter (year) was a blurb about current events of that year. I don't think that piece was necessary to enjoy this book.

Big Summer, by: Jennifer Weiner
I got this copy in a swap, and Jennifer is another "new to me" author. Daphne is a successful plus size influencer. She has worked hard to put her painful adolescent years behind her. But when her fair weathered rich ex-best friend shows up, begging Daphne to be the maid of honor in her wedding, she reluctantly accepts. Enjoying the no expense spared wedding weekend, the bride turns up dead on the morning of the big day. Was it a freak accident or had she racked up a pile of enemies in her past. Daphne feels compelled to solve the crime, with the help of her true friend and new love interest. Secret after secret comes out in this page turner. I liked this book, but the cover and description do not prepare you for the crime aspect of it, so that was a bit of a surprise.

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