Although not universally accepted, my definition of a “beach read” is a book set primarily near a body of water, be that an ocean, lake or swimming pool. However, today’s review also meets the more “accepted” definition of one that is “not very heavy, as it’s difficult to contemplate weighty matter with sand between your toes and a Frisbee flying over your head.”
Title: Summer Rental, by Mary Kay Andrews
Beach Setting: Outer Banks of
Publication date: June 2011
St Martin’s Press
Favorite Passage: And now he heard the tap of a car horn from the driveway. Not a blast, really, just a tap. He darted to the window and looked out. Christ! The silver Accord was parked in the driveway, blocking him in. And somebody was walking towards the door. No. It couldn’t be. But it was. Oh yeah. It was totally the dark-headed chick who’d caught him whizzing off his deck this morning. Ty Bazemore was having himself quite a day, all right.
Beach Read Rating: 5 (out of 5) Beach Umbrellas
Review: Having just returned from a vacation just a stone’s throw north of the outer banks of NC, I couldn’t WAIT to dive into this beach tale. Happy to say Mary Kay Andrews did not disappoint, and I was immediately transported back to that blissful state of feeling the sun on my skin and some sand in my shorts (and really now, isn't that what a good Beach Read is all about?). On a craft level, gotta give the author props. Descriptions were well (but not overly) done, dialogue rang true to the characters, and timing was impeccable with secrets being revealed at perfect point that “goosed the gas pedal” to propell the story forward. The main characters were all likeable and didn’t wallow in self-pity, as many women’s fiction protagonists are wont to do, spiraling downward into a black hole when life throws them a few curve balls (and havint the effect on the reader of wanting to curl up into a ball in a dark room herself!) Ellis, Julia, Dorie and Maryn just keep rolling along, accepting/solving problems, and enjoying a few cocktails along the way. It was a perfect “day at the beach” (even though I was in my Laz-y-boy) read!
Cover Blurb: Sometimes, when you need a change in your life, the tide just happens to pull you in the right direction….
Ellis, Julia, and Dorie. Best friends since Catholic grade school, they now find themselves, in their mid-thirties, at the crossroads of life and love. Ellis, recently fired from a job she gave everything to, is rudderless and now beginning to question the choices she's made over the past decade of her life. Julia—whose caustic wit covers up her wounds—has a man who loves her and is offering her the world, but she can't hide from how deeply insecure she feels about her looks, her brains, her life. And Dorie has just been shockingly betrayed by the man she loved and trusted the most in the world…though this is just the tip of the iceberg of her problems and secrets. A month in
's Outer Banks is just what they each of them needs. North Carolina
Ty Bazemore is their landlord, though he's hanging on to the rambling old beach house by a thin thread. After an inauspicious first meeting with Ellis, the two find themselves disturbingly attracted to one another, even as Ty is about to lose everything he's ever cared about.
Maryn Shackleford is a stranger, and a woman on the run. Maryn needs just a few things in life: no questions, a good hiding place, and a new identity. Ellis, Julia, and Dorie can provide what Maryn wants; can they also provide what she needs?
Five people questioning everything they ever thought they knew about life. Five people on a journey that will uncover their secrets and point them on the path to forgiveness. Five people who each need a sea change, and one month in a summer rental that might just give it to them.