Friday, May 31, 2013

Book Review: Summer Rental - Mary Kay Andrews

Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews
Release Date: June 7th, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Genre: Chick Lit
Source: Hardback, Purchased 
Buy the Book: Amazon

My rating:  3 out of 5 stars  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 North Carolina's Outer Banks is just what they each of them needs.

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?

Mary Kay Andrews' novel is the story of 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.

Summer Rental is one of Library Journal's Best Women's Fiction Books of 2011.

My Review:  

I love that feeling you get when you finish a good book.  You know, the one where you are happy that you know the ending of story, but still somewhat sad that the story ended.  That’s the way I felt when I finished Summer Rental.  I loved the setting of this book, set in Outer Banks, NC, because I have family that lives there, and I can remember summer trips to the beach in NC as a child. 

This book is a light, summer read.  It was a quick read, but it doesn’t lack in excitement or even danger.  There’s a bit of romance involved, of course, but more than that, this book is about friendship.  Summer Rental told the story of three best friends, Julia, Dorie, and Ellis, that had been friends since school.  Despite living in different locations, they decided to come together for one month in August to reconnect, relax, and celebrate their friendships.  Along the way, Dorie encounters Madison in an unsuspected way, and she becomes the fourth female living under one roof at their beach rental, Ebbtide.

For me – I enjoyed that these women all had pretty real life issues, and I was able to really relate to their stories.  Ellis is the workaholic who doesn’t want to make time for a relationship because she hasn’t found the right man.  Julia has the right relationship and doesn’t feel like she deserves it.  Dorie is kind of stuck in limbo with her relationship.  Madison is running from hers.  Of course – let’s not forget the sexy neighbor/landlord Ty Bazemore who is dealing with his own set of issues.  I loved the characters, and found myself sneaking time to read during breaks, lunch, after work, etc. so that I could finish the book quickly.
Much like any book I read with a bit of mystery, I always try to figure out the ending.  That’s one of my flaws in reading, because instead of just enjoying the story, I try to figure out the story.  I was able to do that with Summer Rental, and I was accurate in my assumptions.

I did love that throughout the book you find out the “secret” that each of the girls is hiding from the others, because it makes the characters more relatable.  Even though, these women were from different backgrounds, for the most part, I felt they were all strong characters, and more than that, strong women, in their own ways.  For that, I’m commending Ms. Andrews for portraying thirty year old women as individuals who can and have stood on their own two feet. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book.  I wouldn’t say that it’s a life changing book for me, but it did exactly what it was designed to do.  It was a quick, light, easy read that made me long for the Outer Banks and for the ocean.

1 comment:

  1. Christina
    This is a book on my Want To Read list. Have only read one book so far by this author but think I will enjoy. I am going to follow your blog by Boglovin'.