Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
A late night edition of our usual review fair brought to you from the sunny beaches of Florida...or rather the LIQUID sunshine filled streets of Florida. Yep. It's been a rainy messy day from start to...well, now...with no end in sight (looks like a tropical storm about a 100 miles away from us or so is bringing all the rain), but that doesn't mean the reading has to be dismal too, and with today's BOOK BIRTHDAY celebrant, there's no way it could be.
Today, we're celebrating the release of the latest from author Mary Alice Monroe via Gallery Books. It came to my attention thanks to Meg the fabulous (okay, I added the "title", but in truth...she is!) over at Tandem Literary and it happens to be the fourth in the author's Beach House series (which I did NOT know until writing this post...*adds to must read list*). Good news! It reads rather well as a stand alone, so I'm thinking they are connected more in setting and community than actual storyline. Anywho, if you're ready to escape to the breezy shores along the Isle of Palms (it even SOUNDS dreamy!), then I suggest you pack your overnight bag and follow me, because today's title in on deck...
Beach House, Book 4
Mary Alice Monroe
About the book...
New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe returns to her beloved Isle of Palms to tell the poignant, charming story of two women, one summer, and one very special beach house.
When Cara Rutledge rents out her quaint beach house on Isle of Palms to Heather Wyatt for the entire summer, it’s a win-win by any standard: Cara’s generating income necessary to keep husband Brett’s ecotourism boat business afloat, and anxiety-prone Heather, an young artist who’s been given a commission to paint birds on postage stamps, has a quiet space in which to work and tend to her pet canaries uninterrupted.
It isn’t long, however, before both women’s idyllic summers are altered irrevocably: the alluring shorebirds—and the man who rescues them—begin to draw Heather out of the shell she’s cultivated toward a world of adventure, and maybe even love; at the same time, Cara’s life reels with sudden tragedy, and she wishes only to return to the beach house that had once been her port amidst life’s storms. When Heather refuses to budge from her newfound sanctuary, so begins the unlikeliest of rooming situations. While they start out as strangers, as everything around the women falls apart they learn that the only thing they can really rely on is each other.
And, like the migrating shorebirds that come to the island for the summer, these two women of different generations must rediscover their unique strengths so by summer’s end they, too, can take flight in ways they never imagined possible.
The culture, the community, the unexpected but totally deserved stand for your friend moments that warm your heart, and even the heartbreak... it all adds up to a wonderful read.
When this title arrived on my doorstep, my reaction was split down the middle. First, I jumped for joy because...HELLO! A surprise book arrival ON MY DOORSTEP that sounds promising? What's not to be ELATED about? Then...I saw the release date. June. Oh boy. Why "oh boy"? Easy...my calendar for summer has been a bit booked (pardon the pun), so I couldn't figure how I would ever squeeze it in in time. So yes...I was of two minds, but then I did something I don't often do. I sampled the story. Yep. I opened the book to just read a few paragraphs and get a feel for what I was in store for...and guess what? I never looked back.
Once I started, I simply couldn't stop. I immediately formed a bond with Heather (in more ways than I care to reveal) and found her pursuit of life beyond her usual limits, enchanting despite the every-moment-being-a-struggle aspect. The connection she has with her birds is charming; the one she unexpectedly finds with a certain young man, wonderful. The caretaker, and eventual friend, Cara Rutledge couldn't have been a kinder soul, even when faced with tragedy. Yes, she slid into a dark place, but sometimes in that darkness is where we discover not only our own inner light but the light of others that we simply need to let in in order to pull ourselves back to the here and now. Through Heather's and Cara's life experiences, they are able to find a common ground, rediscovering their own passions and the desire to not simply survive, but live remarkably, and that my friends is a beautiful thing.
In the end, the surprising beauty of the story will sweep you away, while the tenderness shown will leave you gasping for air. You'll shed tears, laugh without reserve, marvel at nature's wonders, and in the end, want to call these ladies (and others) friend...as well as the isle, home. Recommended for Women's Fiction fans the world over.
About the author...
|Mic Smith Photography|
Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including The Summer Girls, The Summer Wind, The Summer’s End, Last Light Over Carolina, Time Is a River, Sweetgrass, Skyward, The Beach House, Beach House Memories, Swimming Lessons, The Four Seasons, and The Book Club. Her books have received numerous awards, including the 2008 South Carolina Center for the Book Award for Writing, the 2014 South Carolina Award for Literary Excellence, the 2015 SW Florida Author of Distinction Award, the RT Lifetime Achievement Award, and the International Book Award for Green Fiction. An active conservationist, she lives in the lowcountry of South Carolina.
Special thanks to Meg at Tandem Literary and the folks at Simon & Schuster for the ARC for review. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, or those promotions on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title is IN STORES NOW via Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.
Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!