Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Summer Rental stars four women and a dilapidated beach house in North Carolina. A group of women rent a beach house for a month and discover new things about each other and themselves on the way to finding what really makes them happy. It’s a story of friendship, love, and secrets, combined with a healthy dose of happy endings.
Generally, I liked this book. I liked the characters, each of which came with her (or his) own personality, complete with secrets, flaws, and insecurities. I most identified with Ellis, who likes order and schedules, and I loved seeing her grow and change throughout her month at the beach house. I think that there’s something in all of the characters to be admired, though. I loved Dorie’s willingness to stand up for herself and move on when she knew it was time. I loved Maryn’s courage and Julia’s steadfast loyalty to her friends and earnest desire to help them, even when they didn’t want her to. I especially loved Booker, because wow, what an understanding and patient guy.
The plot had so many components all working together and I really enjoyed reading about each of the characters’ struggles and decisions. I thought that all of their stories were well-told and I appreciated that the author made such well-rounded and interesting characters, all with their own unique hangups. My favorite part was actually near the beginning when Ellis bombards Mr. Culpepper with e-mails. They got to be quite witty and entertaining going back and forth, and I really enjoyed that.
I gave this four stars because I loved reading it and honestly couldn’t think of a reason to knock it down to three stars, though I can see how this book wouldn’t be for everyone. It’s a great book to take to the beach or read with a nice glass of lemonade on a porch swing. Now, if only I had a porch swing….