I am absolutely ecstatic to bring you a review of The Summer Guests by Mary Alice Monroe, a favorite author of mine, and available TODAY from Gallery Books! A huge thank you to Gallery for my copy!
These past couple weeks you’ve seen me kick off my summer reading with some of my go-to authors I’ve been reading for years. Mary Alice Monroe is one of those authors. She excels with writing stories of family with a unique animal and environmental addition to each story. I treasure her books! The Summer Guests is one of her best stories yet.
The end of August is the time to be on the coast of North and South Carolina. Unless a hurricane is coming, that is. As a former coastal Carolina dweller, I can attest to that.
Hurricane Noelle is headed for anywhere and everywhere between Florida and South Carolina, so a group of friends are invited to evaluate at the farm of Grace and Charles Phillips in the mountains of North Carolina. The group is quite the motley crew of friends, relatives, and their animals! They are strangers to each other but treasured friends and family to Charles and Grace.
The week they spend together is challenging in more ways than one. The evacuees have to face their own demons they are battling within themselves and with each other.
And somehow that storm teaches them life lessons they’ll carry with them the rest of their lives.
As a former horse owner, I loved the tidbits about horses and horse showing. The characters in this book are typical MAM; so full of heart, and their dynamics with each other are so fluid and natural. The storytelling is as flawless as ever, and the themes here are the absolute gems of the story. Another aspect done well was the tension of the storm. I could feel it looming, and since hurricane season is approaching quickly, it felt all too real, especially based on the most recent storms we’ve experienced here in the Carolinas.
Overall, The Summer Guests is another feel-good read filled to the brim with characters I grew to love and care about. Thanks for another perfect kick-off to summer reading, Mary Alice Monroe!
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
About the Book:
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Beach House series comes a heartwarming and evocative novel about the bonds and new beginnings that are born from natural disasters and how, even during the worst of circumstances—or perhaps because of them—we discover what is most important in life.
Late August is a beautiful time on the Southern coast—the peach trees are ripe, the ocean is warm, and the sweet tea is icy. A perfect time to enjoy the rocking chairs on the porch. But beneath the calm surface bubbles a threat: it’s also peak hurricane season.
When a hurricane threatens the coasts of Florida and South Carolina, an eclectic group of evacuees flees for the farm of their friends Grace and Charles Phillips in North Carolina: the Phillips’s daughter Moira and her rescue dogs, famed equestrian Javier Angel de la Cruz, makeup artist Hannah McLain, horse breeder Gerda Klug and her daughter Elise, and island resident Cara Rutledge. They bring with them only the few treasured possessions they can fit in their vehicles. Strangers to all but the Phillips, they must ride out the storm together.
During the course of one of the most challenging weeks of their lives, relationships are put to the test as the evacuees are forced to confront the unresolved issues they have with themselves and with each other. But as the storm passes, they realize that what really matters isn’t what they brought with them to the mountains. Rather, it’s what they’ll take with them once they leave.
With Mary Alice Monroe’s “usual resplendent storytelling” (Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author), The Summer Guests is a poignant and compelling story of self-discovery, love, and redemption.
Have you read The Summer Guests, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR