The Summer Guests by Mary Alice Monroe
The Summer Guests Book Summary:
“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.”
Mary Alice Monroe is one of my very favorite authors and I adore her Beach House series. The Summer Guests is a spin-off of the Beach House series which I think definitely affected my reaction and perspective while reading this book.
Every year I look forward to another installment to this series and I love seeing what the Rutledge family is up to. Over the years new characters have joined in but the regulars were always there too.
The Summer Guests introduces us to a whole new crew of characters and also shifts from the usual focus of turtle rescue to the world of horses, dressage and rescue dogs. While interesting, I had a harder time connecting with these characters and the new themes. I do think that might have to do with my expectations for it being another Beach House book instead of a new stand-alone novel.
I did enjoy the involvement of Cara Rutledge but it was fairly minimal and the stories in the book didn’t connect as well as they normally do with Monroe’s storytelling. All in all this book was okay, just not my favorite.
Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.