Summer Fiction from Colgan, Francis, Konig, Monroe, Noble

Readers are sure to be charmed by this novel of heartache and healing and its remote island setting; a great summer read for fans of Jennifer Weiner and Emily ­Giffin; as much nature- as character-driven, this atmospheric novel depicts a lush sanctuary that draws in the needy and provides heartwarming inspiration

Colgan, Jenny. The Endless Beach. Morrow. May 2018. 416p. ISBN 9780062851116. $26.99; pap. ISBN 9780062849991. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062850003. F

Colgan (The Cafe by the Sea) revisits the endearing residents of the tiny, remote island of Mure, Scotland. Flora is grateful to be back home in Mure and even happier that her former boss Joel, now boyfriend, has joined her. But her café is barely making ends meet and workaholic Joel is frequently away on business. When Flora surprises Joel with an unexpected trip to meet him in New York, nothing goes as planned, and she returns home unsure of their future. Meanwhile, her brother Fintan is busy planning his wedding to American billionaire Colton, who bought up part of the island and fell in love during the process. Saif, the island’s doctor and a Syrian refugee, is also slowly making Mure his home and is thrilled but worried about being reunited with his children and bringing them to the island. There’s never a dull moment on Mure as Flora and her friends and family face their pasts and also a terrible new secret. VERDICT Readers are sure to be charmed by this novel of heartache and healing and its remote island setting. [See ­Prepub Alert, 11/26/17.]—­Melissa DeWild, Spring Lake Dist. Lib., MI

Francis, Wendy. The Summer Sail. Touchstone. May 2018. 320p. ISBN 9781501199738. $28; pap. ISBN 9781501188916. $16; ebk. ISBN 9781501188923. F

Lee, Caroline, and Abby have been friends for more than 20 years. They have such a strong bond that they consider one another sisters. Even when their lives took very different paths after college, they remained close, sharing their joys and struggles for nearly a lifetime. This summer, the three friends and their families plan to take a cruise together to celebrate a wedding anniversary. Everyone is looking forward to a relaxing vacation full of catching up and reminiscing, but as they near the shores of Bermuda, old jealousies and secrets steer them in a direction they won’t soon forget. The strength of their friendship is tested as unexpected twists and turns in their voyage put unforeseen challenges in their path. ­VERDICT Francis (The Summer of Good Intentions) illustrates with charm and insight the drama and love of friendship and sisterhood, realistically portrayed through relatable and likable characters. A great summer read for fans of Jennifer Weiner and Emily ­Giffin.—Kristen Calvert, Marion Cty. P.L. Syst., Belleview, FL

Konig, Orly. Carousel Beach. Forge. May 2018. 320p. ISBN 9780765398819. pap. $17.99; ebk. ISBN 9780765398796. F

Artist Maya Brice has always felt closer to her free-spirited grandmother than to her stuffy mother and enjoyed their time spent at a gorgeous old carousel in the park. But when Maya loses her unborn baby and her grandmother in the same short time period, she’s shattered, and her relationship with her husband, Vale, suffers. She becomes fully absorbed in the restoration of the carousel for its grand Fourth of July re­opening. Then a chance encounter with old flame Simon, a doctor at a local nursing home, leads Maya to meet 90-year-old Hank Hauser, the original carver of the carousel. As Hank’s Alzheimer’s progresses, he begins to mistake Maya for her grandmother, revealing long-kept secrets, raising plenty of questions for Maya. Why did he carve her Grandma’s name into the most beautiful horse on the carousel? Can Maya find a way to move forward with Vale and her distant mother? Maya tries to heal herself as she brings the carousel horses back to life with each brushstroke. VERDICT Konig’s second novel (after The Distance Home) offers a heartfelt family drama that spans three generations.—Beth Gibbs, Davidson, NC

redstarMonroe, Mary Alice. Beach House Reunion. Gallery: S. & S. (Beach House, Bk. 5). May 2018. 400p. ISBN 9781501193293. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501193316. F

Primrose Cottage on the Isle of Palms, SC, has been a constant refuge for the Rutledge women. By 53, Cara Rutledge thought she’d lived a full life, with a good career and a husband she loved. After his death three years earlier, she fled Palms. Now she’s back, with an adopted one-year-old daughter. She’s struggling to adjust to taking care of a baby until her niece Linnea, a recent college graduate, also returns to Primrose. Reunited on the island, the Rutledges will once again walk the beaches together as part of the “turtle team,” and find the strength to break a cycle of family anger and abuse. Monroe (Beach House for Rent) turns to the ocean, sea turtles, and island life to restore balance in the lives of her strong female characters. The circle-of-life story featuring sea turtles parallels the tale of the sympathetic characters who leave and return to the one place they call home. VERDICT As much nature- as character-driven, this atmospheric novel depicts a lush sanctuary that draws in the needy and provides heartwarming inspiration.—Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN

Noble, Shelley. Lighthouse Beach. Morrow. Jul. 2018. 400p. ISBN 9780062675965. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062675972. F

It’s a huge undertaking for Lillo Gray when she’s asked to attend the wedding of her estranged childhood friend Jess Parker. She’s not used to stepping out of her comfort zone and isn’t sure why Jess invited her in the first place. It turns out that Jess has an ulterior motive—her overbearing parents are forcing her to get married, and she needs all the support she can get to stand up to them before it’s too late. When Lillo and Jess’s two other friends, Diana and Allie, catch on to the situation, they get Jess out of there quickly, and it’s not long before the reclusive Lillo finds herself hosting three houseguests in her small cottage on Lighthouse Beach. What started as a mission to help get Jess’s life on the right track ends up affecting each of the women in surprising ways. VERDICT The latest beach read from Noble (Forever Beach; Whisper Beach) explores the healing power of friendship, appealing to fans of women’s fiction, especially works by Nancy Thayer and Elin Hilderbrand.—Karen Core, Detroit P.L.

 

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