Review: Summer House

After years of wandering from whim to whim, thirty-year-old Charlotte Wheelwright seems to have at last found her niche. The free spirit enjoys running an organic gardening business on the island of Nantucket, thanks in large part to her spry grandmother Nona, who donated a portion of land on the family’s seaside compound to get Charlotte started. Though Charlotte’s skill with plants is bringing her success, cultivating something deeper with people–particularly her handsome neighbor Coop–might be more of a challenge.

Nona’s generosity to Charlotte, secretly her favorite grandchild, doesn’t sit well with the rest of the Wheelwright clan, however, as they worry that Charlotte may be positioning herself to inherit the entire estate. With summer upon them, everyone is making their annual pilgrimage to the homestead–some with hopes of thwarting Charlotte’s dreams, others in anticipation of Nona’s latest pronouncements at the annual family meeting, and still others with surprising news of their own. Charlotte’s mother, Helen, a Wheelwright by marriage, brings a heavy heart. She once set aside her own ambitions to fit in with the Wheelwrights, but now she must confront a betrayal that threatens both her sense of place and her sense of self.

As summer progresses, these three women–Charlotte, Nona, and Helen–come to terms with the decisions they have made. Revisiting the lives and loves that have crossed their paths and the possibilities of the roads not taken, they may just discover that what they’ve always sought was right in front of them all along.

Because audiobooks are strictly background noise for me, I stick to books that don’t require a lot of thinking–those books that people consider “beach reads” are perfect for that. Summer House has it right in the name. This book is all about hanging out with your family the way summer is meant to be spent–in a coastal New England mansion that the family is fighting over.

It has all the necessary chick-lit drama:  a love affair, a love triangle–those are two separate romances btw–a wise and rich old grandma with a past and an affinity for scotch, not to mention a guy you want to punch in the friggin throat. Gang’s all here.

Would I bounce up and down and throw this book at you until you read it? Probably not. But it was nice enough to listen to in the afternoons while getting work done. The person reading had a sweet, steady voice too, so it’s a good one to listen to. Solid three dragons.



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