After the funeral of Julia’s mother, longtime friends Ellis, Julia, and Dorie decide it’s time they stopped reuniting at funerals. They decide to spend the entire month of August at a beach in North Carolina. Right away Dorie’s annoying sister Willa invites herself along, then Dorie wants to bring along her new husband despite it being a “girls only” trip. So it’s not quite the vacation they initially planned, but Ellis has found what sounds like an excellent rental house for them. The plans fall apart even more when Ellis gets laid off, Willa backs out (and Dorie’s husband doesn’t come either), and the house is definitely not what they expected. The landlord (who turns out to be their sexy neighbor) is quite cantankerous and hasn’t paid the cable bill. The women make the best of it and end up sharing an incredible month together that brings them closer as they share secrets and even get involved in an embezzlement scandal.
I liked the initial group of Ellis, Julia, and Dorie right away, but had some hesitations when Maryn (who’s fleeing her husband) got brought in. Her story didn’t really fit and it took quite a bit of time before she met the other women. The dynamic between the three friends was good—they’re women who likely wouldn’t be friends as adults if they didn’t have so many years of childhood friendship behind them—and their characterizations were spot on. Maryn was also quite believable, given her background. When Maryn finally joined the others, the interactions were perfect with Maryn keeping to herself and Julia playing Nancy Drew to figure out her real story. Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews is the perfect book to read on the beach or when yearning for summer weather.
Review copy provided by BookDivas.