Vacation Reads II

Here are the rest of the books I’ve read so far this summer…please share anything you’ve read as well!!

Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews

This was a fun beach read especially because I read it at the beach! Three friends, Ellis, Julia and Dorie reunite in the Outer Banks for the month of August. They are all in their late 30’s and struggling in their own way. Ellis is the leader and uptight woman in the group. The bank where she’s worked for years has downsized and she was let go. She is also single and hasn’t been lucky in love after a very short marriage in her early 20’s. Julia is a supermodel who is feisty and opinionated and unhappy in her career. She is in a long term relationship with an older man who desperately wants to marry her but she’s afraid of commitment. Dorie is a Catholic school teacher who just found out that her new husband is gay. Oh and she’s pregnant. The three of them reconnect and relax on the beach. Did I mention there’s a hot, single guy living next door? At the local diner, Dorie meets a woman, who is looking for a place to stay, and offers the fourth bedroom to her. This woman is very mysterious and doesn’t interact with the rest of the girls. She is on the run from an abusive husband. Everything comes together at the end when her abusive husband finally finds her. This book was predictable but very enjoyable especially for a summer beach read.

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan

I continued with my beach theme by reading this tale next. The Kellehers have been going to their beachfront home in Maine for decades. This book weaves together the story of each of the three generations of Kelleher women and how they connect to each other. The matriarch of the family, Alice, is a woman who probably shouldn’t have had children. She’s difficult and angry and hiding a guilty secret from decades earlier. Her oldest daughter, Kathleen, has moved across the county to escape her family and their ways. Ann Marie, a Kelleher by marriage, is escaping her problems by pouring herself into dollhouse decorating. Maggie, Kathleen’s daughter, is 32 and has just been dumped by her boyfriend…and is pregnant. I hated the way this book ended. Sullivan just leaves you hanging after you’ve invested 528 pages into this family. Maybe some people like when the author leaves it open to interpretation, but I like epilogues that tell me exactly what happened to the characters! The characters and their stories are intriguing, Alice especially, but I was very disappointed in the ending. I find stories in which the mother is a horrible person rather fascinating because I just can’t imagine it.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

I loved this book! Alice wakes up thinking she’s 29 and happily married and pregnant with her first child. Too bad she’s really 39, almost divorced and the mother of three kids. After falling off her bike in spin class, she hit her head and has completely forgotten the last 10 years of her life. She doesn’t have a clue why she and her beloved husband, Nick, are in the midst of an ugly divorce. She doesn’t remember any of her children. She doesn’t know why her sister looks so sad and doesn’t seem to like her. And who on earth is this Gina that everyone keeps talking about in hushed tones? It’s a quick and easy read that keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering if Alice will ever remember the last 10 years and if she’ll get her old life back if she does.

Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

After reading The Glass Castle, and loving it, I decided to give Walls’ other tale a try. Walls describes this as a nonfiction novel because it is the true story of her grandmother but based on details given to her by her mother. Lily Casey Smith is Walls’ grandmother and the story follows her through childhood through motherhood. After you’ve read Glass Castle, it’s interesting to see where Walls’ eccentric mother came from. It’s a wonderful retelling of a woman’s life through one of the richest periods in our history. It’s a quick read and definitely worthwhile especially if you’re a fan of Walls’ work.

Since I’ve been home from vacation, I’ve read 0 books! Help me!!! I just started The Poisonwood Bible which I’ve heard is really good. What are you reading?


3 responses to “Vacation Reads II

  1. If you liked The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, you should definitely read And The Mountains Echoed. It’s his newest book and just as good as the other two. It’s a little different as it tells the stories of a bunch of different people and how their lives are entwined. Really good!! Now I am reading Defending Jacob by William Landay. I just started so I’m not too far in but so far it’s really good! It’s about an assistant DA who is assigned to a case about a murdered 15 year old boy and his own 15 year old son is accused of the murder. Joe Gillen recommended it to me and said its really good with a lot if twists you don’t see coming. Knowing your reading style, I think you’d like both of these books!

    • Tiffany Townsend

      I have The Mountains on my list…and will add the other one too, thanks!Have a great day!!

  2. Defending Jacob is a fast, but complex read about how far a father will go in protecting his son. It raises interesting questions about when parents need to exercise some objectivity when dealing with their child.

    The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is also an interesting read. I guarantee you will not look at flowers in the same manner.

    I am currently reading The Silver Star by Jeanette Walls. I am a fan of her writing style and this story is a non-fiction account of how Jeanette and her sister coped while their mom was attempting to “figure things out.”

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