I’m feeling the PRESSURE – I have several library books at home that need to be read and there’s more reserves waiting to be picked up! What’s a girl to do… lay around and read? Sounds like a plan.
I stayed up until almost midnight last night to finish Blanche’s Book Club’s latest read: “The High Season” by Judy Blundell. Here is the official description from Amazon:
No matter what the world throws her way, at least Ruthie Beamish has the house. Lovingly renovated, located by the sea in a quiet Long Island village, the house is her nest egg—the retirement account shared with her ex-husband, Mike, and the college fund for their teenage daughter, Jem. The catch? To afford the house, Ruthie must let it go during the best part of the year.
It’s Memorial Day weekend and Ruthie has packed up their belongings for what Jem calls “the summer bummer”: the family’s annual exodus to make way for renters. This year, the Hamptons set has arrived. The widow of a blue-chip artist, Adeline Clay is elegant, connected, and accompanied by a “gorgeous satellite” stepson. But soon Adeline demonstrates an uncanny ability to help herself to Ruthie’s life—her house, her friends, even her husband (okay, ex-husband, but still). And after her job as the director of a local museum is threatened, Ruthie finally decides to fight back.
Meanwhile, away from the watchful eyes of her parents, Jem is tasting independence at her first summer job, but soon finds herself growing up too fast. One of Ruthie’s employees, a master of self-invention named Doe, infiltrates the inner circle of an eccentric billionaire and his wayward daughter. With a coterie of social climbers and Ruthie’s old flame thrown into the mix, the entire town finds itself on the verge of tumultuous change. By the end of one unhinged, unforgettable summer, nothing will be the same.
In a novel packed with indelible characters, crackling wit, and upstairs/downstairs drama, Judy Blundell emerges as a voice for all seasons—a wry and original storyteller who knows how the most disruptive events in our lives can twist endings into new beginnings.
This book starts off beautifully – and it comes across as if Ruthie is getting things figured out for her, her family, and her home. But then… all of these twists come out of nowhere, and frankly, Ruthie comes out of the woodwork and gets a little crazy (in a good way)!
I really enjoyed the unexpected parts of this book, and I found myself chuckling through several chapters. I also enjoyed the imagery and the descriptions of summer foods (because of course I did)!
I’m recommending this to anyone looking for a good summer/beach read, or to anyone who enjoys vacation-type reading with a twist. There’s hints of romance, but would still be enjoyable if you’re not into romance novels.
Blundell also wrote a YA novel, “What I Saw and How I Lied” about a family in the aftermath of World War II.
The next book Blanche’s Book Club will be reading is “The Female Persuasion” by Meg Wolitzer.
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