Blanche’s Book Club: ‘Out East’.

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We made it to another Friday… a summer Friday in quarantine, for me. I know this has been a tough week for many across the country, and while I think we’re going to sit in an uncomfortable space for a little bit, I am confident that change is on the horizon.

Originally, I was attending a digital camp this weekend, but that was postponed… so I suppose I’ll be posted up on the patio with a stack of books!

The latest read from Blanche’s Book Club is “Out East: Memoir of a Montauk Summer” by John Glenn. Here’s the scoop:

They call Montauk the end of the world, a spit of land jutting into the Atlantic. The house was a ramshackle split-level set on a hill, and each summer thirty-one people would sleep between its thin walls and shag carpets. Against the moonlight the house’s octagonal roof resembled a bee’s nest. It was dubbed The Hive.

In 2013, John Glynn joined the share house. Packing his duffel for that first Memorial Day Weekend, he prayed for clarity. At twenty-seven, he was crippled by an all-encompassing loneliness, a feeling he had carried in his heart for as long as he could remember. John didn’t understand the loneliness. He just knew it was there. Like the moon gone dark.
Out East is the portrait of a summer, of The Hive and the people who lived in it, and John’s own reckoning with a half-formed sense of self. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, The Hive was a center of gravity, a port of call, a home. Friendships, conflicts, secrets and epiphanies blossomed within this tightly woven friend group and came to define how they would live out the rest of their twenties and beyond.

Blending the sand-strewn milieu of George Howe Colt’s The Big House with the radiant aching of Olivia Liang’s The Lonely City, Out East is a keenly wrought story of love and transformation, longing and escape in our own contemporary moment.

I got this book last year and, for whatever reason, didn’t devour it right away. I’m glad I saved it to read closer to summertime because it’s such a summery book! It’s beautifully written and I read it in a single sitting.

I related to this book on so many levels, but I also just loved reading about this adventure of abandoning New York for the summer weekends and letting loose in a historical beach town.

At the border of Amagansett and Montauk, Shane opened the moonroof, letting in the stars. Outside I sensed a sand-blasting, a peeling away. We had driven past the point of civilization into a wild, moon-dipped isthmus. The air whipped cold and pungent through our open windows. I could see the ocean on both sides. Beyond the sand banks stood sleek, streamlined houses with flat roofs.

I’d definitely recommend this book if you’re envious of summer homes, and especially if you’re a fan of “Summer House” on Bravo.

The next book Blache’s Book Club will be reading is “American Dirt” by Jeanine Cummins.

For more book recommendations, be sure to subscribe to the blog (look to the right) and follow me on Goodreads @thebitterlemon – where I share more of my book picks. Need help with your blog? I can help with all of your digital marketing efforts – just let me know!


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