By TMoM Team Member Ellen Bryant Lloyd
I hope you have a very large pool bag! Large enough to hold towels, sunscreen, snacks AND a few of these recently released great summer reads highlighted below! Whether you delve into fun stories while dipping your toes in a pool, the surf, a lake, river or even a kiddie pool in your backyard, you are sure to get lost in these stories as you relax in the summer sun. Soak up all the delightful, slower-paced days this season has to offer while enjoying great books and the extra time you have with your children. Happy summer!
Happy Place by Emily Henry
Emily Henry, the People magazine-dubbed “beach read master” and author of Book Lovers and People We Meet on Vacation, recently released her highly anticipated book, Happy Place. The story features Harriet and Wyn, a seemingly perfect couple that has been together since college. They join their best friends at a Maine cottage that has been the site of an annual getaway for ten years. However, the couple fails to share that they are no longer a couple. Therefore, they end up sharing a bedroom for the week, adding to tension between the two. Their plan to continue playing their respective roles of a focused surgical resident who never starts a fight (Harriet) and a relaxed charmer who appears perfect on the surface (Wyn) is sure to be flawless… right? Reviewers say this story has sarcastic wit, warmth, slow-burn romance, and sophisticated, heartfelt writing.
The Summer of Songbirds by Kristy Woodson Harvey
This North Carolina author has a new title to add to the list of her other popular books, The Summer of Songbirds. Saving Camp Holly Springs is the focal point for four women who had life-changing experiences during previous summers spent there during their youth. The women, now in their 30s, have supported each other through many life situations over the years These included heartbreak, substance abuse, difficult decisions and loss. Yet, they are now committed to rescuing the camp from permanent demise. As would be expected from life, the women each face their own challenges as they work to keep Camp Holly Springs going. One reviewer says, “The Summer of Songbirds is a lyrical and unforgettable celebration of female friendship, summertime freedom, and enduring sisterhood—and a love letter to the places and people that make us who we are.”
Summer Stage by Meg Mitchell Moore
Fans of Elin Hilderbrand will love this new release by the author of Vacationland, Meg Mitchell Moore. The book features Amy Trevino, a former aspiring playwright turned high school English teacher who dabbles as a drama director. She agrees to take on the role of production manager for the play featuring her famous brother, Timothy Fleming. Also, she has a hidden agenda of hopefully healing family relationships. An added twist — also in the cast is Timothy’s famous ex-wife, as the leading role. To complicate things even more, Amy’s daughter and former Disney child star, Sam, unexpectedly returns home from Manhattan with a cloud of secrets surrounding her. The three end up working together to make sure the production is a success. Plus, along the way are pushed to face their individual desires for fame and discover what they really want out of life.
All the Days of Summer by Nancy Thayer
Nancy Thayer has crafted a wonderful, heartwarming story about second chances in her latest novel, All the Days of Summer. After Heather Willette’s good life and marriage fizzles, she faces reevaluating all and choosing a different path in hopes of finding renewed happiness. She moves to Nantucket and all is well until she learns her son has decided to also move there to work for his girlfriend’s family business. That is, instead of working for his own father as he had promised. Heather is not a fan of the girlfriend and the feeling is mutual. As summer is known for being the season of possibilities, readers can look forward to enjoying a captivating, moving and heartwarming story that highlights the complexities of family, change and hope for better futures.
Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld
Reese Witherspoon selected this New York Times bestseller as her Book Club Pick for April 2023. This book features Sally Milz, a late-night live comedy writer who declares she has sworn off love. Well, that is until a dreamy pop star named Noah Brewster enters her sphere. The two hit it off and Sally immediately falls under Noah’s spell of charm. People says this story is “full of dazzling banter and sizzling chemistry.”
Ellen Bryant Lloyd is a writer and mom of two children, one who has flown from the nest and the other is not far from it. She blogs about perspectives on life and parenting at mindfulmom.wordpress.com and tweets at @EllenBLloyd. She is the author of FRECKLES and FRECKLES and The Great Beach Rescue, a freelance writer and memoir ghostwriter. Ellen lives in Greensboro with her husband, her daughter, when she is home from college, and the sweetest dog ever. She looks forward to seeing her son, who is now living and working in a nearby metropolitan city, as often as possible.