Spring and summer brings on the time of family dramas and everyone gathering at the beach. I grew up at the beach so for me vacation was getting away from it. heh I thought that The Summer House by Hannah McKinnon would make a diverting read for me. I thank Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy at no charge. My opinion, is as usual, all my own.
About The Summer House:
When Flossy Merrill summons her children to the beloved family beach house to celebrate their father’s eightieth birthday, both cherished memories and long-kept secrets come to light in this charming and lyrical novel from the author of The Lake Season and Mystic Summer.
Flossy Merrill has managed to—somewhat begrudgingly—gather her three ungrateful grown children from their dysfunctional lives for a summer reunion at the family’s Rhode Island beach house. Clementine, her youngest child and a young mother of two small children, has caused Flossy the most worry after enduring a tragically life-altering year. But Samuel and his partner Evan are not far behind in their ability to alarm: their prospective adoption search has just taken a heart-wrenching turn. Only Paige, the eldest of the headstrong Merrill clan, is her usual self: arriving precisely on time with her well-adapted teens. Little does her family know that she, too, is facing personal struggles of her own.
No matter. With her family finally congregated under one seaside roof, Flossy is determined to steer her family back on course even as she prepares to reveal the fate of the summer house that everyone has thus far taken for granted: she’s selling it. The Merrill children are both shocked and outraged and each returns to memories of their childhoods at their once beloved summer house—the house where they have not only grown up, but from which they have grown away. With each lost in their respective heartaches, Clementine, Samuel, and Paige will be forced to reconsider what really matters before they all say goodbye to a house that not only defined their summers, but, ultimately, the ways in which they define themselves.
About the Author:
Hannah McKinnon is the author of The Lake Season and Mystic Summer. She graduated from Connecticut College and the University of South Australia. She lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut, with her family, a flock of chickens, and two rescue dogs.
The Summer House is a beach read set at the beach. It doesn’t get much more meta than that, now does it? The titular house has been in the Merrill family for years but the current owners, Flossy and Richard are getting older and their children don’t seem to find the time to get to the house any more. They don’t want the work of maintaining/opening/closing the house every year so they’ve decided to sell it. Flossy has managed to get the children to come to the house at the same time to celebrate Richard’s 75th birthday. They will tell the kids about the sale of the house then.
The three kids are all dealing with their own problems in their lives – I can’t really get into them without spoiling the plot. But secrets are held by all as is often found in tales of this type. As each child deals with their problems and with living together in the house of their childhood summers there are laughs, tears and many stories told.
There are a lot of characters and a lot of subplots going on in this story and at times I wondered if they were all necessary. It was almost as if none of them was dealt with on any more than a surface level so as to keep the “beachy” ambiance rolling along. There was a really silly one about an oyster recipe that about drove me over the edge. It was a fast, easy and light read given some of the heavy topics covered.