The books we read while relaxing during the summer months will always have a special place in our hearts—not only do we get to enjoy them, but it’s often in a dazzling new setting, whether it’s the beach, the mountains, or a folding chair on the front porch now that there’s a perfect breeze. It’s important to make sure you’re tossing the perfect book (along with the right SPF) into your summer bag, so we’ve selected a handful of our favorite upcoming beach reads for you to choose from. We think you’ll love digging into the latest books by these fabulous authors almost as much as you love digging your toes into the sand.
The Matchmaker, by Elin Hilderbrand
You’ll have trouble putting down this sweet, engaging book, even if your piña colada glass is empty and you desperately need to reapply sunscreen. The Matchmaker tells the engaging story of Dabney Kimball Beech, a born-and-raised Nantucket girl who has been responsible for 42 happy relationships and has an unerring sense of which couples will last, and which aren’t right for each other at all. Happily married and ensconced in her safe, sheltered life on the island, Dabney has no regrets about never having left Nantucket. But when the long lost love of her life (and father of her daughter) Clendenin Hughes shows up after a 27-year absence, Dabney’s world is turned upside-down. And when misfortune strikes, she has to decide whether Clen offers a daring second chance she’s willing to take. Hilderbrand’s lilting prose and picturesque descriptions will immerse you in this lovely, heartfelt story.
The Hurricane Sisters, by Dorthea Benton Frank
Let this cozy, thoughtful summer read transport you to the beautiful Carolina Lowcountry, where three generations of women in the Waters family—from twenty-something, head-in-the-clouds aspiring artist Ashley, to her troubled mother, Liz, to feisty family matriarch, eighty-year-old Maisie—are about to experience an emotional turbulence that will shake loose long-buried secrets, testing the bonds of love and loyalty. With a vibrant cast of characters and plenty of humorous touches to temper the difficult times, this book will make you feel like summer has truly begun.
Save the Date, by Mary Kay Andrews
Andrews’ latest fun, fizzy read features Cara Kryzik, a down on her luck Savannah wedding florist. Thanks to a nasty divorce, Cara now turns a jaded eye toward the idea of true love, which leaves her just a teensy bit at cross-purposes with the industry she works in. Fortunately, Cara may have just booked the ultimate wedding gig—the one that’s going to get her back on her feet and help her pay back the enormous loan she took from her father, who’s getting impatient. Unfortunately, all is not rosy in the wedding’s tumultuous party (for one thing, the best man has inadvertently dognapped Cara’s beloved Goldendoodle, Poppy). Save the Date is a rollicking read, particularly for those who enjoy weddings, cleverly drawn, relatable characters, and Goldendoodles—and I think that might just be all of us.
Nantucket Sisters, by Nancy Thayer
Maggie and Emily meet on the beaches of Nantucket as girls, and although the two are from very different walks of life—Emily is a “summer person,” while Maggie lives on the island year round—they’re soon inseparable. Although the two plan to remain lifelong friends, as they grow older and begin to make their own ways in the world, their relationship faces many challenges—perhaps none more devastating than the charming Wall Street trader Cameron Chadwick, whose presence in both of their lives threatens to drive them apart forever.
All Fall Down, by Jennifer Weiner
On the surface, Allison Weiss is enviable in many ways. After all, she has a good-looking husband, a sweet young daughter, a flourishing career, and a large house in the suburbs—what more can you ask for? But Allison’s also got her share of troubles: her daughter acts out, her husband acts distant, and her aging parents are taking up more and more of her time and energy. She begins to find that the painkillers she’s been prescribed help take the edge off of life just a little—and is that really such a bad thing? Before long, though, Allison can no longer hide her drug habit, and she learns that rehab isn’t just for wayward starlets and derelicts. With her customary humor and insight, Weiner takes an edgy look at a difficult subject: the life of a woman who has everything under control…until she begins to lose control of everything.
The Girls of August, by Anne River Siddons
For years, four good friends have made a point of keeping in touch by spending a week together at the beach every August. A ritual that was begun years ago when their husbands were in medical school, it has become a cherished a way for the far-flung but still close friends to stay connected—until the tragic death of one of the women in a car accident upsets the balance, and the custom falls by the wayside. Several years pass before a new marriage brings the women back together, and they vow to renew the tradition, gathering on an isolated island off the coast of South Carolina with a new member in tow—Baby. The youngest of the four by far, Baby’s immature behavior rankles the rest of the group, but it is the hugely shifting dynamics among the longtime friends that offers the biggest challenge of all. No one writes more eloquently about the complex undercurrents among a group of female friends quite like Siddons—and the beautiful island location will have you feeling like your feet are buried in the sand. (Available for hardcover and NOOK July 8)
What books are going in your beach bag this summer?