The High Season

The High Season

by Judy Blundell

Hardcover

$24.30 $27.00 Save 10% Current price is $24.3, Original price is $27. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Want it by Monday, November 19 Order now and choose Expedited Shipping during checkout.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525508717
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/22/2018
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 18,117
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Judy Blundell is a New York Times bestselling author. Her novel What I Saw and How I Lied won the 2008 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. The High Season is her first novel for adults. She lives on Long Island with her husband and daughter.

Read an Excerpt

1
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "The High Season"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Judy Blundell.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Reading Group Guide

Ruthie has the perfect life. She just has to give it up every summer.

In a beach town overrun with vacationers, Ruthie—a year-rounder who moves aside for “the summer people”—feels like a bit of an outsider. When her life is upended one fateful summer, she must fight to save everything she holds dear—her family, her house, and her career.

1. At the beginning of The High Season, Carole tells Ruthie to “Just try to be . . . a little less you.” Being herself is a theme that Ruthie constantly struggles with—what moments do you think sparked the biggest changes in Ruthie’s character throughout the novel?

2. In The High Season, we meet two types of people: the “summer people” and the “year-round people.” Think about how each of these groups live their lives and connect with one another. While the differences may be obvious, how are they similar to one another? Do you think the characters can see these similarities for themselves? Why or why not?

3. The antique watch never stayed on one person’s wrist for long over the course of this novel—first landing in Ruthie’s possession, then Lucas’s, Doe’s, and briefly Lark’s. What were the intentions of each character when they took it? What did the watch mean for each of them?

4. It dawns on Ruthie that she has not been acting like herself when she realizes how much she’s been ignoring Jem. On the flip side, Jem has also been hiding her feelings from her parents. Do you think the outcome at the end of the novel would have been different for Jem if Ruthie, or Mike and Adeline, were paying more attention?

5. Throughout The High Season almost all the characters are caught lying at some point. How does each character justify their lies? How did this affect your reading of each character?

6. Lark tells Doe that “You have to look for goodness just like everybody else.” Is this sentiment true for all of the “summer people” in the novel? What about the other characters?

7. What does Doe learn about herself through her relationship with Lark? And vice versa? How do they grow together as a couple?

8. Why would Mike say his marriage to Ruthie failed? What would Ruthie give as the reasons? Do you think Adeline and Joe end up being better partners for both characters, and if so, why?

9. Do you feel the family handled the discipline of Lucas? What lessons were learned?

10. If you were in Ruthie’s shoes, how would you have responded to Jem’s confessions at the novel’s end?

11. Which characters in The High Season get the ending they deserve? Do you think Ruthie gets a happy ending?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The High Season: A Novel 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lucky to receive an advance copy and thoroughly enjoyed it. Touching, emotional, amusing and yet surprising. Main character Ruthie is going through a rough time. She makes some bad decisions but I still found myself rooting for her to straighten out her life.
Anonymous 11 months ago
A bit slow and simplistic until the last 50 pages.
lsmoore_43 9 months ago
Thank you to #NetGalley and #Random House for this book. I could not connect to any of the characters in this book. It seemed to be about a bunch of rich snobs who didn’t really care about anyone. That tends to be realistic for the very rich but in a book I expect to like the characters and the secondary characters. At least one of them. Not so in this one. I felt bad for the owner but she was still not likable. I’m sorry but this book gets one star from me. I will try more books by this author. Or at least one more before I make up my mind whether I like her writing or not.
18856734 10 months ago
It took me quite awhile to get into THE HIGH SEASON. There were plenty of times throughout it where I considered putting it down. When it was over, I was glad that I didn't. So many of the characters were not likable, but that's what made you connect to them. You, as a reader, know all their flaws, including the ones they are hiding from one another. It's easy to hate them...Ruthie was weak and then is pissed at everyone else for not doing what she wants. But, as she grows throughout the book, you realize it's been worth hanging on. There were definitely a lot of very strong female issues and triggers warnings in this. I wish there'd been more consequences for those who commit crimes throughout the book. There was a lot of opportunity to tackle big issues, but even then it's sort of "covered up"...right there on the tip of making a statement, only to not quite get there.
bookaholique 10 months ago
When Ruthie's life starts to go downhill, it goes down fast. The question is - what is she going to do about it? This turned out to be a delightful surprise. I ended up really liking Ruthie and was cheering that her life would make a turn around. She's funny and loyal - almost to her detriment. For me, this was a story about learning how to let go and turning life's lemons into lemonade (sorry for the cliche). I received this from Random House Publishing via Netgalley.
momdec23 10 months ago
I really wanted to save this book for when I was actually on a beach, but also wanted to be fair and write my review and thank BookishFirst and RandomHouse for my advanced arc. Ruthie believes she has the perfect life even though her and her handsome husband Mike are separated, they still share their love for their summer home and their daughter Jem who is 15 year olds and trying to find her way in life. The only problem is that they don’t get to spend their summers in their cute beach home, they are forced to rent it out during “High Season” in order help with the upkeep and pay the mortgage. The renter for this season is a widow, Adeline Clay of a famous painter, Peter Clay, who Ruthie used to intern with many years ago. With her comes her stepson, Peter Clay who believes he is entitled to everything and anything. Once Adeline shows up, Ruthie’s world starts spinning out of control and she feels like she is losing grip on her life. I’ll stop here because you really need to read this book, there are so many more characters and stories within this story that help you get away from it all and be immersed in it all. I highly recommend this book!
NovelKim 12 months ago
Vapid, Tepid, Entitled – in all the worst ways. Arghh, I just really disliked all the characters in this book and couldn’t muster the empathy nor sympathy which would have made any part of this book palatable. Having said that, I wonder if that isn’t what good writing is all about - the ability to evoke strong reactions. There was a paragraph that begged a universal question: “If you held a thing that could change everything, if it could ease your anguish, repair what had been broken … if it could give you exactly what you wanted …. would you just toss it back in a box?” OR WOULD YOU EXPLOIT IT? And that is part of the premise that runs through this book. Never mind that that “thing” doesn’t belong to you, or might be stolen, or might be fraud, or might be so underhanded, or might really hurt someone else. All in all, another quote by a minor character sums it all up for me: “It’s just a pain to even be a bystander to all this stupid mean shit.” Thank you NetGalley and Random House for a copy.
mkdmom More than 1 year ago
I received an ARC from NetGalley for an honest review. I don't know if it's because I'm from Long Island where this book is set or not, but I loved this book! The story of a woman who has to give up her home during the summer months so she can afford to live there the rest of the year was really compelling to me. As someone who has lived here most of my life, I can say I honestly hate it when the summer people come to stay. Even though I'm not in the moneyed East End, it's gotten so that regular people cannot enjoy the beauty of Eastern Long Island anymore. Right off the bat the I sympathized with the main character. Add to this lots of juicy summer backstabbing, lying and cheating and you have one hot summer read. I also liked that the book followed the stories of three people, each told in unique ways, most especially the daughter's storyline told in texts. It definitely was a page turner for me and I think anyone who enjoys stories about the rich and famous and the haves and have-nots will enjoy this read.
RWB2 More than 1 year ago
The High Season, by Judy Blundell is an ideal summer book, which readers should plan to bring to the beach and/or swimming pool. Ruthie Beamish loves her home, which is located in a village near the sea. However, she must rent out the house during the best part of the year in order to afford this costly home. Over Memorial Day weekend, Ruthie packed up their personal belongings for her family to rent out their home to unique and rich renters. In addition to the renters, Ruthie is dealing with her teenage daughter and ex-husband. This book features quirky characters and plenty of drama. The High Season is particularly geared towards fans of women's fiction books. Note: I received this book from Bookish First, which is a program designed for bloggers to write book reviews in exchange for books, yet the opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Jenea Whittington More than 1 year ago
The High Season takes through Ruthie Beamish and her summer. Ruthie believes loves her house, her house and her daughter. Living in Orient is everything she wants it to be. That is until the summer comes. Her family moves out of their house so it can be rented for the summer. This is how they pays for that gorgeous and expensive house. This particular summer changes everything. I enjoyed the idea behind Ruthie living in such a glitzy place, it was similar to The Hamptons, being it is the go to place for the wealthy to get away. But as the same time, I can’t imagine having to move out my house for the entire summer either. Her daughter Jen, hates it and who could really blame her. Packing up your room and living in a house somewhere else other than the home you are for 3 quarters of the year. A woman Adeline has rented the house for the summer, and she is all too ready to just step right in Ruthie’s place and her life. I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt, that she was just a woman vacationing, the problem is I just couldn’t past her actions, and Mike’s as well. The living situation between Ruthie and Mike was a little on the strange side already. And it seemed that Ruthie was all too busy living the wealthy and somewhat snotty life and didn’t have much time for her daughter either. Character wise, I had a hard time liking or even connecting with most of them. And there were a lot of them, Ruthie and Jem were the only ones I really liked. With so many characters to keep up with, I just had a hard time keeping up. I did however love the setting, it was described so well, and you just felt like you’re there. Drama, don’t even get me started on the drama. There was plenty to go around too, that I did feel awful for Ruthie and Jem a few times. The best part and what saved this one for me was how Ruthie handled everything that was going on and the ending was better than I expected. Overall, this did make for a pretty good little read, a good for the summer too. I might sound as i didn’t enjoy this, but I did end up enjoying it more than I though, it just took a little time to get there.
KarenfromDothan More than 1 year ago
Every summer, Ruthie, Mike and Jem pack up their personal belongings and move out of their beach home to make way for summer rentals. Orient, a rural hamlet on the North Fork of Long Island has long had a laid-back vibe. Now, some of the mega wealthy have set their sights on it, and this summer’s renter is no exception, only she wants more than just their house. Judy Blundell is an award winning author of children’s books. This is her first foray into adult literature, and it’s an easy, enjoyable beach read. Using a mix of prose, texts and e-mails it has a little bit of everything from romance to drama. Follow along as Ruthie and Doe figure out who they truly are and what it is they really want. Add this one to your bag of summer reads. You’ll be glad you did.
Kelsey Mastaller More than 1 year ago
Clever, charming, and congenial, The High Season is much like a summer day itself – filled with so much warmth and action and highs and lows, that it leaves the reader exhausted and sun-shy. Author Judy Blundell is an excellent storyteller, borrowing the scenic landscape of Orient to populate with her cast of colorful characters, which run the spectrum from caricature to pre-Raphaelite. Her prose is rich and pleasant, and she is able to imbue her characters and her writing with a sense of humor that made it clear that she is in on the joke, even if our hero, Ruthie, isn’t. As Ruthie struggles with betrayal, hopelessness, and a loss of control, the book turns from a fun, summer romp to a stressful, breakneck crisis; again, this is a testament to the writing and completeness of our main character, whose panic grows unsettlingly palpable. It is easy to forgive, or at least empathize with, some of the poor choices that Ruthie makes as she struggles to re-calibrate her life. Even the most ridiculous turns within the book are forgivable in a world populated with sloppy artists, social-climbers, and performative meditators. Nevertheless, like all good summer stories, The High Season requires a good bit of suspension-of-disbelief to fully immerse yourself in the deliciously soapy drama of the small town on the edge of the continent (but really, how does such a small town attract such an insular group of artists, and the artist-adjacent!?). Despite the (unreasonably) catty socialites and co-workers, Blundell created a close-knit community that you would want to spend a summer in ---- which would become very important, because it helped to understand why Ruthie is willing to put up with so much and fight so hard for everything she is losing: her home, her job, her friends and family. It is a quick, often joyous read that is sweet but sticky, with a note of melancholy that perfectly colors summertime evenings. The concept of grounding the book around summer holidays helped keep the book from dragging, like so many books set in the summer tend to do, and also helped to keep the action moving. Multiple chapters would be dedicated to a specific character, only to have very little payoff. There were a lot of lose ends that were not tied up at the end of the novel, and not just the one at the summer’s last, chaotic party. Blundell’s prose is occasionally interrupted by a curious passage that makes reference to the future (“if only she had known, later, how this would end…”, or that switches to the second person POV. The strength of this novel is in its humor, and in the occasions that it begins to take itself too seriously is when the story, characters, and writing suffers. By the time the novel has reached its – somewhat unsatisfying – conclusion, the reader is more than ready to turn the page to fall.
CharJones2525 More than 1 year ago
A delicious literary read about life and class strife at the shore. Written with savory wit and insight, The High Season decants well in summer ... or any season! Grateful to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for the early read. Opinions are mine. #TheHighSeason #NetGalley
Sabrina207425 More than 1 year ago
I was excited to kick off my summer reading The High Season so close to Memorial Day. The premise sounded like a great summer feel good story of a woman finding herself when life insists on throwing curveballs. I fell in love with the town of Orient on “the wrong Fork” of Long Island which smells “like nowhere else in the world in the summer: salt, sea, lavender, pine, rugosa, lilies.” This small town’s claim to fame is that is actively works to differentiate themselves from the aristocratic Hamptons of South Fork and choose to embrace ideals of art, shop at a farmer’s market, and resist allowing personal aircraft onto their slice of heaven. Ruthie works as the director of the Belfry, a local museum in a renovated barn (love!) that, thanks to her, holds art classes for local children, has annual town picnics, among other activities. She has the house of her dreams, but, in order to keep it, she rents it out during the summer- the “Summer Bummer,” according to her teenage daughter, Jem. Unfortunately, as much as I loved the setting of the story, I had difficulties connecting with the characters. There were a lot of characters, that I sometimes had trouble remembering, that were making bad decision after bad decision with very few redeeming qualities and I just wanted to sit them down and have them try to talk it out. The main issue with most of the characters was their total lack of communication as they cut themselves off from their support system. There were bad mothers galore, in the present and reflected upon from the past, teenage drama, a business coup- you name it, it was present in this fateful summer in Orient. This would actually be a great television mini-series if there was more time to flesh out the other characters and have them interact rather than cut ties so quickly. If you are looking for a high-drama summer story with twists and turns galore as the cast of characters tries to find their way, this is the one for you. Overall, Judy Blundell can definitely weave a plot and I enjoyed seeing the pieces fall into place as autumn approached. I also appreciated the epilogue-like ending highlighting the development and adjustments of their lives after their fateful summer.
WyHalo More than 1 year ago
Note: I received a free ebook ARC from Random House via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. High Season was exactly the book for me over the weekend. It filled the same niche for me as The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews and The Vacationers by Emma Straub, so if that's what you're in the mood for you might like this. The story isn't like those books, but shares the family drama and mostly rich folks in a summer setting. I did really like the way the author talks about class and wealth, and I enjoyed the interconnected stories of the various characters. There is definitely a protagonist in Ruthie, the local museum director who, with her husband Mike (separated for years but not divorced and "best friends") and teenage daughter Jem, rents out her seaside home every summer to the wealthier folks who prefer her village to the Hamptons. Even though Ruthie is the main focus, we also get to know her coworkers, especially Doe (museum social media manager), 15-year-old Jem, one of the famous artists in the area and his daughter, and a few of Ruthie's friends. I enjoyed this ensemble and their interconnected stories and the ways they affected one another without even knowing it.
Cinemabelle More than 1 year ago
Note: I received an advanced readers copy of this book in exchange for an honest review that I wanted to share here with you. You can practically feel the sunlight pouring off the pages of The High Season, which, thanks to National Book Award Winner Judy Blundell's lyrical and painterly prose, is as picturesque as the summery Long Island beach house where the novel's action is set. Told from the points-of-view of multiple characters, the instantly compelling book introduces us to the local residents and seasonal visitors of a beautiful beach community that's big enough to enjoy but small enough that secrets don't stay that way for long as its inhabitants soon find out. Although it's made fiscal sense, renting their gorgeous home every summer in order to afford to live in it during the rest of the year has begun to wear on our main protagonist, museum director Ruthie Dutton and her fifteen-year-old daughter Jem. Renovating a perfect beach house only to need to leave it during its peak season has been a leading cause of the breakdown of her marriage to Mike, with whom she's still on excellent terms, and even though the mature Jem puts up a good front, Ruthie hates the idea of uprooting her each summer. And when her latest renter makes herself home a little too quickly – setting her sights on Mike, her friends, and possibly a permanent place in North Fork – Ruthie finds herself at war, especially after the renter's college aged stepson takes an interest in Jem, and nonprofit art world politics threaten her livelihood. Breaking down the action on several fronts, we're also introduced to Ruthie's enigmatic young coworker Doe who's perfected the art of blending in anywhere and with anyone and it's in Doe's chapters that Blundell and the reader has the most fun as she gently satirizes the rich. The first book the author has penned exclusively for adults, admittedly there are times when The High Season's older characters (especially Ruthie) act more immature than their younger counterparts do in incongruous scenes that hinders their relatability. A gifted stylist, however, Blundell doesn't lose us for long. As high stakes subplots begin to collide, the book rebounds from a slightly muddled middle act – delivering a final hundred pages you'll fly right through just as fast as this entertaining read flies off shelves this summer.
waiting4the2ndstar More than 1 year ago
Thank you to Random House and Bookish First for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. The High Season has all the pieces necessary to make it a great beach read--location, vacation, gossip, and intrigue. The drama in this book is potent. While such summer books aren’t my usual cup of tea, I can appreciate what Blundell set out to accomplish with this one. The plot of this story, while very predictable, had several engaging moments. I appreciated the ways in which the characters’ lives became intertwined. I would have appreciated more suspense or mystique, but perhaps that’s just me. The characters in this one are as depraved as ever. I was a little bothered by the limited redeemable qualities--I always find it hard to root for such people. However, I’ve found that this type of “everyone has a dark side” model is very common with this genre, so at least Blundell is writing to her audience. The writing itself was well-done and engaging. We weren’t bogged down with too much description or exposition. I felt the text-messaging model was a little stilted, and I had trouble keeping track of characters through the multiple points of view (it was usually the second paragraph of the chapter before I figured out who we were supposed to be following. And there was a least one chapter where I just never figured it out). Blundell has a good voice for the beach read, and it comes through here, although she overcomplicated the modes of communication and narrative focus. Overall, this was a decent book. Again, it’s outside my genre comfort zone, so I may be more critical than those who typically read this type of story. It’s going to be a great one to take on vacation this summer, and it could be a great topic for a book club meeting.
Bookapotamus More than 1 year ago
Summer Drama never felt so good! I really enjoyed The High Season - it was just what I needed to get me into a summer mood, and it made me love to loathe the rich and famous Hamptons crowds even more! (kidding... sorta.) This book kept me wicked entertained and I breezed through it in two days. The writing is so good, hilarious at times, and the story is masterfully crafted and really clever! Ruthie is sort of losing it all. Her marriage is over, her 15 year old daughter is struggling and distant, her job is on the rocks, friendships are tested ... and it's shaping up to be one crazy summer. The Hamptons-ish house Ruthie lives in with her daughter Jem, is rented out during the summer to the rich, in order for her to pay for it the rest of the year (aka The Summer Bummer). Adeline Clay, a wealthy artist widow rents her house and in turn, unknowingly shakes up the entire summer, for just about the whole town of Orient. The dynamic of these characters and how their lives intertwine is artfully crafted through exclusive parties, a small local museum group, a summer farm stand job, secret rendezvous, texts/emails, and typical small town gossip. There is art forgery, a $250,000 watch, past lives and secrecy and the unnerving balance of power and social statuses. It's all so cleverly written and flows together seamlessly. I was thoroughly impressed how Judy Blundell twisted it all together so skillfully. As an artist I love the snippets of the artist scene and it's inner workings and social circles. I loved the references to various famous artists and painting descriptions. I hated the museum board members and the way some people tossed money around and waved it in the locals and year-rounders faces. The characters were well developed and you feel for each and every one of them, especially Ruthie, who loses so much, and starts to lose herself while making some seriously questionable decisions. My decision to read this was NOT questionable though! I really enjoyed it and would give 4.5 stars!
conni7 More than 1 year ago
I was hoping for a nice summery book to read since this long winter is finally over. There were good things about this book, and other things I didn’t care for. First for the good: The author did a nice job of characterization, from the people who had a great deal of depth to the ones who were fairly shallow. There were a few backstabbers and a childish ex-husband. There was a people pleaser who really worked hard to be there for others , so she could take advantage of them. The main character is a beleaguered woman who tried really hard to continue to get along with the ex-husband who decided the marriage was no longer for him, although she certainly didn’t feel that way. There was also some interesting points about the different lifestyles of the residents in the community depending on their income levels. What I didn’t like: The f word comes up quite a bit and there are other curse words. There is too much of this in books these days, and since it is so easy to pick up bad habits. I’d rather not have to read this. I also really hate swear words that dishonor God and Jesus, and this book has gone over the top with the disrespectful writing. I have come to the conclusion that a lot of writers, who don’t have jobs working with the public, must swear all the time; I don’t see how anyone could write like this if they don’t use swear words in everyday life. I also would have been happier with fewer characters, as it was difficult to keep up with who was involved in what. I often found myself thinking that I had seen that name before in the book, but no longer cared to find out how the person fit in because this was happening quite often. Moreover, the book just seemed to drag on at times. Sex is mentioned between gay and straight people. The scenes aren’t graphic, but they are there. Does the fact that it has lesbian characters, mean it should be in the LGBTQIA category?
pagestoreadfl More than 1 year ago
Thank you to Bookish First and Random House for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I would honestly rate this book between 2 and 3 Stars, but that’s still not an option on goodreads or Amazon even in 2018. The High Season by Judy Blundell was a read I thought would be completely up my alley. It slightly missed the mark. There were many characters to follow— almost too many. So some characters were extremely developed and others became background pieces that would just pop up every now and again. While I felt for Ruthie, I found myself wondering about some of her choices. Especially her one to plan anything with Lucas, who was despicable and just awful. While I am rating it “lower”, I do think there will be people who enjoy this book. I think I was just expecting something a little different.