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June 7, 2019

The Summer Guests by Mary Alice Monroe ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"The storm originated as a tropical wave off the coast of Africa but during the next forty-eight hours, it grew highly organized.  As it veered west, it met with favorable, warm surface water-temperatures and low wind shear.  It rapidly intensified, developing a distinct eye feature.  When the sustained winds reached seventy-five miles per hour, the storm was given a name:  Hurricane Noelle.

The hurricane wobbled, shifting direction and sending the experts racing back to their computers to create updated tracking cones.  This, in turn, sent another group of residents into panic mode.  Everyone living in the Caribbean and along the southeastern coast of the United States was stocking up on supplies and preparing for evacuation."  (page1)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Summer Guests
June 2019; Gallery Books; 978-1501193620
audio; ebook; print (368 pages); women's fiction
Readers can always depend on Mary Alice Monroe to give them a fantastic story that is animal-friendly. She is a very strong environmentalist and it shows in her stories. In the past, her books have taken place at the beach so we learned a lot about dolphins and sea turtles. For Summer Guests, she moves her story to the NC mountains at Tryon and the animals that are a main part of this story are horses. The consistent part of every Mary Alice Monroe book are the characters - characters who are so well written that you feel as if you know them in real life as you laugh with them and cry with them and empathize with them as their stories are being told.

As Hurricane Noelle heads towards the United States, most of the residents of the southeastern coastal area make plans to evacuate. The main characters in this book all have horses so they are evacuating with their horses. They don't know each other but they are all friends with Grace and Charles Phillips and they all evacuate with their horses to the Phillips horse farm in the NC mountains to ride out the storm. The group includes the Phillips’s daughter Moira and her rescue dogs, famed equestrian Javier Angel de la Cruz, makeup artist Hannah McLain, horse breeder Gerda Klug and her daughter Elise, and island resident Cara Rutledge. During the week that they are together, several relationships are put to the test as other relationships are formed. As the hurricane makes landfall on US soil and possibly destroys their homes, they are all working on personal issues in the mountains. Will they be able to leave the mountains and return home with a better understanding of themselves and their goals for the future?

I definitely enjoyed this book and the relationships between the main characters. I also learned a lot about horses and horse shows - especially dressage. It's a wonderful book about family and friendship, love of others and learning to love yourself and self-discovery of goals for the future. Mary Alice has done it again and provided her readers with a book full of unforgettable characters and a fantastic storyline.

Buy The Summer Guests at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling. She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter

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  1. Now you've got me curious about this author! I love fiction that I can also learn from and an author who can show me their love of the planet through their writing.

    1. Sephanie -- Mary Alice Monroe's books always have a strong ecological theme. She writes about saving the sea turtles in her Beach House series and saving dolphins in her Summer Sister series. I always enjoy her book and learn something new about saving animals. I think you'd enjoy her books.