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May 8, 2021

May Beach Reads

by Susan Roberts

Beach Book Season

It's a little bit early to go to the beach and layout in the hot sun but two of my favorite authors have books being published in May that will put you in a beach state of mind.  Mary Kay Andrews and Mary Alice Monroe always provide their readers with fantastic summer fiction.

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The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews


The Newcomer
May 2021; St. Martin's Press; 978-1250256966
audio, ebook, print (448 pages); women's fiction
Beach season will be right around the corner when this fantastic new book is published in May 2021.  I am reading it in January but it still gave me warm thoughts of the summer ahead.

Mary Kay Andrews is one of those few authors who NEVER disappoints her readers.  Her new book is another fantastic read for lovers of books about strong women who are faced with huge obstacles to overcome.

Letty shows up in the parking lot of the Murmuring Surf Motel in Florida with her 4 years old niece Maya asleep in the back seat of the car.  Letty's sister (Maya's mother) had told her that if anything happened to her, she wanted Letty to grab Mia and get as far away as she can.  When Letty finds her sister in a pool of blood in her NYC apartment, she knows that she has to save Maya and flees to Florida. Even though there were no vacancies at the motel, the owner helps her find a storeroom that can be cleaned out and lived in and gives her a job at the motel.  The elderly snowbirds at the motel as well as the owner's son, Joe,  a policeman, all treat this newcomer with suspicion and hostility.  Will Letty be able to keep Maya out of harm's way and right the wrongs of the past?

This book is full of suspense and keeps the pages turning to make sure that Letty and Maya stay safe.  Along with that are humorous scenes with the snowbirds at the motel.  They have all been wintering there for years and feel like they own the place and are very resentful of anyone new plus having a child living there really bothers some of them.  They were all very set in their ways but I found a lot of humor in their attitudes toward the motel and each other.

This is a wonderful sroey about family - both the family that you are born into and the family that you create out of the people who love and take care of you.  This is a must-read for the summer of 2021.

Buy The Newcomer at Amazon

The Summer of Lost and Found by Mary Alice Monroe

The Summer of Lost and Found
May 2021; Gallery Books; 978-1982148348
audio, ebook, print (368 pages); southern fiction
"As different as she was from her parents, however, she knew there were many areas of overlay.  Family meant everything to them.  They were happy only when their feet were planted in the low-country, preferably near Charleston where their ancestors had founded the city.  The coastal landscape shaped their lives.  Saltwater ran in their veins."
(p 84)

A book by Mary Alice Monroe always makes it feel like summer.  Even though it was cold and icy outside when I read this,  I took a well-needed mental vacation to the beach.  In her new novel, the author takes us back to the Isle of Palms and the Rutledge family.  I've read every book in this series and felt like I was visiting old friends.  The main difference is that this book is written about 2020 and the characters all have the same problems adjusting to the new world after Covid hits as we all did.  It's the first book that I've read about the pandemic and the way life changed and thought this added an extra dimension to this family saga.

Right from the beginning, the family is plagued with problems from Covid - Linnea loses her job and is afraid that she won't be able to pay rent on the cottage, David is stuck in England trying to get home to Cara and when he arrives, he needs to quarantine for 14 days so that Cara and  Hope don't get sick.  Cara asks Linnea to keep Hope at her home while David quarantines to make sure that she stays safe.  To top it all off, Linnea's boyfriend, Gordon, is stuck in England and her ex-boyfriend John has moved back in next door to help his mother take care of Flo.  When Gordon arrives and John gets out of quarantine, the quest for Linnea's affection grows stronger.

As always in a MAM book, there is information on turtles and turtle nests as well as about the effect of plastic on ocean creatures.  She is a real conservationist and it is always very apparent in her books.

The Summer of Lost and Found is a well-written story of how Covid and the new rules changed everyone's lives and how difficult it was for many people to endure the isolation that it caused.  Hopefully, by the time this book publishes in May, we'll have turned a corner on our battle with Covid and life can gradually return to the new normal.

Note:  This is book 7 in The Beach House series but can be read as a standalone. However, this is such a fantastic series that you probably want to read all of the books in the series!

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. Since her travel plans had to be canceled for this year, she is starting to make plans for travel in 2021. 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 historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter.

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