This blog was first featured in NewmarketToday.ca and reprinted with permission here.
These are books that you can put down and fall right back into when you pick them up again, says columnist Lisa Day.
It takes a special kind of book for me to consider it a summer read. To me, summer reads are those that hold your interest so that when you put it down to jump into a pool or lake, you are able to fall right back into its story.
Here are 7 books that are perfect reads for our Canadian summers.
The Secret Path, and The Hidden Beach
I am a huge fan of Karen Swan’s work. I have no idea how she does it, but the author often writes two books a year – a Christmas read and a summer read. Considering how detailed her settings are, and how many characters she weaves into books, it’s impressive.
The Secret Path. In this book we meet Tara Tremain, a 20-year-old doctor trainee who is engaged to an American biology student, Alex Carter. Tara considers her life perfect, until Alex betrays her. Fast forward a decade and Tara is with the man of her dreams and has a successful career. She has also successfully avoided returning to her family’s vacation escape in Costa Rica until an unmissable event pulls her back in. Once back in Costa Rica, Tara she finds a sick child, whose only hope is a several day hike through the jungle and the only person who can help her is the man who betrayed her.
Swan’s books flip between past and present where you get to learn more about what happened with Alex and Tara as well as the years between. The characters, as always, are wonderful and the scenery spectacular, although I don’t think I will be hiking through a jungle any time soon – too many creepy crawlies.
The Hidden Beach. This book is set in Sweden, which seems like a wonderful way to spend a summer. Bell Everhurst is working as a nanny for Hanna ad Max, which is great until the phone rings and she finds out Hanna’s husband has woken up from a coma and he wants his family back.
With a plot like that, how can you go wrong? The Hidden Beach was a quick read and a great one. It is one of my favourites.
Karen Swan’s books are from PGC Books – https://www.pgcbooks.ca .
The Promise, and Something to Tell You
Lucy Diamond is another author who seems to write a book a year, and they rarely fail.
The Promise. In her latest book, which I can’t say much about in fear of spoiling something, we meet Dan, who is trying to be the best brother-in-law and uncle he can to his brother’s family after Patrick dies. As he is managing Patrick’s finances, a secret comes to light and Dan wrestles with what to do about it. Dan is a great character as are many of his brother’s tenants, particularly an older lady who develops a relationship with Dan. I really like Dan’s character. Others not so much.
Something to Tell You. The Mortimers are a big, tight family, who we get to meet and get to know throughout this book. We also meet Frankie, who receives a message from her late mother about the truth of her birth.
“As secrets tumble out and loyalties are tested, the Mortimers have to face up to some difficult decisions. With love, betrayal and dramatic revelations in the mix, this is one summer they will never forget.”
Both Lucy Diamond books are from PGC Books – https://www.pgcbooks.ca .
Haven Point, and Hurricane Summer
I have read two great summer reads recently: Haven Point by Virginia Hume and Hurricane Summer by Toronto’s Asha Bromfield, both are from Raincoast Books http://services.raincoast.com .
Haven Point is set on the Maine coast where women and children gather each summer for traditional clam bakes, sing-a-longs and sailing.
The book flips between 1944, 1970 and 2008, with Maren Larsen as the main character throughout. Maren is a wartime nurse from a farming community when she meets Dr. Oliver Demarest, whose family has a home on Haven Point, in 1944. In 1970, Maren spends the summers with her children on the point, where their 17-year-old daughter Annie falls for a man her parents disapprove of. When tragedy strikes the family, Annie vows never to return to Haven Point. In 2008, it’s Skye, Annie’s daughter, who returns to spread her mother’s ashes on the point.
“Maren knows that her granddaughter inherited Annie’s view of Haven Point…But Maren also knows that Annie never told Skye the whole truth about what happened during that fateful summer.”
Great characters in this quick read with Maren being smart, funny and wise.
Hurricane Summer. Tilla and her younger sister leave Toronto for a summer in Jamaica to spend two months with their dad, who leaves the family every six months to return to the Caribbean country, breaking Tilla’s heart in the process.
Asha Bromfield’s debut novel was excellent with great characters (and terrible ones), along with a great “coming-of-age story that deals with colorism, classism, young love, the father-daughter dynamic and what it means to discover your own voice in the centre of complete destruction.”
What Tilla goes through at the hands of family is terrible, but what Tilla discovers at the end is pretty powerful.
Confessions of a Forty-Something F##k Up
One of my favourite books from last year was Alexandra Potter’s Confessions of a Forty-Something F##k Up. This book made me laugh, often out loud in public settings. I could also completely relate to it. In this book, we meet Nell Steven’s who returns to London, England, to realize her friends have all moved on, rent is overpriced (she ends up renting a room) and she is jobless.
“…In a world of perfect Instagram lives, she feels like a f*ck up. Even worse, a 40something f*ck-up. But when she lands a job writing obituaries, Nell meets the fabulous Cricket, an 80something widow with challenges of her own, and they strike up an unlikely friendship. Together they begin to help each other heal their aching hearts, cope with the loss of the lives they had planned, and push each other into new adventures and unexpected joys.”
I highly recommend this one from PGC Books – https://www.pgcbooks.ca .
Lisa Day is the author of two book blogs, Book Time, where she reviews a variety of books for a variety of readers and offers author Q&As, and followsummer.com . Follow her on Twitter @LisaMDayC, Instagram @LisaMDayC and @LisaMDayReads, and check out Book Time at https://booktime584.wordpress.com/ and on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BookTime584/