Friday, April 30, 2021

Literary Friday: An Invincible Summer

 




Happy Literary Friday, My Lovelies!  Today I'm sharing my review of An Invincible Summer by Mariah Stewart.  Like you, I am ready to head to the beach, lake, and other locations far from home: I want to make-up for lost time!  If you're looking for beach reads, you've come to the right blog.  This is the first book of the season I'm recommending for your beach tote.


According to IndieBound:

An endearing novel of friendship, forgiveness, and second chances by New York Times bestselling author Mariah Stewart.

It was a lifetime ago that recently widowed Maggie Flynn was in Wyndham Beach. Now, on the occasion of her fortieth high school reunion, she returns to her hometown on the Massachusetts coast, picking up right where she left off with dear friends Lydia and Emma. But seeing Brett Crawford again stirs other emotions. Once, they were the town's golden couple destined for one another. He shared Maggie's dreams--and eventually, a shattering secret that drove them apart.

Buying her old family home and resettling in Wyndham Beach means a chance to start over for Maggie and her two daughters, but it also means facing her rekindled feelings for her first love and finally confronting--and embracing--the past in ways she never thought possible. Maggie won't be alone. With her family and friends around her, she can weather this stormy turning point in her life and open her heart to the future. As for that dream shared and lost years ago? If Maggie can forgive herself, it still might come true.

Montlake, 9781542025362, 378pp. (Note: Montlake is an imprint of Amazon Publishing)

Publication Date: May 1, 2021



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My Review:

This is the first book in Mariah Stewart's new Wyndham Beach Series.  So if you're looking for a new series to read, you can begin at the beginning!  

The story centers around Maggie Flynn and her two best friends from childhood, Lydia and Emma.  The trio grew-up in Wyndham Beach, Massachusetts, and two of the friends remained there after college. Maggie moved to Philadelphia, married a lawyer, and reared two daughters.  The plot begins when Maggie returns to her hometown for her fortieth high school reunion.  She is very happy to spend time with her friends, yet she's anxious about running into her high school boyfriend Brett: He broke her heart, and a part of her never recovered.

There are also sub-plots that focus on Maggie's daughters who are in their early thirties (Grace and Natalie).  Both of these intelligent young women have made a few very poor choices, especially with men.  Grace, an attorney at her father's law firm now run by Maggie, pines for her ex-husband who cheated on her with a paralegal.  Both her ex Zach and the slut paralegal Amber still work at the firm.  Grace was the last to know about the affair....everyone else at the law firm had knowledge of it, so she decides to start a blog entitled Last2Know.  The purpose of the blog is for women who have been cheated on by their significant others can vent in a safe space.  This plot line is so cringe-worthy.  I'm one of those readers who truly gets embarrassed for characters who humiliate themselves...I literally cringe!  Natalie is a community college professor teaching remedial English and creative writing.  She was married to a man who becomes an addict during their marriage and leaves her once she discovers she's pregnant.  *heavy sigh*

Overall, I liked the book, and I want to know what happens with a few of the secondary characters like Emma's only son Chris, a famous rockstar and talented musician.  I have no idea who will be the focus of the next book because there are several directions in which the next installment can go.  My only gripe about the book is this:

SPOILER ALERT!  STOP READING NOW IF YOU DON'T WANT TO READ A SPOILER.

One of the characters who is forty years old (almost at the end of the book) mentions that his parents and his wife (all three healthcare workers) "died during last year's pandemic."  This is the ONLY MENTION of the pandemic in the book.  It was jarring.  I understand that there is controversy about whether or not the pandemic should be mentioned in works of fiction, and my vote is a resounding NO!  When I read fiction, I want an escape.  It seemed like it was just added as an afterthought since it was not mentioned anywhere else in the book.  It was probably an editorial decision, but it was a poor one.  I'm docking a star for it!

END OF SPOILER

Conclusion:  If you are looking for a light beach read about the bonds of friendship, family drama, assertively emotional characters, and a beautiful seaside setting, you should enjoy An Invincible Summer.





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Disclosure:  I would like to thank TLC Book Tours for the softcover edition of An Invincible Summer via the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.








Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill



5 comments

  1. I agree that mentioning the pandemic is not what I would look for in a novel. Thank you for the honest review!

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  2. This sounds like the best summer read! Thank you for being on this tour. Sara @ TLC Book Tours

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  3. I'm with you, I want fantasy!!

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  4. Thank you for reviewing this book! I'm always looking for a new series to start and this sounds like one that I'll enjoy very much.

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  5. Dear RJ, I want a getaway to the beach as well and this sounds like the perfect read to pack for long sunny beach days. Hope your special day was fabulous! Love and hugs.........

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