Summer Rental, by Mary Kay Andrews

Mary Kay Andrews's 2011 novel Summer Rental sticks to the formula that has served her so well in the past: loads of female bonding, a love story, a woman-in-peril subplot, and a healthy dash of angst. Lifelong friends Ellis, Dorie, and Julia have made plans to spend a month together in a North Carolina beach rental, hoping for a break from their respective personal and career problems. Maryn Shackleford is a total stranger, but subletting an unused room at the beach house sounds like the perfect place to hide from her abusive husband. All four women are struggling, but it's possible that a month away might give them the time, space, and emotional support they need to come up with a plan.

There's nothing terribly wrong with Andrews's novel, but there's nothing much memorable about it, either. The Maryn plot line felt like a B-grade Lifetime movie, most of the characters seemed older than their ages, and Ellis's romantic interest is introduced urinating off a second-story deck, which instantly killed his allure for me. (GROSS. You're a GROWN MAN. USE A BATHROOM.) But this is the kind of book that's really meant to be read on an airplane, or at the beach, or when you're cursed with a head cold, and if any of those things are true for you Summer Rental is a totally safe bet—enjoyable, predictable, and undemanding.

Review based on publisher-provided copy.
Posted by: Julianka


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