Destination: Nags Head North Carolina
Book:Summer Rental (May 2011) by Mary Kay Andrews
Warning to my male readers–this book is rated C.L. (Chick Lit.)
Scene: The Badertscher car, driving north from Tucson on a weekend trip. Ken reaches over to eject a CD of an audio book.
Ken: I can’t take any more of this.
Me: Oh, come on, you enjoyed some of the story. The part where Madison had a gun because her husband was threatening to KILL her.
Ken: Well, yes, it almost got interesting for a while and then they went back to talking about putting their hair up and kinds of dresses and things I never heard of. I needed a woman’s dictionary.
Me: The women in this book do talk a lot about brand names, like the reference to a Prada purse.
Ken: What’s a Prada purse?
Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews made me wish I had rented a house for a month with some “girlfriends”. It kept me nodding and laughing throughout. Take a look at Andrews’ blog (click on her name above) and you will see some of her clever dialogue. At least, I think it is clever, but then, I don’t need a woman’s dictionary.
Three women in their thirties, friends since childhood, rent a summer house in Nags Head on the North Carolina beach. Lots of female conversation ensues as each of them–the teacher whose perfect marriage fell apart; the earnest one who lost her bank job in a down-sizing; the Internationally known model who fears marriage–faces life-changing decisions. A handsome man who lives over the garage supplies a touch of romance. When another woman, a stranger, joins them, the tension level rises.
It is hard to imagine reading this book ten years from now–even five years from now. It is squarely set in 2011–the recession, the hit songs, Lady Gaga. The trio of friends name drop celebrities and products in every other sentence.
I had not read any other books by Andrews, but I imagine that every one of them is as frothy and fun as this one. I have never been sure what the perfect beach read looks like, but I think I’ve found the author of the perfect beach read. If you hang around A Traveler’s Library, you know that my tolerance for romance novels is close to zero. However, Summer Rental, with its clear characterizations and snappy repartee works whether you are lolling in a beach chair with the sound of waves in the background, or if you are curled up on the sofa in your own living room, trying to ignore the scattered toddler toys and the overflowing laundry basket. An on-the-beach read or a wish-I-were-on-the-beach read.
After the disastrous attempt to listen to it by CD on a road trip with Ken, I converted the unabridged audio book to a MP3 file and put in on my I-Pod. The reader on this audio book, Isabel Keating, does an AWESOME job of finding different voices for all five main characters, and even the minor characters are distinct. (Listen to a sample here.)
You can also get Summer Rental for your Kindle or other e-reader, or as an old-fashioned, hard-back print book.
Okay, guys, thanks for indulging us girls. We’ll get back to you as soon as we find out how things work out between Ellis and Ty, and Dorie and her new life. We just have to find out first, if Julia reinvents herself, and if Maryn eludes her scary husband.
Disclaimers: The publisher, MacMillan sent me a free audio book (12 disks) for review.The luscious pictures of beach, purse and a beach reader come from Flickr with Creative Commons License and if you click on each picture, you’ll learn more.
The book title is linked to Amazon for your convenience. If you click through to Amazon and purchase anything at all, I get a few cents which helps support A Traveler’s Library. Thanks.
What is YOUR definition of a beach read? And, come to think of it, what’s your favorite beach? I’ve never been to the Outer Banks, but Summer Rental (and that picture at the top of the page) has me perusing VRBO (from whom these women rented) and Home Away for possibilities. You?