HIGH SEASON by Judy Blundell

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From the publisher:

“A shimmering story of art, money, and celebrity, The High Season is wicked summer fun.”—Helen Simonson, New York Times bestselling author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

The Hamptons hath no fury like a woman scorned.

No matter what the world throws her way, at least Ruthie Beamish has the house. Lovingly renovated, located by the sea in a quiet Long Island village, the house is her nest egg—the retirement account shared with her ex-husband, Mike, and the college fund for their teenage daughter, Jem. The catch? To afford the house, Ruthie must let it go during the best part of the year.

It’s Memorial Day weekend and Ruthie has packed up their belongings for what Jem calls “the summer bummer”: the family’s annual exodus to make way for renters. This year, the Hamptons set has arrived. The widow of a blue-chip artist, Adeline Clay is elegant, connected, and accompanied by a “gorgeous satellite” stepson. But soon Adeline demonstrates an uncanny ability to help herself to Ruthie’s life—her house, her friends, even her husband (okay, ex-husband, but still). And after her job as the director of a local museum is threatened, Ruthie finally decides to fight back.

Meanwhile, away from the watchful eyes of her parents, Jem is tasting independence at her first summer job, but soon finds herself growing up too fast. One of Ruthie’s employees, a master of self-invention named Doe, infiltrates the inner circle of an eccentric billionaire and his wayward daughter. With a coterie of social climbers and Ruthie’s old flame thrown into the mix, the entire town finds itself on the verge of tumultuous change. By the end of one unhinged, unforgettable summer, nothing will be the same.

In a novel packed with indelible characters, crackling wit, and upstairs/downstairs drama, Judy Blundell emerges as a voice for all seasons—a wry and original storyteller who knows how the most disruptive events in our lives can twist endings into new beginnings.

There has been a lot of buzz about this book so I was interested, plus it’s set in the Hamptons where I have spent a bit of time. It is an interesting story, the characters are fairly well drawn, too, especially Ruthie, the main character, but I didn’t necessarily relate to any of them. Ruthie was the most sympathetic but she often acted out in ways I didn’t understand.

Judging a book by its cover is usually not a good idea and that is the case here. It looks like the typical summer beach read and while it is set in a summer resort area, it is much deeper than the usual beach reads. It was everything the publisher promised and a good, thought provoking read.

6/18 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

HIGH SEASON by Judy Blundell. Random House (May 22, 2018). ISBN 978-0525508717.  416p.


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