THE SUMMER GUESTS by Mary Alice Monroe

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From the publisher:

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Beach House series comes a heartwarming and evocative novel about the bonds and new beginnings that are born from natural disasters and how, even during the worst of circumstances—or perhaps because of them—we discover what is most important in life.Late August is a beautiful time on the Southern coast—the peach trees are ripe, the ocean is warm, and the sweet tea is icy. A perfect time to enjoy the rocking chairs on the porch. But beneath the calm surface bubbles a threat: it’s also peak hurricane season.

When a hurricane threatens the coasts of Florida and South Carolina, an eclectic group of evacuees flees for the farm of their friends Grace and Charles Phillips in North Carolina: the Phillips’s daughter Moira and her rescue dogs, famed equestrian Javier Angel de la Cruz, makeup artist Hannah McLain, horse breeder Gerda Klug and her daughter Elise, and island resident Cara Rutledge. They bring with them only the few treasured possessions they can fit in their vehicles. Strangers to all but the Phillips, they must ride out the storm together.

During the course of one of the most challenging weeks of their lives, relationships are put to the test as the evacuees are forced to confront the unresolved issues they have with themselves and with each other. But as the storm passes, they realize that what really matters isn’t what they brought with them to the mountains. Rather, it’s what they’ll take with them once they leave.

With Mary Alice Monroe’s “usual resplendent storytelling” (Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author), The Summer Guests is a poignant and compelling story of self-discovery, love, and redemption.

This was not my favorite Monroe book. Probably because I have lived through so many hurricanes, and I’ve never been in the financial position to weather the storm like the characters in this book. It also surprised me that I wasn’t more interested in the all the information about horses. I grew up riding (not competing! just for fun) and I live a short (car) ride down the road from Wellington. If you are not familiar, Wellington is the home of extremely wealthy horse people during season. Winter, when it’s warm here. People like Bill & Melinda Gates. They not only bought a house there, (their daughter competes), they bought the whole block. Or are in the process of buying all the homes on the street. I didn’t follow the story closely enough to know if they ever managed to do it. Anyway, you get the idea. The only thing I have in common with these people is that I love animals. Even though there is a lot more to the story, I just wasn’t all that interested in reading about how the 1% deal with hurricanes. f you are, then this is your book!


Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, including the Beach House series: The Beach House, Beach House Memories, Swimming Lessons, Beach House for Rent, and Beach House Reunion. She is a 2018 Inductee into the South Carolina Academy of Authors’ Hall of Fame, and her books have received numerous awards, including the 2008 South Carolina Center for the Book Award for Writing, the 2014 South Carolina Award for Literary Excellence, the 2015 SW Florida Author of Distinction Award, the RT Lifetime Achievement Award, the International Book Award for Green Fiction, and the 2017 Southern Book Prize for Fiction. Her bestselling novel The Beach House is also a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. An active conservationist, she lives in the lowcountry of South Carolina. Visit her at and at

6/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE SUMMER GUESTS by Mary Alice Monroe. Gallery Books (June 11, 2019). ISBN: 978-1501193620. 368p.



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