Hooray for summer! What is in your beach bag? I don’t mean the SPF 100, the beach towels and the sweatshirts. What will you be reading this summer?

What makes a book a summer read? Think back to the days of no sunscreen, a jug of Crystal Light and a boom box. Everyone was toting the same paperback with their Bain de Soleil. Maybe it was “Valley of the Dolls” or perhaps “The Bonfire of the Vanities.”

Here are a few summer book suggestions that might keep you flipping the pages as you dig your toes in the sand and adjust your visor.

“The Last Secret of Lily Adams” by Sara Blaydes

Debut novel for this author and a great summer read! Lily Adams was a 1950s starlet and known as “America’s Little Sister.”  After her rapid rise to fame, she dropped out of the spotlight. Decades later, Lily has passed away and her granddaughter Carolyn is trying to put together important Hollywood memorabilia. Going through a divorce, Carolyn has her 14-year-old daughter with her. They discover many secrets in Lily’s house. One has to do with the murder of Stella Lane, a big screen bombshell who was brutally murdered. I raced through this fun and frothy novel. Thumbs up! Great beach read!

“Homecoming” by Kate Morton

I loved this dual timeline book set in Australia. We go back and forth from 1959 to 2018. Christmas Eve 1959, a mother and her four children are having a lovely picnic when something horrible happens. A local tradesman discovers their bodies, and soon we learn that the baby is missing. In 2018, Jess returns from England to help her grandmother Nora. Nora has taken a fall on her very steep attic stairs. What secret could she have possibly been trying to find up there amongst old steamer trunks and children’s toys? Soon Jess discovers a true crime book about those long-ago Christmas Eve murders. We learn that Nora was related to the family. This book delves into family, motherhood and what we do for those we love. Terrific book, and it would have been five stars except for the length. There were a bit too many lengthy descriptions of local flora and fauna.

“Husbands & Lovers” by Beatriz Williams

Whenever I see a new book by Beatriz Williams, I snatch it right up! Terrific summer read. This one only hit the bookshelves on June 25, 2024. It is another dual timeline book that takes us back and forth from 1940s Egypt and present-day New England. Hannah is married to a British diplomat in steamy Cairo. Her marriage is dullsville, but the manager of the hotel seems to hold much appeal. Mallory is a single mom to Sam who desperately needs a new kidney. Sam’s dad happens to be one of the world’s biggest rock stars. Mallory never told the rock star that Sam even existed. Things could be quite complicated especially since he’s days away from marrying a social media mogul. The stories are eventually woven together beautifully. I was hooked on this one!

Happy reading! Don’t forget the sunscreen!

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