The Summer Houseby Lauren K. Denton (Website, Facebook, Twitter)
Published by Thomas Nelson on June 2, 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Source: TLC Book Tours
Amazon • Book Depository • Goodreads
I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Sometimes it takes losing everything to find yourself again.
Lily Bishop wakes up one morning to find a good-bye note and divorce papers from her husband on the kitchen counter. Having moved to Alabama for his job only weeks before, Lily is devastated, but a flyer at the grocery store for a hair stylist position in a local retirement community provides a refuge while she contemplates her next steps.
Rose Carrigan built the small retirement village of Safe Harbor years ago—just before her husband ran off with his assistant. Now she runs a tight ship, making sure the residents follow her strict rules. Rose keeps everyone at arm’s length, including her own family. But when Lily shows up asking for a job and a place to live, Rose’s cold exterior begins to thaw.
Lily and Rose form an unlikely friendship, and Lily’s salon soon becomes the place where residents share town gossip, as well as a few secrets. Lily soon finds herself drawn to Rose’s nephew, Rawlins—a single dad and shrimper who’s had some practice at starting over—and one of the residents may be carrying a torch for Rose as well.
Neither Lily nor Rose is where she expected to be, but the summer makes them both wonder if there’s more to life and love than what they’ve experienced so far. The Summer House weaves Lauren K. Denton’s inviting Southern charm around a woman’s journey to find herself.
Lauren K. Denton has fast become an author on a very short list of novelists who can write books that reel me in from the first sentence, making me feel right at home with the setting and characters. It was like that with her debut novel The Hideaway (my review here) as well as her second novel, Hurricane Season (my review here). I definitely go into one of her novels with high expectations of southern charm, relatable characters with real-world problems, and main characters that you could imagine exist. Her latest novel, The Summer House, hits all of the right notes for me, and I couldn’t put it down.
Lily Bishop has known her share of struggles in life, from growing up and struggling in a single-parent household to losing her mother unexpectedly when she was still young. Marrying Worth wasn’t something that she thought would be a big struggle, even though they come from very different backgrounds. But when he just disappears one day, Lily has to pick herself up and move on, relying on the inner strength that she inherited from her mother but just needs to be coaxed out of her after so many years.
Rose Carrigan owns a retirement village and runs it with what others see as an iron fist. But she’s had too many hurts in her life too, and when Lily applies to be the village’s new hairdresser, she sees a vulnerability in her that she can’t turn away. The two women form a friendship that starts to thaw Rose’s frosty exterior, drawing her out of herself while helping Lily plan a future for herself that she actually wants. And it doesn’t hurt that Rose has a single, attractive nephew named Rawlins that comes around to fix things every week…
Lily is smart and practical, and she doesn’t want anything from her soon-to-be ex-husband. It’s refreshing to watch Lily start a new life, getting to know the various residents in the community, as well as warm up to Rawlins and his daughter throughout the book. Rose’s journey takes her out of her tightly controlled shell and into a more carefree life, but she has to let go of past hurts and wrongs to do so. How both Lily and Rose interact with the wide range of personalities in Safe Harbor Village was amusing, and often touching.
I give The Summer House a five out of five. I was invested in Lily and Rose from the first chapters, and I liked getting their story in alternating chapters in their points of view. Lauren K. Denton has the southern charm and setting down to a T, and you can practically feel the humidity and see the water in your mind throughout the book. This was definitely a feel-good book, and I enjoyed Lily and Rose’s journeys as they broke out of their shells. I highly recommend any of Lauren’s boks to people who love southern settings and great family dynamics.
Find THE SUMMER HOUSE
About Lauren K. Denton
Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Lauren now lives with her husband and two daughters in Homewood, just outside Birmingham. In addition to her fiction, she writes a monthly newspaper column about life, faith, and how funny (and hard) it is to be a parent. On any given day, she’d rather be at the beach with her family and a stack of books. Her debut novel, THE HIDEAWAY, was a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Amazon Charts bestseller. Her second novel, HURRICANE SEASON, released in spring of 2018, is a USA Today bestseller. GLORY ROAD released March, 2019.
Connect with Lauren K. Denton
Lauren K. Denton’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS for THE SUMMER HOUSE:
Monday, June 1st: Amy’s Book-et List
Tuesday, June 2nd: Reading Reality
Wednesday, June 3rd: Bewitched Bookworms
Thursday, June 4th: Hallie Reads
Friday, June 5th: Kahakai Kitchen
Tuesday, June 9th: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
Friday, June 12th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Wednesday, June 17th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Thursday, June 18th: Buried Under Books
Friday, June 19th: Treestand Book Reviews
Monday, June 22nd: @angelareadsbooks
Wednesday, June 24th: @bibliolau19
Wednesday, June 24th: Christian Chick’s Thoughts
Friday, June 26th: Girl Who Reads
Monday, June 29 Running Through the Storms
Friday, July 3rd: View from the Birdhouse