I feel like I should preface this post by saying the “perfect Summer read” may not mean the same thing for me that it does for you. Usually, I stay away from most books deemed “beach reads” because they tend to be on the lighter side. I don’t want heavy, dark or sad when I’m reading by the pool but I do want a good story with a little tension, with bonus points if it’s set in the Summer months. I don’t mind some romance but nothing fluffy and I’m always up for a good family drama. I’m sharing my six picks for a perfect Summer read–three new books and three that have been out for a few years (and are easy to get in paperback).
The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable I read this one a while ago but it still sticks with me as a perfect beach read. If you like historical fiction with a little scandal involving the Kennedys thrown in, this one is for you. This details one of the JFK’s early romantic relationships and it’s even more fun to be able to Google the real people as you read.
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid I’ve heard so much about this book that I didn’t expect it to live up to the hype but it totally did for me. It’s mostly set in the early 1980s, but primarily takes place over the course of a day leading up to and throughout one of the biggest Malibu parties of the year. Family drama is a theme throughout and you’ll probably picture actual 80s celebrities in your head as you get to know the cast of characters.
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett It’s been several years since I read this one on my Kindle but I loved it so much that I bought the hardcover for my shelves. It starts with a kiss at a party between two family friends and details how this affair affects every person (parents and children) throughout the years.
Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams I’ve read almost everything by this author but this is my favorite. Set in 1951, it takes in place on an island where wealthy families spend the Summer in their vacation homes and how their lives intersect with the laborers who live there year round. There’s tragedy and romance and mystery. What more could you want?
Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland I feel confident in saying this will be in my top three books of the year. You learn almost immediately that there has been a drowning. The rest of the book deals with how and why the family chooses to keep it a secret and how it affects each one. The writing is beautiful and I love that it’s told from each of their different perspectives. Cannot recommend this one enough. (And, despite the theme, I wouldn’t say this book is a downer.)
Olympus Texas by Stacey Swann A big family drama set the Lone Star state. If you like complicated family relationships, you must read this one. Within the first few pages, we find out one brother has had an affair with another brother’s wife and that’s really just the start of problems. There was one moment that made me gasp. I kept thinking of the show Dallas as I was reading it–but with no oil business. . .
What are you reading this Summer?
See more of my book recommendations here.