Review: The Summer Girls by Mary Alice Monroe

 

I know I can’t change the past. Not my mistakes or the mistakes of others. But I can begin by changing me.

Dora, Carson, and Harper used to spend all their summer at grandma’s beach house the Sea Breeze, on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina. Now they have grown up and had their own lives and troubles. Dora is divorcing her husband Cal, whom she was married for seventeen years and taking care of her eight-year-old son who was diagnosed with autism. Carson lost her job and had difficulties to find a new one, due to her not very clean reputation. She doesn’t have any savings and any plans for her future. Harper lives under her mother’s control, working in her company and living in her apartment.

When grandma Marietta invites the girls to celebrate her eighty’s birthday and spend the last summer in Sea Breeze before she is selling it, she intends to make everything she can to bring the girls together and restore the long-lost family bonds.

The girls don’t get along at first, their hearts are full of anxiety, anger, jealousy, and worry. It seems nothing Marietta planed works and the girls are drifting even more apart. However, they soon realize that despite their many differences they have a lot in common; a father who never showed love to any of them, grandma whose unconditional love supported them through their lives, and the dolphin who for some unknown reason decided to show up by their shore.

It takes more than a month and many scandals and fights for the girls to reveal their most hidden feelings about each other and begin to understand and accept each other.

This novel is about family relationships and bonds. Three very different women with a baggage and troubles of their own try to open their hearts to each other and forgive one another for the old grievances. How lack of communication and not saying what bothers you can lead to deep emotional wounds.

I like the important issues were brought up in this novel, like alcoholism, single parenting, children with autism and how a family is dealing with this diagnosis. In addition, the research the author made about wild dolphins and the damage people unintentionally doing to them by befriending and feeding them. I think it can be related to all wild animals.

This story was very real to me. All the not very pretty problems that come into people’s lives and the way they dealing with them, or not dealing in some cases. I know there are more books in this series, but honestly, in my opinion, the novel ended just the way it should, so I probably won’t be reading the rest.

It was a good book, a lot of issues to think about, but it was also a difficult book due to the topics were discussed. So, it left me a little on the low mood side.

Rating: 3.5/5

 

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