I had the chance to hear Meg Donohue read from her new book at my local fave indie bookshop (The Concord Bookshop) where I purchased her ALL THE SUMMER GIRLS. This is a great summertime read as it’s set on the Jersey Shore.
Three longtime girlfriends, Kate, Dani, and Vanessa, reunite for one long weekend at the beach. Each one has her own issues and problems: Kate’s fiance has just broken up with her and she then learns she is pregnant; Dani has substance abuse problems and can’t keep a job, meanwhile she is trying to write a cathartic novel; Vanessa is feeling tied down as a stay at home mom and has learned that her husband has strayed. All three are still feeling the loss of Kate’s twin brother, Colin, who tragically drowned when they were last at the shore several years earlier. Each of them also carries her own guilt and secrets about that final night, too.
All in all I liked this book. Ms. Donohue’s writing is fluid and the characters are well-developed. I did feel a bit “old” reading this. The characters are all twenty-nine and still getting their lives together. (I’m in my forties and twenty-nine seems a long time ago!). They all also have experienced a lot of drama! While I liked the subplot of the secrets surrounding Colin’s death, I didn’t feel like I got to really know him as a character. He was definitely headed for self-destruction, and I wasn’t entirely sure why each girl blamed herself so much for his death, but I did like the theme of self acceptance and self forgiveness that came through at the end.
If you are looking for a summer read about friendship and self growth, then take a look at ALL THE SUMMER GIRLS!