Mary Kay Andrews. Summer Rental. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2011.

Ellis, Julia, and Dorie have seen each other through everything since kindergarten. Now, even though they’re miles apart and all grown up, they still get together once a year to be girls together. This year, they’ve chosen scenic Nags Head, North Carolina as the destination for their reunion. And they need it more than ever. Ellis has just been fired, Dorie is having marital problems, and Julia finds herself at a crossroads in her career. All three hope that Ebbtide, the scenic-sounding beach house they’ve rented for a month from the kindly Mr. Culpepper, will provide solace for their sore hearts.

Ty Bazemore, alias Mr. Culpepper, is the real owner of Ebbtide. Living just next door, he finds it easier for tenants never to meet their landlord–more peace for him, and the opportunity to ensure that everything stays in order. But he doesn’t count on the feisty Ellis, who takes issue with the rundown state of the little beach house. It’s really not Ty’s fault: he’s had a run of bad luck since his grandparents, the real Mr. and Mrs. Culpepper, passed away, and now he’s in danger of losing his childhood home for good. He’s annoyed with Ellis’ nitpicking at first, but then strangely attracted…could she possibly feel the same way?

Maryn is a woman on the run. Her husband, the cold and calculating Don Shackleford, has been up to no good, and by the time Maryn figures out how much trouble she’s in, all she can do is pack a bag and get out of town. Arriving randomly in Nags Head, she throws her lot in with three complete strangers…but will she bring her troubles with her in the form of an angry and violent Don?

Mary Kay Andrews brings together five lives touched by hardship in this comic, heartwarming tale. Relationships, economic difficulties, and family troubles are no match for the strong, sisterly bonds of Ellis, Dorie, and Julia, and their warmth spirals wide to include anyone who crosses their path. Mothers, wives, girlfriends, and best friends will all cheer for these spunky pals as they get one another through the tough times, as women have always done.

Check the availability of this title in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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