Mary Alice Monroe effortlessly blends characters and nature, and captures the complexities of interpersonal relationships.
A hurricane is threatening the coasts of Florida and South Carolina and evacuations are mandatory. An eclectic group of evacuees flee for the mountains of North Carolina and the home of their friends Grace and Charles Phillips. The Phillips’s daughter, Moira has brought eight rescue dogs with her from South Carolina. Hannah McLain a makeup artist living in Palm Beach, Florida brought her boyfriend, the famed equestrian Javier Angel de la Cruz, along with his prized horse. Also migrating from Florida to the Phillips’s ranch is horse breeder Gerda Klug, her Olympic bound daughter Elise, Elise’s spirited horse, as well as Karl, the horse’s trainer. Cara Rutledge is trying to get to the ranch as well but has to head to South Carolina first. They bring with them only the few treasured possessions they can carry. Strangers to all but the Phillips, they ride out the storm together.
During the course of a challenging week, relationships are put to the test as the evacuees are forced to confront the unresolved issues they have with themselves and with each other. But as the storm passes, they realize that what really matters wasn’t what they brought with them to the mountains: but what they’ll take with them once they leave.
There is quite the assortment of summer guests and animals evacuating to the Phillips’s ranch. The diversity in personalities adds substance and interest to this entertaining story. We are skillfully transported to the gorgeous mountains setting, as well as to the eye of a hurricane.
THE SUMMER GUESTS is engaging and I loved learning a few things about horses, horse training, show jumping and dressage. My favorite part was how Hurricane Noelle brought this group of strangers together, and this gathering resulted in several characters making major life-altering decisions.
Author MARY ALICE MONROE effortlessly blends characters and nature, and captures the complexities of interpersonal relationships. Monroe is a best selling author of 22 novels. Thanks to Netgalley, Mary Alice Monroe, and Gallery for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Published June 11, 2019