The Book of Summer

Michelle Gable (A Paris Apartment; I'll See You in Paris) turns to Nantucket in The Book of Summer. Bess Codman, whose marriage has disintegrated in San Francisco, is heading back to Massachusetts to pry (hopefully) her stubborn mother, Cissy, out of the family's summer home before it kills her. The bluff beneath Cliff House is crumbling away; the swimming pool and lawn are gone, as is half of the back veranda. Cissy refuses to leave the house, however, insisting she'll find a way to save it.

As she tries to cajole her mother into packing, Bess comes across "The Book of Summer"--a combination guestbook and diary that her great-grandmother started when the house was built 99 years earlier. As Bess pages through the entries, she discovers that history has repeated itself quite often, with her grandmother Ruby, Cissy and herself facing similar predicaments in life and love.

Alternating primarily between the story of Bess in the present and Ruby during World War II, The Book of Summer is delightful. The three main women in the story are quirky creatures with major differences, but their family bond shines through, making this a charming, profane, funny and touching read. Spitfire Cissy, the middle generation, has a lot to teach her mother and her daughter, even if the lessons aren't easy. A perfect book to bring to the beach, Michelle Gable's fourth novel is sure to appeal to readers of Elin Hilderbrand and Kristan Higgins. --Jessica Howard, blogger at Quirky Bookworm

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