Summer on Block Island, R.I.: Joy Sousa's whoopie pie shop is facing competition from a fancy French food truck and its macarons. Lu Trusdale is spending the summer with her young sons while her husband pulls long shifts at his mainland hospital job--but she's got a covert project simmering on the side. And disgraced novelist Anthony Puckett is hiding out after a literary scandal rocked his career and his marriage. Their lives, and their secrets, will intertwine in surprising ways.
Meg Mitchell Moore (The Captain's Daughter, The Admissions) delivers a big-hearted, breezy novel that still asks important questions with her fifth book, The Islanders. Moore explores Joy's fierce pride in the life she's built for herself and her teenage daughter, Maggie, and her sharp fears that it could all unravel. There is Lu's boredom and resentment about her stay-at-home-mom life, and the complex give-and-take that happens in most marriages. Anthony's mistakes, and their fallout, are important in themselves, but they also provide a window into his complicated relationship with his bestselling novelist father. As the summer ticks by, all three of them must decide whether exposing their secrets is worth the risk. Moore's setting, from the crashing waves to Joy's mouth-watering whoopie pies, is delectably summery, and her secondary characters (especially Maggie) are also well drawn. The Islanders is a perfect addition to any beach bag, and a thought-provoking meditation on love and forgiveness. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams