The Summer of Good Intentions

Finished The Summer of Good Intentions by Wendy Francis.  I received a copy from the publisher for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Cape Cod summers are supposed to remain reassuringly the same, but everything falls apart when three sisters and their families come together for their annual summer vacation—and they are carrying more secrets than suitcases.

Maggie is the oldest. She feels responsible for managing the summer house and making sure everything is as it always has been. But she’s hurt that her parents’ recent divorce has destroyed the family’s comfortable summer routines, and her own kids seem to be growing up at high speed. Is it too late to have another baby?

Jess is the middle sister. She loves her job but isn’t as passionate about her marriage. She’s not sure she can find the courage to tell Maggie what she’s done—much less talk to her husband about it.

Virgie is the youngest, her dad’s favorite. She’s always been the career girl, but now there’s a man in her life. Her television job on the west coast is beyond stressful, and it’s taking its toll on her—emotionally and physically. She’s counting on this vacation to erase the symptoms she’s not talking about.

The Herington girls are together again, with their husbands and kids, for another summer in the family’s old Cape Cod house. When their mother, Gloria, announces she’s coming for an unscheduled visit—with her new boyfriend—no one is more surprised than their father, Arthur, who has not quite gotten over his divorce. Still, everyone manages to navigate the challenges of living grown-up lives in close quarters, until an accident reveals a new secret that brings everyone together in heartbreak… and then healing.”

I read this book in Baltimore, on my couch (and between work shifts).  That’s maybe not the farthest you can get from the beach setting of the novel, but it’s probably fairly close.  Even so, I definitely felt that I was on vacation.  That’s a pretty magical book, right?

And it was.

I loved all three of the sisters, although probably I overidentified with Virgie (the single one who works in TV news). All three were great, though, and I love how they were what I imagine sisters to be like.  They’re grownups, so they don’t really compete or fight the way that you’d expect when siblings are little.  But while there are definitely family dynamics, they all get along.  (It made me wish I had siblings*.)

This is a fun vacation read, but there’s also a lot of depth there.  There are major issues facing the family, and they are handled sensitively and never feel gratuitous.

Recommended.

* = I have a half-sister; we aren’t close.

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