Summer’s officially here! Time for beach reading

Heading to the beach this summer? The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews would make a perfect beach read. Set on the idyllic island of Belle Isle, North Carolina, the author takes us on a wild ride of secrets, betrayal and deception. Written in her trademark blend of humor and warmth, and with characters and a setting you can't help but fall in love with, this book is a perfect summer escape.

So, when the story begins, it is Memorial Day weekend and Riley Griggs and her daughter Maggy are waiting to board the ferry at the Southpoint dock to head over to Belle Isle, where Riley's family has summered for the past hundred years. They are also waiting for Wendell Griggs, Riley's husband and Maggy's father, to arrive before the ferry departs for the island. As the ferry's final horn blows and the gangplank is lifted, Riley realizes that, once again, Wendell has broken his promise to accompany them. Riley was used to it, but her heart breaks every time he lets Maggy down. This particular trip to Belle Isle was an important one. Riley and Wendell were going to break the news to their daughter that they were filing for divorce. No amount of counseling has helped their marriage, and they have been living apart for months. When they arrive on Belle Isle, what is waiting there for Riley and Maggy is just the first of many unpleasant surprises. The front door of their island home has a foreclosure statement attached to the front door and the locks have been changed. Thus begins a landslide of events, the worst being the discovery of Wendell's body floating near the island marina the following day and it appears he was murdered. Soon, Riley must face the fact that not only was her marriage on the rocks, but that her husband was involved in shady financial schemes that jeopardized her family's business and ultimately lead to his murder. Add to that the stress of Maggy's newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetes, and Riley's life becomes a roller coaster of emotions. She does have her family, but what a family it is. An interesting array of characters, Riley's family is very chaotic, but tightly knit. They support and care for each other, even if getting on each other's nerves while doing it. There are numerous back stories about each family member, but it was most interesting to me to see how Riley, her daughter, her mother, and her brother handle the imploding set of catastrophes. Of course, there is the old boyfriend, Nathan, whose family owns the island ferry business. It takes a while but Riley finally lets Nathan back into her life - and her heart.

The Weekenders is a perfect summer beach read that has it all - murder, betrayal, recovering alcoholics, teenage drama and unrequited love!

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