Continuing the saga of her bestselling novel The Beach House, Mary Alice Monroe skillfully weaves together issues of class, infidelity, and domestic abuse set in the tumultuous South in 1974. Beautifully wrought and rich with keen insight, this is an unforgettable tale of marriage, resilience, and one woman’s private strength and commitment.
Autumn brings haunting beauty to the sun-soaked dunes on Isle of Palms, where Olivia “Lovie” Rutledge lives in her beloved Primrose Cottage. As the seasons change, Lovie remembers one special summer…
In 1974, America is changing, but Charleston remains eternally the same. When Lovie married aristocratic, well-connected businessman Stratton Rutledge, she turned over her fortune and fate to his control. But she refused to relinquish one thing: her family’s old seaside cottage. Precious summers with her children on the barrier island are Lovie’s refuge from social expectations and her overbearing husband’s philandering. Here, she is the “Turtle Lady,” tending the loggerhead turtles that lay their eggs in the warm night sand and then slip back into the sea.
Then, in the summer of ’74, biologist Russell Bennett visits to research the loggerheads. Their shared interest brings them together, and soon it blooms into a passionate, profound love—forcing Lovie to face an agonizing decision. Stratton’s influence is far-reaching, and if she dares to dream beyond a summer affair, she risks losing her reputation, her wealth, even her children.
This emotional tale of a strong woman torn between duty and desire, between tradition and change, is an empowering journey through the seasons of self-discovery. Until this autumn, this time of winds and tides, of holding on and letting go.
“Magical! Mary Alice Monroe’s writing is always sensitive and true, as inspiring as the natural wonder about which she writes. This luminous tale-set in the South Carolina Lowcountry that we both love so deeply-was hard to put down. Fans of The Beach House will at last discover what happened during the summer of 1974. But readers new to Mary Alice Monroe need not worry, for this emotional story of love and loss stands alone.”
—Dorothea Benton Frank, New York Times bestselling author
“Monroe’s usual resplendent storytelling shines even brighter in Beach House Memories, which offers startling insights into the intimate connection between nature and the human heart.”
—Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author