From the New York Times bestselling author of the Beach House series comes a heartwarming and evocative novel about the bonds and new beginnings that are born from natural disasters and how, even during the worst of circumstances—or perhaps because of them—you discover what is most important in life.
Late August is a beautiful time on the Southern coast—the peach trees are ripe, the ocean is warm, and the sweet tea is icy. A perfect time to enjoy the rocking chairs on the porch. But beneath the calm surface bubbles a threat: it’s also the beginning of peak hurricane season.
When a sudden storm threatens the coasts of Florida and South Carolina, an eclectic group of evacuees flee for the farm of their friends Grace and Charles Phillips in North Carolina: the Phillips’s daughter Moira and her rescue dogs, famed equestrian Javier Angel de la Cruz, makeup artist Hannah McLain, horse breeder Gerda Klug and her daughter Elise, and island resident Cara Rutledge. They bring with them only the few treasured possessions they can carry. Strangers to all but the Phillips, they must ride out the storm together.
During the course of one of the most challenging weeks of their lives, relationships are put to the test as the evacuees are forced to confront the unresolved issues they have with themselves and with each other. But as the storm passes, they realize that what really matters wasn’t what they brought with them to the mountains: but what they’ll take with them once they leave.
With Mary Alice Monroe’s “usual resplendent storytelling” (Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author), The Summer Guests is a poignant and compelling story of self-discovery, love, and redemption.
“Following the dramatic arc of the hurricane’s progress, from buildup to landfall to dispersal, The Summer Guests escalates to a satisfying resolution. Loyal readers will recognize Monroe’s signature love of animals, while fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Wendy Wax will enjoy the picturesque setting and heartwarmingly intertwined character arcs.”
“Authentic, generous, and heartfelt!”
—New York Times bestselling author Mary Kay Andrews
THE SUMMER GUESTS listed as a “favorite beach reads of 2019”
—Southern Living Magazine
“Fast-paced and fluid, with heartache as well as joy make this a most enjoyable read.”
—New York Journal of Books
“Mary Alice Monroe is one of my favorite authors. THE SUMMER GUESTS reaffirms why I feel this way.”
—Jackie K. Cooper, author and book reviewer
“The Summer Guests is a beautifully woven tale of identity, self-discovery and the relationships that make us who we are. With its strong emphasis on sport and identity, and the ties between horses and riders, Monroe’s latest novel is a must-read for any animal lovers.”
—Deep South Magazine
“Another absorbing novel from an author who continues to delight her many faithful readers with relevant topics, appealing characters, twisty plots, and of course, a touch of romance.”
—Elaine Lolli, book reviewer for The EZ Book Nook
Best Books of June
—The Christian Science Monitor
“I have not found a single author who writes about nature with such passion as Mary Alice Monroe.”
—Nicole McManus, Sasee Magazine
“Well, folks, I absolutely LOVE it. I believe it’s her best novel yet. And that’s saying a lot!”
—Jean Lewis, “Maurice on Books” book review
“Mary Alice Monroe writes gorgeously, with authority and tenderness, about the natural world and its power to inspire, transport, and to heal.”
—#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs
“THE SUMMER GUESTS in an intimate and wise novel about what matters most in our lives. Mary Alice Monroe writes with great wit and wisdom about what happens when both human nature and the natural world collide…Transformational and poignant, this page-turner is your summer’s must-read!”
—Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author of Becoming Mrs. Lewis
Best Beach Reads 2019
—Traveler of Charleston Magazine
“Monroe’s latest story provokes thinking, imparts inspiration and fosters hope … In this imperfect world of ours, we should embrace such uplifting news and an evocative read.”
—Anne Eliot Feldman, BookTrib
THE SUMMER GUESTS