These novel picks capture the essence of summer: leisurely moments spent with loved ones, the world outdoors and the beauty of life. Whether you have a vacation scheduled in your little black book, or you’re heading to the cottage for a weekend getaway, pop one of these seven titles into your beach bag for a relaxing day in the sun.
ENCHANTED AUGUST BY BRENDA BOWEN (PAMELA DORMAN BOOKS)
Brenda Bowen retells Elizabeth von Arnim’s beloved The Enchanted April in the setting of an idyllic New England cottage where four women find refuge for the summer. They are quickly revived by the soft breeze and the warm sun as together they recover from heartbreak by rediscovering their ability to love and be loved in return.
HIS WHOLE LIFE BY ELIZABETH HAY (McCLELLAND & STEWART )
A 10-year-old, half-American, half-Canadian boy carries readers through his family’s summer journey from New York City through a rich Canadian landscape to a lake in eastern Ontario. Elizabeth Hay’s coming-of-age story delves deep into her young protagonist’s relationship with his mother and his love of the Canadian outdoors.
THE CAKE THERAPIST BY JUDITH FERTIG (BERKLEY)
Renowned cookbook author Judith Fertig takes the notion of “comfort food” to a whole new level with her debut novel. Her heroine is a pastry chef who can “taste” feelings—cinnamon elicits memories, oranges spark a reality check—and uses this unique talent to help her customers overcome obstacles and find peace in life.
AUDREY AT HOME: MEMORIES OF MY MOTHER’S KITCHEN BY LUCA DOTTI (HARPER DESIGN)
Countless biographers have offered readers a glimpse into the life of Audrey Hepburn—the film star, style icon and philanthropist. But Luca Dotti, Hepburn’s son, gives his own perspective on her as a mother, wife and woman. With a selection of her recipes, family photographs of time spent in her garden and personal stories, Dotti’s fond recollection of his mother is both engaging and honest.
THE ROCKS BY PETER NICHOLS (RIVERHEAD)
The stories of two very different— yet equally touching—romances are woven into one compelling narrative, set against the rolling waves and beating sunshine of a Mediterranean island. With gripping, soulful prose, Peter Nichols begins at the end of his story, and with each page, takes readers further back in time to when it all began.
RE JANE BY PATRICIA PARK ( PAMELA DORMAN BOOKS)
Patricia Park breathes new life into Charlotte Brontë’s classic Jane Eyre, with a story of an orphan of Korean and American descent living in Queens. Park’s heroine struggles to construct an identity that combines both cultures, and her story is an homage to finding strength in oneself and one’s heritage, however diverse it may be.
GO SET A WATCHMAN: A NOVEL BY HARPER LEE (HARPER)
Harper Lee’s much-anticipated sequel to her beloved To Kill A Mockingbird takes place two decades later when Scout leaves New York City to visit her now aging father Atticus. Like Mockingbird, the story captures the tense and tumultuous time of the civil rights movement, and features many familiar faces from the original book.