Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Review: The Weekenders

Summary: Some people stay all summer long on the idyllic island of Belle Isle, North Carolina. Others come only for the weekends-and the mix between the regulars and “the weekenders” can sometimes make the sparks fly. Riley Griggs has a season of good times with friends and family ahead of her on Belle Isle when things take an unexpected turn. While waiting for her husband to arrive on the ferry one Friday afternoon, Riley is confronted by a process server who thrusts papers into her hand. And her husband is nowhere to be found.

So she turns to her island friends for help and support, but it turns out that each of them has their own secrets, and the clock is ticking as the mystery deepens...in a murderous way. Cocktail parties aside, Riley must find a way to investigate the secrets of Belle Island, the husband she might not really know, and the summer that could change everything.

Told with Mary Kay Andrews’ trademark blend of humor and warmth, and with characters and a setting that you can’t help but fall for, The Weekenders is the perfect summer escape. -- St. Martin's Press

It's still pretty cold and gloomy here in Central Pennsylvania, but my kids guarantee me that summer is only a few weeks away! They are in major countdown mode -- twelve and a half days left of school! I know summer is coming soon because Mary Kay Andrews' latest novel THE WEEKENDERS comes out today. And it certainly wouldn't be summer without a MKA book!

THE WEEKENDERS tells the story of Riley Griggs, a wife and mother who returns to Belle Isle, North Carolina every summer. This year, however, is not exactly the relaxing vacation that she needs. She and her husband Wendell plan to tell their twelve year old daughter (who just happens to think that her daddy walks on water) that they are getting a divorce. When her Wendell doesn't show up in time to make the ferry, Riley just figures that he's being his selfish, irresponsible self. To make matters worse, Riley is served papers which she assumes are for the divorce.

When she and her daughter arrive at their summer home, Riley discovers that the locks have been changed and there is a foreclosure notice on the front door. Riley and her daughter are devastated. Of course, this is big news for Belle Isle and  the community on this small island is gossiping in full force. Thankfully, Riley has her family and friends there to support her (although her mother might not be exactly the type of support system that Riley needs!)

Riley and her daughter move in with her mother (which does set up some funny scenes), and things seem to go from bad to worse as Riley attempts to get to the bottom of her financial woes. And then... Wendell's body is discovered floating in the water, and it's obvious that there was foul play. Riley certainly had motive for wanting him dead and is considered a suspect, but she's determined to save herself and her daughter by conducting her own investigation.

THE WEEKENDERS is sure to be a hit with MKA fans everywhere. I thought this novel was so much fun, and I loved that there was a bit of a mystery to the novel. (For those of you who are big fans of MKA, you probably know that she wrote a successful mystery series under her real name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck. So she knows how to craft a mystery!) THE WEEKENDERS had all of the elements I've come to know and love from a MKA book but with an intriguing mystery thrown in -- so much fun!

THE WEEKENDERS is quite the chunkster of a book -- it's around 450 pages. I probably shouldn't say this, but I find myself hesitating to pick up big books. Of course, there was no hesitation to pick up an MKA novel, but I will admit that I was even surprised by how much of a page-turner this novel was. I think I read it in two days which is pretty fast for me right now, and I will say it's an ideal escape read. This book needs to be in your beach or pool bag!

One thing I've come to expect from Ms. Andrews is her ability to create great characters. In this novel, there were quite a few memorable ones, but I especially loved Riley. She was a mom dealing with a difficult daughter (what mother of a girl can't relate to that?), and I loved how determined she was to find out the truth about her husband... no matter how ugly it might be. Riley pretty much hit rock bottom when she arrived on Belle Isle, but she persevered for herself and her family. She was a strong female character and one that many women will find themselves rooting for.

As far as mysteries go, I thought Wendell's death was a pretty good one. He was such a despicable character that I didn't feel too bad that someone hit him on the head and killed him -- isn't that a horrible thing to say? I had some ideas about who was responsible but I was totally wrong. Having said that, I didn't spend a lot of time trying to figure everything out. I just sat back, read Ms. Andrews' entertaining prose, and enjoyed the story!

THE WEEKENDERS is a perfect summer read. It's got a great blend of romance and mystery with a gorgeous beach setting. Highly recommended!

Make sure you check out my great Beach Town Prize Pack giveaway for copies of BEACH TOWN, SPRING FEVER, and other summer goodies!

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I shy away from big books too but Mary Kay Andrew's books are so much fun, I fly through them. This sounds like another winner from her.