For the first really hot weekend of summer I chose three easy reading books.
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton Disclafani tells the story of Thea, a teenaged girl from Florida during the Great Depression. She disgraces her family (a typical story of boy trouble with a couple of atypical twists that are revealed over time) and is shipped off from the only home she's ever known to a South Carolina boarding school for rich Southern girls. Before boarding school, Thea was home schooled and lived far from any neighbours. The only children she had any contact with were her twin brother and a cousin a couple of years older. Here she must navigate the tricky rules of rich girls - they all look down on each other for one reason or another. She also thinks she finds love - in the wrong place and does make one good friend, eventually taking a fall for her and getting sent home (though for financial reasons, and others, home is no longer the same). An interesting coming of age story though at times a little slow.
Starting Now by Debbie Macomber tells the story of Libby, a workaholic lawyer who gave up everything - friends, family, husband, any sense of life - in her pursuit of partnership. On the day she thinks she will be made partner she is instead let go. She is devastated and her self esteem and mood tumble even further when she can't find another job. So instead she tries to find a life - reconnecting with an old friend, taking up knitting which she hasn't done since her mother died when she was 13, volunteering at a hospital rocking newborns, mentoring a troubled teenaged girl and even falling in love. After a terrible crisis she is offered her old job back and she takes it - falling back into the trap of working all the time and almost losing everything she fought so hard to achieve.
Fly Away by Kristin Hannah is the sequel to Firefly Lane, a book I read several years ago. This one picks up where the other left off - after the death of Kate, one of two lifelong friends. Here we see how her husband, children, parents and especially her best friend, Tully, dealt with Kate's death. Though the book starts several years later, through flashbacks from the perspective of several different characters the tragic story of a family torn apart by grief emerges. A bit of a contrived tearjerker at times, the book still entertains.