2015 Summer Beach Reads
The Memory Painter
By Gwendolyn Womack
A famous artist and a neuroscientist realize they share an unusually intense dream. Their quest to find out why leads them to a lab explosion—and a crime that's been covered up for decades. Womack's debut is a page-turner of ancient mysteries and love stories.
The Household Spirit
By Tod Wodicka
Howie, a reclusive older man with dreams of escaping reality, and Emily, a young girl haunted by a rare sleep disorder, live just steps from each other but have never spoken. When tragedy strikes, they form a friendship that changes both of their lives.
Love May Fail
The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy
By Rachel Joyce
The best-selling author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry tells the story of Queenie Hennessy, who is anticipating Harold's arrival from his 600-mile trek. Struggling to hold on in hospice care, Queenie records vivid memories, and long-held secrets unfold.
A Window Opens
By Elisabeth Egan
Can women really have it all? This smart, relatable novel chronicles one wife/mother's search for the answer. When presented with an opportunity to get her dream job, Alice jumps at the chance. But when life throws its inevitable curveballs, she begins to question what she truly wants.
By Sophie Mcmanus
This darkly humorous debut novel follows the Somner family, wealthy New York aristocrats and heirs to a robber baron fortune, as they navigate an uncharted state of misfortune. The grandeur, corruption, and transformation woven in its pages make this a book you won't want to put down.
Let Me Die in His Footsteps
By Lori Roy
Narrated by a cast of compelling women, this Southern Gothic novel tells the story of the Baines and the Hollerans—two feuding families from opposite sides of a small town—and of the incident that left a young Baine boy hanged and the Hollerans haunted forever.
A Spool of Blue Thread
By Anne Tyler
Pulitzer-winning author Anne Tyler knows how to capture the beauty, grit, and wonderment of everyday life, and delivers a moving read with her new novel, which she has said is likely to be her last. Three generations of the Whitshank family, and their beloved Baltimore home, come alive on the pages.
The Miracle Girl
By Andrew Roe
This uplifting debut novel follows a young girl from a poor Southern California neighborhood who falls into a coma after a car accident, attracting national attention—and a bevy of down-and-out visitors— when miraculous things start happening around her.
A Fine Romance
By Candice Bergen
The actress and best-selling memoirist returns with a brutally honest portrait of falling in love and finding it again in unexpected ways: with the birth of her daughter after years of ambivalence about motherhood, and with a second marriage after her first husband succumbs to cancer. Poignant, funny, and relatable, Bergen's words feel like they're coming from a friend on the beach towel beside yours.
At the Water's Edge
By Sara Gruen
A trio of Philadelphia aristocrats find themselves on a mission to become heroes by capturing footage of Scotland's elusive Loch Ness monster. Set during World War II, the story is part historical fiction and part fairy tale, told with the same magical prose Gruen displayed in her bestseller Water for Elephants.
The Children's Crusade
By Ann Packer
Robert, Rebecca, Ryan, and James are siblings raised in the same California household by the same negligent mother. Five decades on, each has turned out remarkably different. The New York Times best-selling author's new novel reveals how nature and nurture shape four people in life-changing ways.
The Secret Wisdom of the Earth
By Christopher Scotton
As a small town deteriorates from an aggressive coalmining operation, a local teenage boy is reeling from witnessing a terrible family tragedy. Both town and teen help each other grow in this coming-of-age debut.
By Jami Attenberg
Whiskey-drinking theater owner Mazie Phillips has a heartbreaking past and a bawdy reputation, but when the Depression hits New York City hard, she becomes a beacon of hope for many. Inspired by actual events, Attenberg deftly paints Mazie through touching, insightful diary entries.
The Girl on the Train
By Paula Hawkins
Every morning, Rachel—a lonely divorcée—rides the commuter train to London, fantasizing about the lives of a happy young couple who live in a home by the tracks. But when the wife goes missing, Rachel may know more about her disappearance than she realizes.