Monday, August 11, 2014

Alice's Review: Butternut Summer

Author: Mary McNear
Series: Butternut Series #2
Publication Date: August 12, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow and Company
Pages: 400
Obtained: Publisher
Genre:  Women's Fiction
Rating: 4
Bottom Line: Wonderful story about a mother and daughter each finding love in unexpected places.
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: Every summer on Butternut Lake the tourists arrive, the shops open, and the waves lap its tree-lined shores, just as they have for years. But this season everything changes for one mother and daughter who've always called the lake home. . . .

Caroline's life is turned upside down the moment her ex-husband, Jack, strides through the door of her coffee shop. He seems changed, stronger, steadier, and determined to make amends with Caroline and their daughter, Daisy. Is he really different, or is he the same irresistibly charming but irresponsible man he was when he left Butternut Lake eighteen years ago? Caroline, whose life is stuck on pause as her finances are going down the tubes, is tempted to let him back into her life . . . but would it be wise?  For Caroline's daughter, Daisy, the summer is filled with surprises. Home from college, she's reunited with the father she adores but hardly knows, and swept away by her first true love. But Will isn't what her mother wants for her, all Caroline can see is that he's the kind of sexy "bad boy" Daisy should stay away from.  As the long, lazy days of summer pass, Daisy and Caroline come to realize that even if Butternut Lake doesn't change, life does. . . .

Review:  Butternut Summer is the much awaited second installment of Mary McNear’s Butternut Series. I am so glad it is finally here because I really enjoyed Up At Butternut Lake. Truth be told, Butternut Summer had some pretty big shoes to fill and, although I didn’t think it was possible for the series to get better, Ms. McNear definitely delivers. Thankfully, there was no sophomore slump here.

Butternut Summer delivers two tremendous stories. We were introduced to Caroline in the first novel. As the owner of Pearl’s, the best diner in town, Caroline is the mother hen of Butternut Lake. She’s the one you can always rely on and everyone’s confidant. I’m so happy Ms. McNear gave Caroline another chance at love and romance in this novel. Daisy, Caroline’s daughter, is home from college for the summer and she is ready for some adventures of her own.

Both Daisy’s and Caroline’s arcs were engaging. It was wonderful reading about a 21 year old’s first go at love. I loved that Daisy has her mother’s moxie. She’s level headed and wise. She trusts her judgement and understands exactly who she is. She’s not afraid to take chances. There is so much possibility for Daisy in the future. Caroline’s story was an amazing read as well. She was one of my favorite character’s in Up At Butternut Lake. I’m so glad she gets her own novel where I can watch her be the star of her life, instead of a supporting role in everyone else’s.

This time Ms. McNear handled the issue of alcohol and gambling addiction with such grace. Jack was a wonderful character, a man with too many flaws to count. The best part about him was he knows he’s flawed and that knowledge makes him so tangible and human. There’s just something about a man named Jack and this one was no exception. As the woman Jack betrayed all those years ago, Caroline is hesitant to trust and forgive him. She stayed true to her character. It was incredible to read.

Mary McNear is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. In the first two novels in this series, she took real life situations and incorporated them in such ways that the characters who faced them handled them in realistic ways. It was authentic and it makes reading her novels a true joy.

I was expecting Allie and Jax to have much bigger supporting roles in this novel, but Ms. McNear kept their involvement at a minimum. Nearly every page was focused on Daisy and Caroline. It was a great idea to do that. I can’t wait for the final installment in this series. I can’t imagine it getting any better than this.

Read my review of Up At Butternut Lake here.



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