The Blonde Bookworm: The Summer House by Hannah McKinnon -- Review

The Summer House by Hannah McKinnon -- Review

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Title: The Summer House
Author: Hannah McKinnon
Pages: 336
Publishing: June 6th 2017 by Atria/Emily Bestler Books
ISBN: 1501162802


When Flossy Merrill summons her children to the beloved family beach house to celebrate their father’s eightieth birthday, both cherished memories and long-kept secrets come to light in this charming and lyrical novel from the author of The Lake Season and Mystic Summer. 

Flossy Merrill has managed to—somewhat begrudgingly—gather her three ungrateful grown children from their dysfunctional lives for a summer reunion at the family’s Rhode Island beach house. Clementine, her youngest child and a young mother of two small children, has caused Flossy the most worry after enduring a tragically life-altering year. But Samuel and his partner Evan are not far behind in their ability to alarm: their prospective adoption search has just taken a heart-wrenching turn. Only Paige, the eldest of the headstrong Merrill clan, is her usual self: arriving precisely on time with her well-adapted teens. Little does her family know that she, too, is facing personal struggles of her own.

No matter. With her family finally congregated under one seaside roof, Flossy is determined to steer her family back on course even as she prepares to reveal the fate of the summer house that everyone has thus far taken for granted: she’s selling it. The Merrill children are both shocked and outraged and each returns to memories of their childhoods at their once beloved summer house—the house where they have not only grown up, but from which they have grown away. With each lost in their respective heartaches, Clementine, Samuel, and Paige will be forced to reconsider what really matters before they all say goodbye to a house that not only defined their summers, but, ultimately, the ways in which they define themselves. Featuring McKinnon’s “sharp and evocative” (Kirkus Reviews) voice, this warm-hearted novel is perfect for fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Mary Alice Monroe.


The Summer House was my first Hannah McKinnon book, and I think it's safe to say it will not be my last. It was filled with love, heartbreak, plenty of drama, and a real family. I always love books that deal with real life situations instead of perfect cookie cutter families with no issues whatsoever. The characters were unique and I found myself relating to each of them in one way or another.

McKinnon's writing style was engaging and kept me entertained from start to finish. I loved the setting and I was constantly wishing I was sitting on the beach with the whole Merrill family. Each of the characters had their own drama and they were trying to hold it all in instead of leaning on each other. The bottled emotions caused some extremely intense scenes throughout the novel and made me flip the pages faster and faster. I kept wanting to scream at them to communicate, but we all know the lack of communication often adds to the intrigue and buildup of a novel. 

All in all, The Summer House was an entertaining beach read and I would recommend it to readers who enjoy a little romance, a lot of family drama, and even a few tears here and there. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and look forward to reading more from McKinnon in the future. A huge thank you to Atria Books for sending along a review copy! Head to your nearest bookstore today and pick up your copy of The Summer House! 

Rating 3/5 


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