1. The Lake House by Kate Morton
I’m a huge fan of Kate Morton and I find all of her books make lovely summer reads but this one in particular. It’s set in the Summer of 1933 and in 2003. In 1933 the Edevane family are preparing for their midsummer party but by the end of the night something horrible happens which sends them away from their home forever. Seventy years later Sadie is sent on compulsory leave from the Metropolitan Police after a tough case. She goes to stay with her grandfather in Cornwall and comes across a beautiful abandoned house full of secrets.
2. The Legacy by Katherine Webb
As children Erica and Beth Calcott spent their summers at Storton Manor, following their grandmother’s death they have returned to the manor to sort out all her belongings. Erica can’t help but think back to the summer that her cousin Henry disappeared, the sisters decide to try and find out what happened to him. They find more family secrets than they bargained for. This book is a similar style to Kate Morton’s and it’s beautifully written. It definately feels like summer when you read this, the sisters memories of their holidays at the manor make you want to drive out to the countryside and have an adventure.
3. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
I absolutely loved this book, I read it last summer! It’s set in South Carolina, USA in 1964. The story is about Lily who lost her mother when she was very young, since then she’s been raised mainly by her ‘stand-in mother’ Rosaleen, a woman of colour, which was dangerous at that time in America. On a walk into town on a blisteringly hot day, Rosaleen gets into an argument with some racists and she is arrested. Lily is beside herself and decides to break Rosaleen out of prison. They escape to a small town in South Carolina that held significance for Lily’s mother. They are taken in by an eccentric trio of sisters who keep bees and sell their honey to make a living. This book is so powerful and uplifting, it filled me with warmth and hope.
4. Atonement by Ian McEwan
The story begins and ends in the summer in a big country house in England. It’s set from 1930s-40’s and then jumps to the early 2000s. Briony Tallis is a curious, over-confident child, she likes to write and perform plays and this summer is no different. Except she winesses something and doesn’t understand it’s innocence. An accusation is made and lives are changed forever. The start of the book definately has that lovely summer setting.
5. Beneath the Skin by Nicci French
This has a very different feel from the others on my list, it’s set in London during a very hot summer. Three different women are being stalked by a sadistic killer. Is it someone they know or a complete stranger? This book is quite scary but it’s got that summer setting so I thought I would add it into the mix. It’s so well written and I remember feeling realy jumpy/edgy when I read it.
What are some of your favourite summer reads?