The Summer Girls

The Summer Girls - Mary Alice Monroe
This is the first book in a trilogy and is chiefly about Carson Muir, the half-sister to Harper and Dora.They are the product of an alcoholic ne’er- do -well father, and three vastly dissimilar mothers. The only thing that really pulls and keeps them together is their Grandmother and she has called them back to Sullivan’s Island ostensibly for her 80th birthday, but in truth, it is to get out into the open, family secrets and lies.

I cannot say that I found this a heartwarming novel. So many of the main characters were dislikable and I realize that it is because of how they grew up and the issues that still dog them as adults, yet I still could not find much sympathy for them.

This book is mainly Carson’s story, and early on, you can tell that her drinking is a problem. That problem will soon snowball. She has also found a relationship, or rather two relationships –one with a dolphin and another with a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) scientist who is studying dolphins. Which, had things played out a little differently, should have made for the perfect romance. Moreover, it still most likely work out, we shall just have to see what the next two books bring.

I found this book to be a bit plodding with several of the characters coming off as a bit cookie cutter-ish, especially with this book being of that very specific southern coastal genre. Ms. Munroe added more fuel to the fires of the sisters each having issues, by giving Dora an Autistic son who does tend to dominate Carson’s book a little. Harper, the youngest of the half-sisters may end up with the most interesting book. I don’t know why I feel that to be true but I do. I will be interested to read what happens to Mamaw, Harper and Dora in the next two books.