Friday, June 23, 2017

Book Review - The Light in Summer by Mary McNear

Book Synopsis

It’s summertime on Butternut Lake, where the heat of noon is soothed by the cool breezes of the evening, where the pace grows slower, and sometimes, just sometimes, the summer light makes everything clearer… 

For the lovely Billy Harper, Butternut Lake is the place she feels most at home, even though lately she feels the only one listening to her is Murphy…her faithful Labrador Retriever. Her teenage son, Luke, has gone from precious to precocious practically overnight. Her friends are wrapped up in their own lives, and Luke’s father, Wesley, disappeared before his son was even born. No wonder she prefers to spend time with a good book, especially ones where everything ends in perfection.

But Billy is about to learn that anything is possible during the heady days of summer. Coming to terms with her past—the death of her father, the arrival of Cal Cooper, a complicated man with a definite interest in Billy, even the return of Wesley, will force her to have a little bit of faith in herself and others…and realize that happiness doesn’t always mean perfection.


Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

My Review
The Light in Summer tells the story of Billy Harper, a small town librarian in Butternut Lake, Minnesota.  She is a single mom dealing with a rebellious 13 year old and the recent loss of her father.  When Cal Cooper comes to town after his recent divorce, the connection between Billy and Cal is immediate.  Will they be able to build a relationship that helps them both heal?

This is a lovely summer beach read about good people trying to make their way in the world.  There is so much I enjoyed about this book.

The small town Butternut Lake setting is delightful.  I read the first couple of books in this series and enjoyed them, and then picked the series back up with The Light in Summer.  This book would work fine as a standalone for anyone new to the series.

I love that Billy is a librarian and she really loves books.  She goes out on her porch at night and reads Jane Austen to relax.  She loves suggesting books for library patrons, and even recommends my favorite series (Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace) to a young girl.

Cal is a strong and likable man, and I really liked his relationship with Billy.  It was based on friendship and mutual respect as well as romantic sparks.  I loved these characters together and was pulling for their happiness.

The story of Billy's son Luke and his attempts to find his place in Butternut Lake as he enters his teen years with friends and with his missing birth father is a touching aspect of the book.

And there is even a lovable dog -- Murphy the yellow lab, who is so warm and empathetic that Billy has silent conversations with him out on the porch each night.  

The Light in Summer is such a heartwarming, uplifting book, perfect for a leisurely summer read.  I recommend it highly for fans of women's fiction, small town fiction, and contemporary romance.

Author Bio
Mary McNear, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Butternut Lake series, writes in a local doughnut shop, where she sips Diet Pepsi, observes the hubbub of neighborhood life, and tries to resist the constant temptation of freshly made doughnuts. Mary bases her novels on a lifetime of summers spent in a small town on a lake in the northern Midwest.

Connect with Mary on Facebook.

I received a copy of this book from HarperCollins and TLC Book Tours.


Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I've been wanting to read the Butternut Lake books for quite some time - it seems like one of those places that I need to have in my reading life.

Thanks for being a part of the tour!

trish said...

I like feel good books like this, with book-loving characters and, as you said, good people just trying to make their way in the world.

Also, books about small towns let me live a fantasy for a while of living in a small town and enjoying all the perks with few of the downsides. :)