High Season
by Blundell, Judy

Forced to rent out their beautiful seaside Long Island home every summer just so that they can afford to keep it, Ruthie is forced to go to extreme lengths to protect the life she loves in the wake of a suddenly estranged marriage, greedy co-workers who are threatening her job, the return of an old flame and her teen daughter's destructive relationship. By the National Book Award-winning author of What I Saw and How I Lied.

Judy Blundell is a New York Times bestselling author. Her novel What I Saw and How I Lied won the 2008 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. The High Season is her first novel for adults. She lives on Long Island with her husband and daughter.

Every summer, local museum director Ruthie Beamish, her teenage daughter, and her ex-husband vacate their house near the Hamptons to capitalize on summer rents. This year's renter, Adeline Clay, is the widow of the late Peter Clay, a renowned artist for whom Ruthie worked in the 1990s. A "summer bummer" in a board member's guest house turns into a disaster when, in one day, Ruthie is unceremoniously fired and discovers that her ex is sleeping with Adeline. Meanwhile, Doe Callender alternates between sucking up to and scamming the Long Island elite as an anonymous gossip blogger. Then she meets Lark Mantis, and for the first time, Doe has to deal with actual feelings. Doe and Ruthie occupy different spheres orbiting the rich and fabulous, and they are on an inverse course, with Doe toying with sincerity and Ruthie flirting with her inner criminal. Ruthie's journey is especially satisfying, and although some threads are left untied, Blundell's (A City Tossed and Broken, 2013) engrossing novel has enough high-society proximity to make it beachy, but enough emotional reality to make it resonate. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

The quiet part of Eastern Long Island is invaded by the glitterati and the Twitterati—will they ruin it entirely? "Let the billionaires have the Hamptons on the South Fork, with the shops and restaurants and parties that re-created what made them so exquisitely comfy in Manhattan. The North Fork was two ferry rides away, and it showed….It was pies and parades and stony beaches that hurt your feet, banging screen doors and peaches eaten over the sink." Blundell's (A City Tossed and Broken, 2013, etc.) latest is her first novel for adults, and she brings to it much more than just believable teen characters. As this accomplished, engrossing domestic drama begins, North Fork resident Ruthie is losing it all. An ultrarich widow is taking over both her house and her ex-husband; she's being betrayed by her staff and ousted from her job as director of a small museum; her lovely 15-year-old daughter is involved in dangerous relationships she knows nothing about. Blundell h as more balls in the air than most writers could smoothly handle—a Patek Philippe watch, lost then stolen; a forged painting; a character with a deeply buried, sordid past; lots of art-world specifics—but the story never feels overstuffed, and she steers confidently toward a satisfying blend of happy and imperfect endings. A dim view of what it means to be a middle-aged woman crops up here and there, creating an interesting curmudgeonly undercurrent. Of an overweight teenage girl: "At forty-five, the iron gate of indifference would clang down...and she would know she was stuck back exactly where she was in high school as if all that sex and attention had happened to someone else." After a betrayal: "A man might feel anger right now. As a woman, she felt only shame." Luscious but not too sweet, astute but not too serious, Blundell's novel is a treat you don't have to feel guilty about and a sign of good things to come. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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