*Attention all book lovers!* We have some exciting news!
The Livingston Public Library’s Bookish Vibes book club will be returning virtually via Zoom! Are you an avid reader looking to discuss contemporary fiction, trending titles, and popular authors? If so, our Bookish Vibes book group is for you!
The first virtual meeting will be held on Monday, November 9 at 7pm on Zoom, where we will be discussing books by New York Times bestselling author May Alice Monroe! If you have read books by Mary Alice Monroe before, join us to discuss what you have read with both Monroe and other readers. (My personal favorite is her Beach House series.)
If you are new to Mary Alice Monroe’s books, copies of her latest standalone novel, The Summer Guests, will be available for check out at the Patron Services Desk. In this novel, in which the New York Journal of Books described as “Fast-paced and fluid, with heartache as well as joy,” you’ll travel to warm late August days down on the Southern Carolina coast where hurricane season is brewing out in the ocean. Copies can be picked up in person during the library’s Browse and Borrow hours Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday from 10am – 5pm as well as on Wednesday from 10am – 8pm. Contactless Pickup is available on Monday from 10am-8pm and Thursday from 10am – 5pm. To learn more about Browse & Borrow and Contactless Pickup, visit the library’s website.
Want to browse Mary Alice’s other novels without leaving your favorite reading chair? Below are other novels by Mary Alice Monroe available through the Library’s digital collections that might also pique your interest.
Overdrive / Libby
While the print copy of the 2019 standalone novel is available for you to check out from the Patron Services Desk, you can also download the audiobook from the Library’s Digital Collections!
From the Publisher: “Late August is a beautiful time on the Southern coast—the peach trees are ripe, the ocean is warm, and the sweet tea is icy. It’s the perfect time to enjoy the rocking chairs on the porch. But beneath the calm surface bubbles a threat: it’s also peak hurricane season.
When a hurricane threatens the coasts of Florida and South Carolina, an eclectic group of evacuees flees for the farm of their friends Grace and Charles Phillips in North Carolina: the Phillips’s daughter Moira and her rescue dogs, famed equestrian Javier Angel de la Cruz, makeup artist Hannah McLain, horse breeder Gerda Klug and her daughter Elise, and island resident Cara Rutledge. Strangers to all but the Phillips, they must ride out the storm together.
During the course of one of the most challenging weeks of their lives, relationships are put to the test as the evacuees are forced to confront the unresolved issues they have with themselves and with each other. But as the storm passes, they realize that what really matters isn’t what they brought with them to the mountains. Rather, it’s what they’ll take with them once they leave.”
The Summer Girls (This is also a series)
From the Publisher: “Three granddaughters. Three months. One summer house.
In this enchanting trilogy set on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe captures the complex relationships between Dora, Carson, and Harper, three half-sisters scattered across the country—and a grandmother determined to help them rediscover their family bonds.
For years, Carson Muir has drifted, never really settling, certain only that a life without the ocean is a life half lived. Adrift and penniless in California, Carson is the first to return to Sea Breeze, wondering where things went wrong…until the sea she loves brings her a minor miracle. Her astonishing bond with a dolphin helps Carson renew her relationships with her sisters and face the haunting memories of her ill-fated father. As the rhythms of the island open her heart, Carson begins to imagine the next steps toward her future.
In this heartwarming novel, three sisters discover the true treasures Sea Breeze offers as surprising truths are revealed, mistakes forgiven, and precious connections made that will endure long beyond one summer.”
From the Publisher: “Known for her moving characters and emotional honesty, Mary Alice Monroe brings readers a beautifully rendered story that explores the fragile yet enduring bond between mothers and daughters Caretta Rutledge thought she’d left her Southern roots and troubled family far behind. But an unusual request from her mother-coming just as her own life is spinning out of control-has Cara heading back to the scenic Lowcountry of her childhood summers. Before long, the rhythms of the island open her heart in wonderful ways as she repairs the family beach house, becomes a bona fide “turtle lady” and renews old acquaintances long thought lost. But it is in reconnecting with her mother that she will learn life’s most precious lessons-true love involves sacrifice, family is forever and the mistakes of the past can be forgiven.”
From the Publisher: “Toy Sooner has dealt with enough rough waves in her troubled past. It’s only been through the enduring love of a close-knit group of women on this tiny island that she’s finally started to find her footing. But as new challenges in her career arise for this young single mother, the choices and demons of her past will catch up to her. Soon Toy will learn that, like the steadfast sea turtles she cares for, a mother must find the strength within herself to make it safely to shore.”
From the Publisher: “On the surface, it is a monthly book club. But for five women, it is so much more. For Eve Porter, whose husband’s sudden death cheats her of every security she had planned on, the club is a place of sanctuary. For Annie Blake, a brilliant attorney intent on starting a family late in life, it is the chance to finally let down her guard and dream of other possibilities. For Doris Bridges, it is her support group as she acknowledges her dying marriage and finds the ultimate freedom in her husband’s betrayal. For Gabriella Rivera, the “perfect” wife, mother and friend who offers support to everyone but is afraid to ask for it herself, it is a sense of community. And for Midge Kirsch, an artist who has always lived her life against the grain, it is a haven of acceptance. They are five women from different walks of life, embracing the challenge of change. And as they share their hopes and fears and triumphs, they will hold fast to the true magic of the book club… friendship.”
From the Publisher: “Rediscover this moving tale of second chances and self-reinvention by New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe. Her husband’s suicide left Nora MacKenzie alone, and his shady Wall Street dealings left the Manhattan socialite penniless. By a miracle she’s held on to their mountainside farm-and she’ll keep holding on, no matter what. The property is Nora’s one chance to wring some dignity out of the sham she’s been living. The Vermont locals think she’s a city girl on a nature kick, but she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty. Nora’s serious about learning the farming business…if she can figure out where to begin. Against the locals’ skepticism, she has only one ally: Charles “C. W.” Walker. C. W. is hardworking, gentle with the animals and a patient teacher of the hundreds of chores Nora needs to learn. Slowly she starts to believe she’ll survive in her new life, even flourish. She might even be willing to open her heart again. But she won’t return to a life of lies…and the truth about C. W. may be more than Nora’s fragile heart can bear.”
From the Publisher: “Get swept up again in this heartfelt family drama from New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe. They are the Season sisters, bound by blood, driven apart by a tragedy. Now they are about to embark on a bittersweet journey into the unknown-an odyssey of promise and forgiveness, of loss and rediscovery. Jillian, Beatrice and Rose have gathered for the funeral of their younger sister, Meredith. Her death, and the legacy she leaves them, will trigger a cross-country journey in search of a stranger with the power to mend their shattered lives. As the emotions of the past reverberate into the present, Jillian, Beatrice and Rose search for the girls they once were, in hopes of finding what they really lost: the women they were meant to be.”
From the Publisher: “E.R. nurse Ella Majors has seen all the misery that she can handle. Burned-out and unsure of her next step, she accepts the temporary position as caregiver to Marion Henderson, a frightened five-year-old who suffers from juvenile diabetes.
But Ella soon realizes there is more sorrow in the isolated home than the little girl’s illness can account for. Harris Henderson, a single father, seems better able to deal with the wild birds he rehabilitates in his birds-of-prey sanctuary than with his own daughter.
Then something magical begins to happen: the timeless beauty of the South Carolina coast and the majestic grace of the wild birds weave a healing spell on the injured hearts at the sanctuary. But a troubled mother’s unexpected return will test the fragile bonds of trust and new love, and reveal the inherent risks and exhilarating beauty of flying free.”
From the Publisher: “Sweetgrass is a historic tract of land in South Carolina that has been home to the Blakely family for eight generations. But Sweetgrass-named for the indigenous grass that grows in the area-is in trouble. Taxes are skyrocketing. Bulldozers are leveling the surrounding properties. And the Blakelys could be forced to sell the one thing that continues to hold their disintegrating family together.”
From the Publisher: “Charlotte Godowski was used to the horrified stares she received from strangers. She’d learned to accept her facial deformity, until one cruel incident compelled her to have the surgery that changed her life forever. Charlotte Godfrey is beautiful beyond compare. In Hollywood, where such beauty is power, her rise is meteoric. Suddenly she has everything she could want: acceptance, a future and a love she believes can see to the true beauty within. Charlotte Godowski and Charlotte Godfrey are two sides of the same women-a woman who can trust no one with her secret. But when fate forces Charlotte to deal with the truth-about her past, about the man she loves, about herself-she discovers that only love has the power to transform a scarred soul.”
The best part? Authors will be zooming into select future Bookish Vibes meetings! Stay tuned and check out the Library’s event calendar at www.LivingstonLibrary.org for future meeting dates and author discussions! All bibliophiles are welcome to the group meeting, but registration is required. Three hours before the event an email with information on how to access the Zoom meeting will be sent to you. You can register here.
Happy Reading! I can’t wait to get bookish with you at our meeting!
-Jessica, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian