Title: Hello, Summer
Author: Mary Kay Andrews
Page Length: 558
Publication Date: May 5, 2020
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Synopsis: It’s a new season…
Conley Hawkins left her family’s small town newspaper, The Silver Bay Beacon, in the rearview mirror years ago. Now a star reporter for a big-city paper, Conley is exactly where she wants to be and is about to take a fancy new position in Washington, D.C. Or so she thinks.
For small town scandals…
When the new job goes up in smoke, Conley finds herself right back where she started, working for her sister, who is trying to keep The Silver Bay Beacon afloat—and she doesn’t exactly have warm feelings for Conley. Soon she is given the unenviable task of overseeing the local gossip column, “Hello, Summer.”
And big-time secrets.
Then Conley witnesses an accident that ends in the death of a local congressman—a beloved war hero with a shady past. The more she digs into the story, the more dangerous it gets. As an old heartbreaker causes trouble and a new flame ignites, it soon looks like their sleepy beach town is the most scandalous hotspot of the summer.
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Mary Kay Andrews is a master story-teller. Her complex and dynamic characters, her perfectly-paced and intriguing plot, her realistic examination of relationships, love, and life are ever-present in her stories.
The plot in Hello, Summer focuses on Conley, a successful news reporter. After an amazing job opportunity in D.C. falls through, Conley returns to her childhood home in Silver Bay, Florida to work for her sister Grayson who runs the family-owned newspaper. Conley and Grayson have a strained relationship with a lot of unresolved feelings that need to be addressed, and, initially, Conley rejects the idea of working at Silver Bay Beacon. But Conley’s grandmother Lorraine convinces her to stay. Conley decides to use the time searching for a new job, preferably out of state.
When local congressman Symmes Robinette dies in a fiery car crash and Conley witnesses it, her reporter instincts kick in. How did the senator get in a one-car accident on a clear night and empty road?
The more she investigates the senator, the more the secrets unfold, and Conley suspects that the car accident was no accident. As she gets closer to the truth, her life is in danger. Who wants her to stop investigating, and why? With her life in jeopardy, will Conley find out the truth about the senator’s death? Will she stay in Florida near family, or will she leave again?
What I love is that she presents women as they are – the good, the bad, the strengths, the flaws, the triumphs, and the insecurities. They are strong, brave, resilient, and independent women who come to realize their self-worth and strive toward self-acceptance. These are the women Mary Kay Andrews creates.
I also like the messages of the story. MKA examines the dwindling of print media and the effects this has on society. She delves into complicated family relationships and healing wounds of the past. She explores the impact death and abandonment have on different people. She highlights female empowerment and the bonds of love. And she does all of this in addition to creating an intriguing mystery!
Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
- The complex and dynamic characters. Conley is a fascinating protagonist. I love Conley’s grand mother Lorraine and her housekeeper Winnie. They are so charming and funny!
- The unraveling of the senator’s story. This is an interesting mystery that unfolds throughout the story.
- MKA’s writing style. Reading her books is effortless, and the way that she weaves her stories is masterful!
Readers who enjoy strong female characters, witty dialogue, and a well-paced, well-written story will love this contemporary novel! Fans of Erin Hilderbrand, Mary Alice Monroe, and Dorothea Benton Frank should also give Mary Kay Andrews a try. 🙂