Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Publisher:  William Morrow
Published:   August 12, 2014
ISBN:  978-0062283160
Genre:   Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Format:  Print
Obtained via:  Publisher  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina Gina@loveromancesandmorereviews.com


Almost two decades ago Jack Keegan packed his bag and walked out on his wife, Caroline and young daughter, Daisy.  In the ensuing years he first ran from himself and then found something to run to.  Devastated by her husband’s abandonment Caroline did the best she could to raise Daisy—who turned out to be a pretty awesome young lady.  She excelled in school and athletics.  She was an unaffected golden girl who left Butternut Lake only for school.  Each summer she returned to work at her mom’s coffee shop, Pearl’s. 

This summer, however, is a summer of changes and reckonings.  Daisy is about to embark on her last year of college.  Carolina is on the verge of not only losing her daughter to adulthood, but losing her coffee shop and home because of a mortgage payment she simply cannot make.  And Jack, after years of sobriety, is on the verge of losing what he once threw away. 

When Jack returns to Butternut Lake it is initially at Daisy’s behest but it is also because he never stopped loving Caroline and never stopped hoping to have his family, the very family he threw away, back in his life.  Each member of the Keegan family has something precious to lose…but they each have something to gain if only they can allow the secrets of their pasts come to light. 

I thoroughly enjoyed Mary McNear’s debut novel, UP AT BUTTERNUT LAKE and couldn’t wait for book 2, BUTTERNUT SUMMER.  Ms. McNear does not disappoint.  There are myriad layers to BUTTERNUT SUMMER, making it a bit more complex than UP AT BUTTERNUT LAKE.  Building on the community and the ups, downs, secrets and chatter of a small town McNear tells dual stories of a mother and daughter coming to terms with the changes in their lives.  Some of those changes are foisted on them; others are changes they themselves seek.

Jack’s character is far more complex than that of an alcoholic to is back in town to make amends.  While he wants to, and tries step by step to make up for the past with Caroline, he learns perhaps the more valuable lesson of forgiving himself. 

BUTTERNUT SUMMER can be taken at face value as a wonderful contemporary fiction or the reader can dig deeper into the complexities of the characters and their lives.  Either way it is a wonderful read you do not want to miss.

Both UP AT BUTTERNUT LAKE and BUTTERNUT SUMMER can be read in any order as each is a stand-alone, but you don’t want to miss either one.  No matter what our favourite genre, this is one series any reader will enjoy.  I can’t wait for the next entry.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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