The High Season

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 23 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

An enjoyable novel set on the North Fork of Long Island where the regular folks deal with the influx of nouveau riche summer people. A quick and fun read; I read it in the fall but would make a perfect beach read.
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I love reading books that take place in vacation towns.  This is a light read, but it was also easy to put down.  I do have to give props to Ms. Blundell for her character development.  Her writing reminded me somewhat of the author Maeve Binchy.  You delve into the character's lives without having a major storyline.  It also reminded me of watching a reality tv show.  

The main character, Ruthie, has to deal with an ex-husband that has moved on, a rebellious teenager, and a workplace that feels she isn't needed anymore.  The reader moves through the transformations with the characters.

I wouldn't recommend this book to my students, but I would recommend it if you want a light read that is full of drama.  

I was given this book for my honest review.
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I'm sure this is the type of book that lots of people will devour but it's just not for me. Way too many characters and a story line that I didn't care about at all.
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Great beach read, perfect for summer. Themes include divorce, art, raising a teenager, working with millennials, wealth and power, and career pitfalls. A surprising amount of depth packed into "chick lit."
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The High Season certainly brought about a number of emotions, along with moral dilemmas.  As much as I was rooting for Ruthie to face her fears and pull herself out of the depression she was slowly and dangerously slipping into, I also cringed at many of her decisions.  Dealing with a husband who is moving on, a teenage daughter going through teenage drama, potential for her career and maybe even her beautiful beachside home slipping through her fingers meant for a tumultuous story.  I kept my fingers crossed that everything would work out right in the end, because lies and deceit are never really the answer, right?

I went into this thinking that it was a beach read, but it wasn't fluff. There were real situations going in here set in a beach town.
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Long Island North Fork is definitely the place to be in the summer.  Full of excitement and drama.  Delightful characters who are so funny to watch in that they are self-absorbed social climbers.  Obsessed with designer labels and impressing others.  The world of celebrity, art and social events.   Witty and fun to read.  I read a reader copy via Net Galley and voluntarily chose to write a review.
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I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley for a review. The story is about a woman, Ruthie, and others involved in her life and the problems they face over a years time regarding changes in their lives, their relationships and themselves. It seemed to have a focus on rich people problems, somewhat the haves vs. the have-nots and how money can influence in both positive and negative ways. I really enjoyed the writing style of the author and I thought the book was beautifully written but I had a hard time getting invested in the story and liking the characters. I was drawn in to the story fast and I really enjoyed the first half and then it started to loose my interest though I did end up finishing the book.
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I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for my review.  Ruthie Beamish and her estranged huband have the home of their dreams.  It's not quite the Hamptons, but close enough to be a highly desired property. So why are they boxing up their belongings?  Because in order to afford the mortgage, the Beamish's have to rent it out for the summer.

This summer's renter is Adeline Clay, someone too famous, too rich and too connected to be staying at this quiet spot out-of-the-limelight.  Adeline immediately falls in love with the house, but does she want to acquire more than just the house this summer?

Ruthie also has more on her plate that just finding a place to wait out the summer.  Her job is at risk, her daughter is making dangerous choices and her ex lover has also stepped back into her life.  All of these plot twists make a delicious summer read!  Lots of intrigue, well developed characters and a satisfying ending.  Great story!
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Very slow book. Never really caught my attention to pick it up every day, but kept it just enough to finish. Good portrayal of a different society that is little known. Connected most with Ruthie, even though I liked Doe.
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Judy Blundell has a reputation as a top-notch storyteller. Her latest novel, "The High Season," is another example of her ability to translate feelings into words.  The struggles of Ruthie Beamish seem so real! Can you imagine having to rent out your home just to make the payments? Letting the rich and famous into your home as you and your daughter move into a friend's pool house for the summer? While it seems so foreign, Blundell makes it seem believable. Ruthie's job at a local art museum puts her smack into the oncoming traffic of those who live in excess. Those extravagant lives cost Ruthie dearly in more ways than one. Kick back with a glass or two of wine and enjoy Blundell's pages filled with quirkiness, gossip, romance and excitement.

ARC provided by NetGalley
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Ruthie has the perfect house in a popular vacation town, but she has to rent it out every summer just to keep it. She has an amazing job at the local art gallery, but the politics involved in keeping the job are becoming too much. What will Ruthie do to keep her house and all that she's worked hard for? Told between Ruthie's, her daughter, Jen's, and her co-worker Doe's points of view, this is a great summer read. Blundell has the ability to create characters who are actually human, with faults that you recognize and empathize with.
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Every summer Ruthie Beamish and her family have to move. Ruthie's husband Mike inherited a beach house that they have painstakingly restored, but the only way they can afford to live there is by renting out the house during The High Season.  They have been doing this for years and it is never easy to leave the home they love so much and this year is no different. Except it is.  Ruthie and Mike are separated and delaying a divorce, just because of financial reasons.  Their fifteen-year-old daughter, Jem, is at that age that she is realizing just how different her artsy family is from the rest of the teens on the Northfork.  And this year, instead of weeks of different anonymous families, their home is being rented by somebody they know.  Adeline Clay is the widow of a wealthy, famous artist that Ruthie used to work for a million years ago.  But this year is also different because Mike has allegedly fallen in love with Adeline Clay and Ruthie loses her job as director for the local art gallery.  As the summer unwinds, Ruthie feels like her life is spinning out of control and lets her anger drive her actions in uncharacteristic ways.  

The High Season is the summer beach reads from the other side.  It is told from the perspective of a local woman and her family trying to make it through another summer of being forced from the home they all love. Every year a new crop of "Beach Reads" hits the market, often set in oceanside communities in beachside homes that we can only dream of visiting.  We never think about the people that actually live in those homes, in those communities.  You can sense the resentment in Ruthie for having to give up her home for the best months of the year, but she does it so she can remain living the illusion that her family has money and belongs in the community. I liked Ruthie.  Even when she lets her emotions over her job loss and Mike's new relationship get the better of her.  Everything about her seems so authentic, even her bad decisions seemed authentic.  Her relationship with Mike seemed "too good to be true" and her reaction to him dating Adeline was just about right.  There was a considerable amount of drama before the end of summer, but in the end, I think things worked out the right way. - CLICK HERE FOR SPOILERS -

Bottom Line -  Today is the official start of the summer season and The High Season is most definitely one that you should add to your list.   The characters are so well written and the emotions so defined that it will feel like you are right in Orient with the Beamish family.

Details:
The High Season by Judy Blundell
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Pages: 416
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication Date: 5/22/18
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A great twist on the stereotypical beach read. I’ll enthusiastically recommend this to fans of Elin Hilderbrand, etc.
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Thank you to #NetGalley and #Random House for this book.

I could not connect to any of the characters in this book. It seemed to be about a bunch of rich snobs who didn’t really care about anyone. That tends to be realistic for the very rich but in a book I expect to like the characters and the secondary characters. At least one of them. Not so in this one. I felt bad for the owner but she was still not likable. 

I’m sorry but this book gets one star from me. I will try more books by this author. Or at least one more before I make up my mind whether I like her writing or not.
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Summer reading to me should be enjoyable lighter fare that takes you away to a coastal location with interesting charcters. This book meets my criteria for all of the above. It is not your usual summer reading, the author steps into the subterfuge of stalking, of the vapid innate useless  rich and of the empty lives they lead. 

But at the heart of this book is the location, coastal Hampton's in the summer and all that implies. I found it 
surprising and more so that I did not like the charcters at all due to their inexplicable narcissistic attitude.  The heart of the book is the location. and for summer reading I found that interesting but I could not connect with the wealthy or relate to them in any way.
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So many people...in an area that is filled with people who actually live there, brings conflict & confusion in a setting of beautiful beach & ocean. The reader will be drawn into the emotions of having way too many personalities infilterating an area that should be quiet and calm, and the sometime snobby elitism that comes from characters who resent the invasion of high season visitors.
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Solid vacation read but it made me a little sad for the home owner

Free copy from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Every summer, Ruthie and her daughter Jem must exile themselves from their home in a Hamptons-adjacent village on Long Island, vacating so that summer renters can take up residence—this arrangement is the only way Ruthie and her almost-ex (Mike) can afford to keep their lovingly-restored house. This summer, on the day the glamorous new renter arrives and catches Mike's eye, Ruthie finds out that her beloved job as the director of a small museum in the village is at risk because of a power-hungry board member’s scheming. 15-year-old Jem is on the outs with an unkind friend, as well as with the girls she shoved aside in pursuit of popularity. And Ruthie’s enigmatic employee Doe, an upstart with a fabricated resume, is desperate to find her way into the inner circle of the wealthy summer crowd and increase the follower count of her gossipy, anonymous Instagram account.

Are you sensing a theme? This is a novel about outsiders who disrupt the world in which they’ve been trying to gain a foothold. The writing is lovely, and the depth of Blundell’s character development elevates this beyond the realm of the typical dishy beach read (those can be great, too! But this has all the fun, plus a dash more substance).

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a digital galley in exchange for an honest review.
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When I picked this up I thought it would be a tense, dark summer thriller. But it wasn’t at all! It was more in line with books like The Nest and even Big Little Lies. Darkly comic with some serious undercurrents, super interesting and likable and well drawn characters.
I enjoyed this book so much! I read it during a busy time at my house with people visiting us. I would only have time to read it late at night before sleeping and every single time I started it, I stayed up way too late because I didn’t want to stop reading!
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This book felt like the first season of Game of Thrones, or one of those movies with a holiday name and quick appearances from 100 actors. There were SO many characters in this book! at times, I felt like I needed a flow chart to keep them straight. After a few chapters, I started to get it down more. 

An interesting summer read!

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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