The High Season

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 23 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

High Season was exactly the book for me over the weekend. It filled the same niche for me as The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews and The Vacationers by Emma Straub, so if that's what you're in the mood for you might like this. The story isn't like those books, but shares the family drama and mostly rich folks in a summer setting. I did really like the way the author talks about class and wealth, and I enjoyed the interconnected stories of the various characters. 
There is definitely a protagonist in Ruthie, the local museum director who, with her husband Mike (separated for years but not divorced and "best friends") and teenage daughter Jem, rents out her seaside home every summer to the wealthier folks who prefer her village to the Hamptons. Even though Ruthie is the main focus, we also get to know her coworkers, especially Doe (museum social media manager), 15-year-old Jem, one of the famous artists in the area and his daughter, and a few of Ruthie's friends. I enjoyed this ensemble and their interconnected stories and the ways they affected one another without even knowing it.
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I received an Advanced Reader Copy from NetGalley for my unbiased opinion of the book. This is a story about Ruthie Beamish who must give up her home in the high season to finance its upkeep the rest of the year.  It took me a bit to get into this story, but once all the key characters were introduced the story flew.  If you like a book that has intrigue, first love, old love, mystery, getting rid of bs in your life, and seeing clearly, this is the book for you.  I loved how the author wrapped it all up in the surprising ending.  I cannot wait to read it again!
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I rated this book a 3.75/5 only because I wasn't on vacation or on the beach when I read it.

The novel begins, with the main characters (a divorced couple & teenage daughter) packaging up there home in the Hamptons for an out-of-town guest (your basic Air B&B). When the guests arrive, the shenanigans begin!! There are a host of side characters that you will meet and become fond of or not!

All and all, this is a pretty good story about coming of age and moving on. I kept visualizing the movie, The Secret of My Success (Michael J. Fox), while reading the book. I guess, it just reminded me of how misrepresentations of yourself can have good and bad consequences.

I do recommend giving this book a read, while on the beach or at least by the pool this summer! 😊
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As a fan of Judy Blundell's YA books, I was really excited for this, and it did not disappoint! The perfect summer read, with engaging characters that completely draw you in. I'm now ready for a beach vacation!
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Great novel on moving forward and accepting life's challenges and changes.  I loved Ruthie and her realness.
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Awesome fun book. Definitely pick this up and be prepared to be entertained. Loved the snarky quirky plot and characters that you can relate to.. Happy reading!
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Honestly? I had a hard time reading this book. I couldn't relate to the characters at all. Their dramas all seemed so superficial, and for the first half of the book, I couldn't even connect to the story, or remember who was whom. I confess that I almost abandoned the reading, but then I decided to keep going. I reconnected to the story more towards the end, and it turns out that it actually becomes interesting after the first half. Things start to happen. And you kind of start understanding how all the characters connect to each other, in a way that makes sense. This might be a nice light reading for the Summer, but maybe you will enjoy more if you are familiar with the area where the story takes place (Hamptons, North Fork, New York), or the field where most of the characters seem to belong to (Arts).
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Summer in a Wealthy Long Island Beach Colony

Ruthie Beamish loves her house on the Long Island shore near the Hamptons. She’s used her creative energy to turn the house into a showplace. Unfortunately, she, her daughter, Jem, and ex-husband, Mike, can’t enjoy the house during the beach season. In-order to afford to live in the house the rest of the year, they have to move out and rent it to a wealthier tenant. 

The summer starts well. The house is rented for the entire season. Adeline Clay, widow of a famous painter, and her son, Lucas, have taken the house for the whole summer. In addition, Ruthie and Jem have been invited to stay in the guest house on a friend’s estate. 

As soon as Adeline arrives, things start to go awry. Adeline flits shamelessly with Mike. Ruthie tells herself she shouldn’t mind. They’re divorced after all, but as Adeline usurps more of Ruthie’s life, she becomes angry. To top it off, her job as a museum director is threatened by a staff coup. No job, no house, no husband. It’s shaping up to be a very difficult summer for Ruthie.

This book is overflowing with plot and characters.  At least three plot lines are woven through the book, one told mostly in emails. If you enjoy reading about very rich, beautiful, nasty people, they’re abundant. None of the summer people are very nice and Ruthie succumbs to the temptation to act as badly as they do. 

This book is primarily about Ruthie’s metamorphosis. I couldn’t blame her with all the obstacles thrown at her in the summer, but I didn’t care much for the way she handled them. The descriptions of the house, town, and beach were delightful: the characters not so much so. They’re greedy, narcissistic, and generally unpleasant. Still, it’s an interesting book to take to the beach.   

I received this book from Net Galley for this review.
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I really enjoyed this book. It is a perfect summer read. I wish I could have read it while sitting on the beach but alas I did not. Luckily the book transported me to the beach and the lovely town of Orient. Some parts of the book seemed a little like young adult fiction with the text messages and emails while most of the chapters felt more like an adult novel. I think people 15 and up will enjoy this one.  I am craving seafood now, even oysters which I am not usually a fan of but this book made them sound delicious.  This book is reminiscent of Elin Hilderbrand and Dorothea Benton Frank but Blundell definitely has a unique and lyrical voice of her own. I look forward to reading more books by her.
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4.25 Beachy Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟.25

This book was a beach vacation without the sand🏖 it was definitely not a “summer bummer...“ that’s how Jem referred to the fact that they had to move out of their house in the summer, in the high season....

This book was about the rich and the privileged... and a lovely village in the north fork of Long Island.... geography lesson (I did not know this before this book) the Hamptons are on the south fork of Long Island and this charming village was on the North Fork... A village filled with farmstands and charming museums...  where the rich vacation in the summer.... sometimes it’s nice to read a book that allows you to escape reality... because some of the characters are not living in the same reality that you are... but don’t worry this is not a book about snobby rich people, in fact the most important characters in this book are not rich...

Ruthie, loved her! Now Ruthy really had a” summer bummer...” you know that saying ,”kick them when their down!”? That was pretty much her summer, she could not catch a break... but she found out who her true friends were, and she grew a lot... Ruthie was such a likable and relatable character... she was a mother, she was a friend, and she knew what it was like to earn a dollar....Jem, Ruthie’s teenage daughter was also a very likable character... The author did a very good job with the teenage angst....

Absolutely recommend as a summer read whether you are on the beach or not...

*** thank you so much to the publisher and Net Galley for a copy of this beachy book ***
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This book might be fun to read for pleasure on the beach but also I found it to be a bit depressing and it just wasn’t my cup of tea.
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I expected a quick beach read, and it was compulsively readable.  I couldn't wait to figure out where Ruthie's life would take her, what Doe would do next, how the character of Lucas would play out.  There was such a conflicting narrative about wealth and happiness in it, though, that I can't stop thinking about it.  After reading it, half of me wants to move to a farm in Nebraska with a sampler on the wall that says, "The Love of Money is the Root of All Evil."  The other half of me yearns for the life Doe experiences: "This summer in the Mantis house she'd learned what ultimate safety really meant. Not safety from big things like death or accidents or cancer --that happened to everybody--but safety from the small things that could pile up and crush you.  Blown fuses, cracked engine blocks, broken appliances, rent hikes.  You never had to remember to buy toilet paper or coffee or even gas for the car... Shampoo bottles were always full, and the soap--scented, thick, the color of honey--never diminished to a latherless disk.  You were safe from the tedium of washing a shower curtain.  It was a lovely way to live."

The characters were just as complex as my reactions to the lifestyles portrayed in the book.  There were no saints in this book (although there were quite a few one-dimensional villains), but the people portrayed were at times wise, then stupid; crazy, then eminently sane.  While not wrapping things up too tidily, there was enough of a happy ending to justify my beach-read love.  All in all, I will be recommending this book to others!
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Thanks so much to NetGalley, Random House and Judy Bludell for the opportunity to read her first adult novel - a great summer beach read!

Set in what sounds like the perfect quiet beach town a few ferry rides away from the Hamptons, this is a gossipy story of one family's life during the summer.  Mike and Ruthie were both struggling artists in NYC. with baby Jem.  After 9/11, when they inherited an old house near the Hamptons, they decided to uproot their world.  The marriage didn't last but they remained friends and never legalized the divorce.  They redid the house but in order to afford the lifestyle, they had to rent it out for the summer season.  Enter Adeline Clay - the ex-wife of Ruthie's old boss, hugely wealthy who swoops in to rent the house while Ruthie and Jem move to a friend's guest home.

This is certainly a book about class differences, longing to fit in, along with lots of family issues.  But it's a fun read and makes you think about change in our life - even when forced on us, many times it's for the best.  Thoroughly enjoyable summer read!
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Such a beautiful cover, get's you all excited for a story set at the beach. Unfortunately the book wasn't as good as I'd hoped, I felt like there were character's that didn't need so much plot and others that needed more. The main character goes through a really hard time, losing her job, her daughter is distant, and her ex husband who claims they should talk about getting back together, falls in love with the rich lady renting there home for the summer. That sounds like a good plot right? I feel like the author should have taken advantage of this relationship and made the story a little jucier, and saved us all by giving us more meat when it comes to Ruthie and her ex boyfriend Jo who reappers at just the right time. I really wanted to like it, and even though several times I thought of giving up, I pushed through always hoping it would get better.
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I struggled with this one. In the beginning, we were bombarded with snippets of so many different characters that I wasn’t able to connect to any of them enough to hold my interest. I was reading an advanced copy of this book & had it not been for that , I honestly don’t think I would have pushed through.
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A beach book for grownups!  OMgosh, Ruthie.  If you can't feel Ruthie when she discovers what has been done to her, well, you haven't been back stabbed or betrayed.  Blundell totally captures the anguish of a woman facing and then dealing with total upheaval in her professional and personal lives.  I was so sympathetic and completely understood her magnificent act of rage.  Doe is a wonderful character and I loved how Blundell spooled out her story.  Ruthie's daughter Jem, her ex Mike, Adeline (hmm), and Lucas (watch him!), all of them are very real.  I know some might see this as a story of privilege on Long Island but it's a universal story. Yes there's a lot of money but note how Blundell plays that against Ruthie.  Thanks to the publisher for the ARC.  I very much enjoyed this and will recommend to others.
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This was my first Blundell book and I doubt I will read another. The plot was almost non-existent and the characters were extremely dull... I did not care for any of them. This book is about rich people problems while on summer vacay. One good thing is that the writing is pretty fantastic, but unfortunately this book as a whole did not work for me.
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Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of Judy Blundell’s newest novel.

I love almost books set in a beach town, especially ones that get you excited for a fun summer ahead. However, this book completely missed the mark for me. The plot seemed really interesting and I liked the idea of a year round person unable to afford summer prices. Yet there was not a single person that you could root for; of the 50 characters in this book, not one was likable. It was very hard to keep the names straight and I thought the location changed a lot too. I also thought this book read very slow and I really needed to force myself to finish.
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Debbie Krenzer's review May 15, 2018  ·  edit
really liked it
bookshelves: ebooks, net-galley-books 

Amazingly, this was my first book by Judy Blundell. I had no idea that she did the Star Wars book series. Although not really my genre. However, this is her first adult novel, so that definitely explains it. 

This book, wow! I have never seen so many snarky, greedy, narcissistic and shady characters all in one book. Some of these people were downright vicious! And the mercilessness and attitude of some of them was downright incorrigible!

However, I really did enjoy reading this book. The main character, Ruthie (seriously?), got on my nerves some but it wasn't to the extent that I wanted to slap her or anything like I did with some of the other characters.

I would like to see a follow up to this book wherein Lucas (??) ends up hanging by his balls. Or maybe just down and out with no money, home, job, family, life, etc. Possibly living on the streets would be good for him. What an entitled A$$ he was! And Mindy and Cartha (Carta??) could hang with him on the streets with all the garbage as well. HA!

While many of the characters were irksome and Ruthie could get on my nerves, I enjoyed rooting for her against all these loathsome snobs.

As for a beach read? You don't need a beach for this read. Just get the hardcover, remove the cover and look at it during your reading. It's beautiful!

I was very disappointed I could not have those salted caramel cookies shipped to me from the Orient Country Grocery. And yes, I checked. HA!!

A really entertaining read that had me absorbed in this town near the Hamptons and all it's inhabitants. 

Thanks to Random House Publishing and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
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Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion. 

I really wanted to like this book, The plot is up my beach reading loving alley -- all about summer on eastern Long Island where the locals and summer people interact... but it left much to be desired. 

There were too many characters to learn and it was slow at the beginning, once we started learning more about the characters there was nothing to like about them. Also the plotline between the daughter and the older guy -- not well done.  I struggled through finishing this book.
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