The High Season

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 23 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

Overall I liked The High Season and its strong characters. There were a few undercurrents, though, that were troubling at times, namely Lucas' character and the whines of the wealthy.
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Starts off a little slow but ends up as close to the perfect summer read as possible. Smart, just enough snark, and true observations on the non profit and art worlds. 
I couldn't put it down.
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This book follows Ruthie's summer, as her broken marriage completely falls apart and her job as head of a small museum in the unfashionable part of the Hamptons is ripped away from her by unartistic and non-community minded socialite board members. Other parts of the novel are narrated by her teen daughter Jem and Doe, who works at the museum. The parts about Ruthie's job and the board drama were pretty interesting, but Mike, her husband, didn't work for me as a character and I found his arc bizarre. He starts sleeping with Adeline, a renowned beauty who is renting their house for the summer and who also happens to be the ex-wife of Ruthie's horrible old boss. The boss's son, Lucas, is living with Adeline, and almost nothing about their storyline worked for me. Similarly, almost everything about Doe fell flat for me.

It's weird because this is a novel about the not-rich who live on a playground for the rich, but it had a #richpeopleproblems vibe for me that made it hard to care about anyone. It's hard to find a book compelling when all of the characters are bores.
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Ruthie Beamish lives in the “uncool” northern fork of the Hamptons in a town called Orient, and in order to afford her house, she lets it out each year for the summer. Ruthie and her husband had moved there from New York after 9/11 when her husband inherited a fixer upper. They spent the next several years investing themselves physically and emotionally in this house while raising their daughter, Jem. Both Ruthie and Mike were artists and Ruthie worked for a very famous one in New York whose widow, Adeline Clay, and her reprobate step-son contract to rent her house for the whole season. Also adding to the drama, a billionaire who is Adeline’s lover and has a place in the fashionable South Hamptons, arrives with his daughter to grace the locals with their presence. Ruthie has a house she loves and a job running a museum that means everything to her. Her marriage unraveled about three years ago because her husband decided he was not happy although they ostensibly remain friends. Their daughter, Jem, at fifteen has her own issues going on with school friends and being swept up in the rich folk’s lifestyle once Adeline arrives and takes over not only Ruthie’s house, but seemingly her family too.

As F. Scott Fitzgerald said about, “…the very rich. They are different from you and me.” No kidding, these summer people live in a rarefied atmosphere where they care little for the effect they have on other people’s lives no matter how damaging. With the entitled and spoiled children who seem adrift, these wealthy elites descend on the quaint village expecting everyone to give obeisance. As the summer unfolds, Ruthie’s life unravels when she finds the people once thought to be reliable and genuine are much shallower and more self-absorbed than she had realized. Everything that Ruthie thinks is important in life seems to be wrenched away from her. How she responds and the consequences of her and other’s actions play out of the summer. 

This book is full of some interesting characters who make choices in their lives that result in some significant regrets for some and changes for others. This is one of those books that is difficult to review because the writing is excellent; however, for the most part, the characters range from odious to selfish and some are certainly morally questionable people. At least the main character Ruthie does come to realize what is important in her life and what is not, but not before much craziness ensues. Readers might enjoy this book as character study on the rich and famous especially artists, who have a whole other level elitism, as well as what being a satellite person in their world looks like.
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Thank you to NetGalley for the copy of The High Season in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The High Season is a fun, fast, twisting read perfect for summer vacations on the beach (or spring ones which is when I read Blundell's newest book). The story follows multiple characters over the course of a summer season on a poor man's version of the Hamptons being invaded by the not entirely welcome glitzy New York art crowd. Blundell's characters deal with a variety of social traumas, from open divorces gone wrong to backstabbing teenagers on social media. The novel moves from serious emotion to high flying shenanigans - I won't spoil it because the ending is too fun.
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I got through about 20% of this when I realized I just didn't care and it's not for me. I initially thought this would be more of a beach setting but it's really not which was disappointing and based on the cover kind of misleading. I don't have an interest in the politics of art museums so right there the story lost me. I also had a hard time understanding how people were connected which makes it hard for me to care what they do.
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I was not familiar with author Judy Blundell previous to reading The High Season, but I will certainly be on the look out for her work in the future!

Ruthie Beamish has the perfect house and the perfect life in the perfect beach town. Well, except to afford the perfect house she and her family have to move out and rent during the high season and as for the perfect family, she and her husband Mike are divorced but have remained close friends and co-parents of teenage daughter Jem, and the perfect beach town is starting to become overrun with affluent social climbers but other than that....

During the high season this year the infamous  and very wealthy Adeline Clay, with rogue stepson in tow, is renting Ruthie's house and she might have her eyes set on more than just the house. Ruthie's teenage daughter Jem has a crush on someone, but Ruthie doesn't have time to figure out who as she is mysteriously being pushed out of her job at the art museum, attending parties thrown by billionaires, fighting with her best friend - and oh yeah, her former flame from twenty years prior is back in town.

I loved Ruthie's observations on life and her snark and how all of the subplots of this novel fit together very in the end. If Curtis Sittenfeld and Elin Hilderbrand had a book baby, the result would be The High Season. Look forward to more by Blundell!
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This novel is classified as a summer read, but I just read it over a snowy Saturday in April, and it was just as beachy-feeling. Our protagonist, Ruthie (never Ruth), vacates her Hampton's home every summer to rent out to the rich folk. This summer isn't exactly cataclysmic, but more of a series of cracks in her veneer, all adding up to a complete life change by season's end. The novel was well-paced, the story not original but engrossing all the same. I recommend this novel for any kind of weather, even under a blanket on a snowy day.
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Not everyone means it when they say "it's not you, it's me," but in the case of The High Season it's true. I walked into it expecting a beach read, but I got financial, work, and relationship stress from almost every character. There's a place for that kind of book in my life, but not this week.
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Perfect summer read.   A page turner with many characters that share that summer clique and the outsiders that visit their area for the summer.  The rich and the famous don’t blend very well in this awesome book.
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More than just a great summer read. Moved to tears by the plight of Ruthie, as she sees her life change all in one summer. A glimpse into the life of the ultra rich Hamptons set, but from the North Fork. New Yorkers will relate, but so will mothers, artists, and anyone who recalls how the promised magic of summer can turn hazy right before your eyes.
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I wish I could have finished this faster but work got so busy this week. The book is being compared to The Nest but I luckily don't see much of the comparison other than the theme. This book had a few more likable characters , thankfully for me who did not enjoy The Nest as much as others.
It took a while for things to start coming together for me though. Although every character's subplots were interesting, I was getting sick of reading about them without understanding how and if they connected. This is another reason I didn't finish as quickly. I felt like I was putting the book down much faster than other stories I have read.
Overall, I liked the read. I was interested in the plot and subplots. Many of the characters were likable in their own way, and the ones that were not had very specific reasons to the book (no spoilers here).
There's a quick reference of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" which I adored. There also many other literary references (Alice in Wonderland, Macbeth) . These little connections to the story kept me intrigued and reading because the lack of a major plot had me stalled  until it became more obvious halfway through the book. I was only reading about 20 pages at a time.
I think this will be a big hit for others. I was wanting more of a beach setting. The cover and description is kind of deceiving. It's much more of a book about art that is set at the beach (but nothing else to distinguish the beach). It could have taken place anywhere else and worked. To me it was just okay. I think I am beginning to realize I don't enjoy gossipy women's fiction so much. Then again, I loved Big Little Lies. The review was so hard for me to write. I didn't love it, I didn't hate it, but I don't have much to say. I'll have to ponder on this one a bit more.
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I have an addiction to reading books that are set on islands and can be called beach reads. Instead of Nantucket, The High Season Is set off Long Island. Part of the story is about the beautiful people who throw their money around and make drastic alterations. It's also about inevitable change, entitled snobs who are spineless cowards and easily led, and the beauty of small coastal towns that hold onto their quaintness. The High Season has lots of lows, but evens out in the end.
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Ruthie is hoping for a good summer, she will be making good money for a full summer rental of her house, she has scored a good house sitting arrangement for the summer, she enjoys her job at the local museum, and her divorced but for the legalities ex-husband is hinting at a reconciliation. Almost immediately things go from positive to disastrous and Ruthie find herself in danger of losing everything she loves.
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I received an Advance Reader Copy from NetGalley for review.  Although I wanted to like this book, I just found parts of it so hard to get through. Poor Ruthie Beamish, she does so much for everyone and her life is turned upside down by the events of the novel and especially by her husband's escapades.  She did not deserve what happened in the book and there is one instance that she acted so out of character that I found it completely unbelievable.Actually I found many of the events in this story unbelievable. I did get through it though and that's saying something.
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I received an advance copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. I started this book and just could not finish. I did not like any of the characters.
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I read about a quarter of this and then set it aside because it just didn't hold my attention.
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This is a new author to me. Liked how the main character rents out her beach house. We read about different people and their lives.
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I love a good thriller and while this isn’t your typical thriller book I loved the mysteries that surrounded it.
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The High Season is the first book I read by this author. I love to read “summer beachy books”, and this book was definitely all that!
The main character, Ruthie, had many issues  going on in her life. The setting was on the North Fork of Long Island. You rarely hear about that area. I enjoyed the characters, the issues that had to be resolved, and the summer setting. I would recommend this book to the fans of summer settings.
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