The High Season

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 23 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

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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If I hadn't read it now, this is just the sort of read I'd be looking to take along when I head off to our beach destination in summer. I enjoy books about communities that are tony vacation or resort havens. My mother in law lives in one year round and used to live in an one adjacent that was likely sleepy some time before I was born but is rapidly building on seemingly every scrap of available grass and dune. It's remarkable to see a place change with the influx of new business and real estate opportunities. As some of The High Season characters point out throughout the book "Everything changes" and this book is to be commended on showing that well with the positives and negatives. I'm always interested in seeing how locales strike the balance of retaining the things that made it attractive to new residents and business without monetizing to the point that all the charm is lost that attracted people in the first place and the actual full time residents are priced out of living there in any season, not just the off.

Here, we meet Ruthie who experiences a summer in which upon realizing that she's become superfluous in her own life contemplates some desperate measures to hold on to it. She actually undertakes one of them and as appalled as I was about her decision, I couldn't stop reading to see how it would play out. I did find some of her naivete annoying especially with regard to what was happening with the coup being staged at The Belfry and the situation between Mike and Adeline. Still, I was pulling for her to wake up and exercise her own agency. Happily, she does eventually and that made for a nice result. I wasn't clear on why or when exactly she'd lost her voice (it couldn't all be related to having worked for Peter Clay) but I was thrilled when she found it again.

As to other characters who support memorably here, there were some stars. Doe, Lark, Jem, Daniel, Carole, Mindy, Joe and the vintage Patek Phillipe (who did so much without saying a word). Not all were likable but they were pivotal in their way. Doe, the young social media content curator, has a very well done parallel story going on that bumps up against, transverses and dovetail's Ruthie's throughout. She's the ruthless cynic to Ruthie's wide eyed wonder. Lark was one of my favorites and I was pleased with her resolution. Jem, Ruthie's daughter had a story that while not surprising in trajectory or resolution, was well done. For every email she wrote and didn't send to her BFF who'd moved away, I was chanting for her to reconnect. Daniel, the moneyed titan and father of Lark, proved to be a most effective prime mover. The sort that you never saw making the moves in the first place. He wins for patience and capitalizing on the tools who presented themselves to him (in this case, people who were so blinded by their own craven agenda they didn't realize that they were pawns in an ever bigger one). His thread, in particular, was interesting.

There were also some characters who didn't make much of an impression but the two most important and disappointing were Mike and Adeline. Mike's characterisation seemed very thin and truly the most memorable thing I'll take away about him is the moment Ruthie is adamant that he can't possibly be at ease around Adeline's crowd. This didn't make sense to me because it had already been established that Mike came from a moneyed family that had simply run out of it but still retained all the attitudes and characteristics. Of course he was comfortable around Adeline and her cohort, they're his tribe! Ruthie never was and no matter her unease, Mike was right at home. Adeline was a bit better drawn but not much. Even with the background given, I never got much of a sense of her. I wish I had on both because so much in this book is quite well done, but perhaps there wasn't time. 

I'd recommend this and I look forward to the next by Blundell (this was my first by her). Definitely take this one vacation.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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Too much drama. I felt like I was there, on Long Island, and a part of all the  drama. Each character had at least a couple of stressors and it seemed kike everyone was causing or getting stress from everyone else, so it was time to put it down. No book is worth it.
Thank you NetGalley for the chance to read an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Ah, The Hamptons. Where summer is a forever season, dinner parties are presented under shady trees, the wines are exquisite, the women are slender, and the men wear watches worth as much as a house. 

Not everyone on Long Island lives in the Hamptons. Some live on the quieter, more bucolic towns on the North Folk. This is where Ruth Beamish lives, for most of the year. Ruth, who used to be an accomplished flirt, is now a mother, estranged from her husband, and she’s a non-profit art museum director. She’s the main character. Too bad she’s so unlikeable.

We meet plenty of other paper doll characters in this book; so many I consigned them to their respective categories: rich board member, richer socialite, lowly employee. I’m sure many of the crème de la crème would be horrified to hear that! And I’m a capitalist- I have nothing against money- but these people didn’t interest me at all.

Thank goodness for Doe, a striving climber, who creates a new script for her life where ever she moves. Social media is her golden ticket. She has a pleasing, positive way about her, and many layers, too. She should have been the main character.

The author is an accomplished bestselling writer and wordsmith. And I highlighted many creative words, phrases, description that dazzled me. But, again, these words seemed just like the glitz that shields and protects the inhabitants of “The High Season”. I couldn’t relate. I do recommend this book, as the art world and life in the Hamptons had its fascinating moments. 

Thank you so much to Random House and Netgalley for an ARC.
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I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  From the publisher --- 
“A shimmering story of art, money, and celebrity, The High Season is wicked summer fun.”—Helen Simonson, New York Times bestselling author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand
Ruthie has the perfect life. She just has to give it up every summer.
No matter what the world throws her way, at least Ruthie Beamish has the house. Lovingly renovated, located by the sea in a quiet Long Island village two ferry rides from the glitzier Hamptons, the house is her nest egg—the retirement account shared with her ex-husband, Mike, and the college fund for their teenage daughter, Jem. The catch? To afford the house, Ruthie must let it go during the best part of the year.
It’s Memorial Day weekend and Ruthie has packed up their belongings for what Jem calls “the summer bummer”: the family’s annual exodus to make way for renters. This year, the Hamptons set has arrived. Adeline Clay is elegant, connected, and accompanied by a “gorgeous satellite” stepson.
The widow of a blue-chip artist, living in a world defined by luxury and ease, Adeline demonstrates an uncanny ability to help herself to Ruthie’s life. Is Adeline just being her fabulous self, or is she out to take what she wants?
When an eccentric billionaire, his wayward daughter, a coterie of social climbers, and Ruthie’s old flame are thrown into the mix, the entire town finds itself on the verge of tumultuous change. By the end of one unhinged, unforgettable summer, nothing will be the same—least of all Ruthie.
In a novel packed with indelible characters, crackling wit, and upstairs/downstairs drama, Judy Blundell emerges as a voice for all seasons—a wry and original storyteller who knows how the most disruptive events in our lives can twist endings into new beginnings.

An EXCELLENT beach read book --- and it makes me miss not going to Cape May this OFF season.  The characters are loveable and funny and wicked at the same time: I found the book easy to get into and totally enjoyable as I wondered what calamity and disaster were going to make me tear up or laugh out loud NEXT. Great read!
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The elitist of the Hamptons come on down as we celebrate how to one up each other as the key to fame.
Perhaps if I was wealthier and not bankrupt I could get into all the glitter, glitz, and glam but for me it just fell short. 
Those who focus on material possessions as achieving fame wind up in the end seeking outsiders to applaud them and for me I don't seek applause I work for a cause. When the possessions are long gone you need to have internal peace, tranquility, happiness and a legacy to leave that doesn't center upon one's wealth but rather one's character. Life is about being selfless in giving freely to help and be of service to others not selfish for the me, me, me generation. 
Ruthie is set in her ways and is thrilled she received the house as her nest egg but not so happy to have to rent it out during peak holidays to vacationers to afford the rent. 
Plenty of characters to keep a variety going but I just wasn't having it. 
Thank you Judy , the publisher, NetGalley, and Aldiko for this ARC e-read.
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The High Season is the perfect summer or beach read. Set in Orient, North Folk, New York, Ruthie and Mike are a long-married couple who are separated and have a 15 year old daughter, Jem. The story begins before the "high season" in North Folk - just shy of The Hamptons, the more desirable zip code and summer stay location. Ruth is the director of a small historical museum and Mike is a carpenter. They are legally separated, but still live together for the sake of Jem and their financial situation. In the summer, they abandon their home to rent to the summer people, in order to have enough money to pay annual taxes. When wealthy widow Adeline Clay and her step-son, Lucas, arrive as the renters of Ruthie and Mike's house, things quickly start to go south for Ruthie. She loses her job at the museum, her daughter starts a flirtation with the despicable 23 year old Lucas and Mike ends up falling in love she wishes he wouldn't have. The High Season is fun, witty and shows the life of wealthy folks and their "struggles." The book is a bit slow for the first quarter of the story but quickly picks up and is difficult to put down after that. As I said, a great summer/beach read.
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Definitely a beach read!  It was hard to keep up with who was speaking and when in the dialogue.  The story itself was just ok but I feel like I’ve heard it before.
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Enjoyable summer read, but I found some of the situations the characters are in seem contrived.  For example Ruth's rage, her painting and Lark's becoming the museum director. Also, the characters are either good or bad. 
However, it did keep me reading.
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I'm not an art person. My drawings still look like a small child scribbled them out in 5 minutes and I can't really tell a Van Gogh from a Pollack (I can but you know what I mean). Art is just not my creative world so much of the novel went over my head.

Ruthie - she's a good mom. Mike - he's a douche bag. Jem is a normal 15 year old, angst and all but the whole thing with Lucas is just horrid.
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Entertaining beach read.  Definitely did not defy convention in any way, but enjoyable.
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I am probably going to get a lot of disagreements with this review but sorry I am asked to be honest.

I somewhat liked this book but not really.  I felt it was a rich against the poor book.  The poor family moves out of their house every summer so the rich people can move in and then the bills are paid for the next winter.  The young daughter falls for the rich ladies son even though he treats her like crap.  The high and mighty ladies on the museum board go behind Ruthie’s back to get her off the board and even Ruthie”s friend Carole can’t help because she is vacationing in Paris for the summer.

The story continues like that throughout the book and the poor do triumph in the end but to me it was a little to much on the oh I hope to get invited to that high end party or my world will be shattered forever.

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Unable to connect to story but no fault of author just constraints of time. Forgive me.
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Mike inherited a house in a small town he and his wife Ruthie couldn't afford,   Ruthie became the manager of a small museum and Mike did handy work.   To pay the bills they rented it out every summer.  One summer a rich divorced  lady, Adeline, rented it.     She called upon Mike to fix several things around the house and they ended up falling in Love.    His marriage to Ruthie was already over but because of their daughter Jem, they had remained close.   To complicate matters Adeline has a 'spoiled' son in his early 20's who starts persuing  Jem, 15 years of age, and  Ruthie's job is in danger..    Although many of the outcomes are predictable, Judy Blundell keeps the reader engrossed in the story.  A very good read.
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Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC of this book! It definitely qualifies as a great summer read. It takes place near the Hamptons and just reading about the summer Home and summer life makes me want summer more. It was hard to keep up with the constant changing of characters, but in the end I figured it all out. I would read more by this author as she has a great story to tell in her book!
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What a breathe of fresh beachy air!! This is definitely what the book doctor ordered for Kendall ;)

The High Season by Judy Blundell is a funny and quirky novel with just the right amount of gossip!

Ruthie Beamish has the perfect life... living in a cute beach town located close to the famous Hamptons. Ruthie lives in a world of money, class, and glamour. What more can she ask for? Director of a high-class museum, mother of a sassy 15. year old, and living in the house that is everyone's dream. The catch? In order to afford this high class home, Ruthie, her ex-husband Mike, and daughter Jem have to rent out their home every summer to tenants in order to afford the luxury. 
It's Memorial Day weekend and boy... here comes the new renters from Hamptons. Meet the renters:  Adeline Clay who is the widow of a well known famous artist Peter Clay and her twenty three year old sexy stepson Lucas. 

All of a sudden Ruthie's world starts to turn upside down. This mysterious billionaire Adeline Clay is pushing herself into Ruthie's life and taking over..... She's losing her job? The home of her dreams is being sold under her feet? And strings are starting to unravel with her family.  

Judy Blundell is such an amazing storyteller! I was laughing at the sarcasm and wit to her sense of style!!  Characterization was flawless and made this story. I loved Ruthie's character the most and she was hilarious! 

Here are some of my favorite quotes " Your own familiar image could be a frightening thing."   
                                                                   "Don't shovel bullshit if you're not a farmer." 

I loved how Judy portrays class so well in this novel.  I felt this quote sums it up so well ""He wasn't a good-looking man, but he was a billionaire, so everyone and everything was available to him, and everything about him said that he knew it."  Don't we all know.... someone things to come you on a silver platter when you have money. 

I highly recommend this one! It doesn't have to be a summer day with his gem. It can be storming, sunny, snowing, or hailing. Put this sassy and chic read on your list!

4.25 beachy stars! 

Thank you so much to Random House and Netgalley for an advanced arc in exchange for my honest review. 
Published to GR: 2/1/18
Expected publication date: 5/22/18.
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Oooh, I loved this book!  I'd call it THE perfect beach read, but seeing as how I read it in January and just gobbled it right up, I guess it's simply a great read any time of the year.
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This is not your typical summer beach book, I love a good light beach book ofcourse but there’s something more substantial here. In a way, it’s the opposite of a beach book because the lead character leaves her beach house every summer and rents it out to someone else.

Ruthie has lived in a quiet little town near the Hamptons for years. The only way she can afford her house is by giving it up at the most desirable time of year to own a beach house.
She has a teenage daughter that hates “the summer bummer”.

Ruthie is also still hung up on her estranged husband. When he left her, he wanted to stay friends.  They didn’t legally divorce and Ruthie keeps thinking he’ll realize he’s made a mistake and come back.
I didn’t really like her ex. He seems pretty selfish.

Things are bad for Ruthie at work too. Her boss is trying to push her out so they can go in a new direction with their museum.

When Ruthie’s summer renter moves in, she feels like she’s being pushed out of her own life. Someone wants her job, someone wants her house, someone wants her husband. Life is rough. You can’t help but emphasize for poor Ruthie.

There was a fun little twist that happened about a hundred pages ,or so, into the story. There are a couple wild ideas Ruthie entertains in order to keep her house.

Great story. Likable characters. Unique way of telling a summer vacation story. I liked the way the author wrote. I haven’t read her books before but I’m interested to read more.

I got to read an early e book edition from NetGalley.
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“The High Season” by Judy Blundell is what I’d categorize as a beach read. It is set near the Hamptons and most of the action takes place during the summer season. I enjoyed the characters, but it felt like there were too many subplots going on. Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.
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Another summer, beach read?  No, this is a book that will entrance the reader during all seasons. Taking place in a fictionalized North Fork town, it tells the story of Ruthie Beamish who is shunted from her life, husband and job by the encroaching elites taking over the town. 

Ruthie’s reaction is so wonderfully normal, we feel her rage. Blundell is a gifted writer who paints all the characters with a fine nuanced brush. Few stereotypes here, nobody is all black or white (okay, there are a few baddies).  

Ruthie is a victim of the takeover of her town when the aggressive elites decide to push her out of her beloved museum job in favor of a scheming rival.   At the same time, her daughter is facing the the giant challenge of peer pressure. A young employee copes with her dismal roots as she tries to deal with her identity. 

At the same time, her ex-husband becomes involved with one of the “invaders”.  Coping with all this often makes a novel difficult to follow, but Blundell guides us with care into the interconnected and beautifully crafted plot.  

Best of all, perfect closure and resolution for each character. A very special treat for the beach, library or any chair, just sink in and enjoy.
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