Jun 12, 2012

Review: Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews (Audio Version)

I have been a fan of Mary Kay Andrews' books since way back...SAVANNAH BLUES, and SAVANNAH BREEZE being two of my favorites, so naturally, when she comes out with a new one, I definitely read it. This time, with SUMMER RENTAL, I decided to listen instead. I was already reading a couple printed books and I was looking for something to listen to while cleaning the house and so forth. Besides, now that summer is here, I thought it was the perfect time for this book.

About The Book -
SUMMER RENTAL is the story of three thirty-something women who have been friends since they attended Catholic school together back home in Savannah when they were girls. Dorie still lives in Savannah and teaches at the school, Julia, a model, lives in London with her successful boyfriend and Ellis has been in banking for over a decade while living in Pittsburgh. Though each of them have had successes in there lives, they have each come to a crossroad where decisions must be made for their futures.

The girls have rented a house on the Outer Banks of North Carolina to spend the month of August and thanks to Ellis doing all the research and contacting the landlord, Mr. Culpepper, there is only one set-back. Dorie's older sister was supposed to come but cancelled at the last possible minute, so its costing a bit more for each of the girls. This really nags at Ellis, since she's just been laid off from her job at the bank and worries that her severance pay will only go so far. Dorie soon solves the rent problem when she meets a young woman from New Jersey at a diner and impulsively invites her to rent the bedroom on the top floor, promising privacy, which seemed to be very important to the woman.

As the days go by, it becomes apparent that not everyone staying at the beach house is being forthcoming about their lives. Ellis can't even get Mr. Culpepper to respond to her many emails about the guy living in the apartment above the garage that they share who calls himself Ty Bazemore.  Dorie, Julia and Ellis confide in each other about the changes taking place in their lives, but they still know nothing about Meredith, the girl from New Jersey and its making Julia uneasy considering she's living with them. Finally, Julia breaks into Meredith's room one day and what she finds gives the girls every reason to worry, so they decide to confront Meredith with what they've found.

My Thoughts:

Let me start with the narration of this book. Hands down, it is great. Not everyone can pull off a true Southern accent and Isabel Keating does a fabulous job. She expertly manipulates her voice to distinguish between each  of the characters and it is flawless. She has done the narrations for many of Mary Kay's books but this is the first one for me. There were a few times, though, that I felt she over-pronounced a few words but thankfully, that only happened a few times, so I can easily overlook that.

As for the story, I thought the premise was good and with the backgrounds of the women, had the potential to be very interesting. Unfortunately, I felt it fell a little short of my expectations. Without giving too much away, the part concerning Ellis and her love interest was a bit too predictable for me and honestly, a little fairy-tale-ish. I'm sorry, I guess I'm just a pessimist, but I don't know many good-looking young men, who work as a bartender at a hoppin nightclub that falls in love with a woman the first day he meets her and is ready to change his whole life for her! Really?? C'mon!!! I realize this is fiction, but . . . On the other hand, maybe thats why I choose to stay away from romance novels. I'm more of a realist than that.

That being said, I just wish that Ms. Andrews would have dug a little deeper and come up with some really good content and maybe a few surprises along the way. And believe me, that is very hard for me to say because I have been such a fan of hers for so many years. Maybe a few less storylines would have allowed the more prevalent ones to shine through.

I really wanted to love this book and it pains me because I didn't. But that doesn't mean it won't appeal to readers who really enjoy escapist or chic-lit novels.  As for me, my tastes change and evolve and maybe I'm now leaning more towards different types of books. But that doesn't mean I am not a Mary Kay Andrews fan anymore. I know she just released a new book, SPRING FEVER, and I will read it just like all her previous books and I hope you will too.

SUMMER RENTAL(Audio Verson - Audible.com)
Author: Mary Kay Andrews
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Published: August 2011
Length: 14h 46m
Narration: 4 out of 5 Stars
Story: 3 out of 5 Stars


  1. I can see how you wanted her to dig a little deeper. Books like these tend to skim the surface and not go too deep, but they are usually enjoyable nonetheless.

    When you mentioned the Outer Banks I ooohed and ahhhed.

  2. I enjoyed this audio and completely agree that the performer was great!

  3. I'm a stickler for Southern accents in audio so it's good to know Isabel Keating does a good job with them. Sorry the book didn't wow you.

  4. I loved Deep Dish so I've been wanting to read more by this author. I think I'll read some of her others first. Great review!

  5. I'm steering clear of audio books for this author's books but I have read one and really liked it. Knowing that it is a bit fairy-taleish will be something I remember if I pick it up to read! Loved your review!

  6. I read this last summer and enjoyed it. Like you, I thought it could have been better, but a decent fun read. My facorite MKA book is Blue Christmas - adorable story. If you haven't read it, you really should. Thanks for the review.


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