Who says vacation has to be all rest and relaxation…or rest and relaxation at all? The Vacationers examines couples trapped away from home, and reminds us all that it takes more than a trip to escape our problems.
Amity Island is the perfect vacation spot—until a killer shark decides to spend his summer there, as well. The book that inspired the first summer blockbuster is far darker than fans of the film might expect. Be careful when you dip into the tide!
Light in August
Though it doesn’t involve a typical vacation, Faulkner’s classic of the Southern Gothic genre is haunted and charged by the heat of the Alabama summer. Examining race, religion, and violence, Light in August weaves together multiple narratives to create a tragedy that’s still enlightening more than 80 years later.
J. Courtney Sullivan
In J. Courtney Sullivan’s Maine, three generations share joy and strife in one summer beach house. The novel is a sweet and fun ode to family and how summer can be the perfect time to discover what we all mean to one another.
New England summers are ripe for a certain type of satire, of the moneyed families that stroll through the private beaches in the Vineyard, Nantucket, and the Hamptons. In biting, laugh-out-loud prose, Maggie Shipstead’s debut novel sticks it to them all, and delights page by page.
That Old Cape Magic
In That Old Cape Magic, Russo speaks to anyone who has a certain place that somehow moves them, that draws them back, year after year. Though primarily known for his Pulitzer-Prize-Winning odyssey of turmoil, Empire Falls, here Russo lightens the mood and soaks in the sun.
Despite its ominous title, Trouble offers readers a breezy romance that—over the course of three sections—jumps across cities and continents. Always an alluring stylist, Christensen captures the emotional oscillation of her characters with wit and compassion.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
A YA classic, Anne Brashares’ novel reminds its readers that friendship endures across the most intimidating distances, many times in surprising ways. In this case, a pair of pants unites the group of friends, and reminds them of their deeply rooted bonds while they’re scattered for the summer.
Drawing on the cultural and social energy of the ‘70s, as well as the timeless anxiety of youth, Wolitzer’s ninth novel reminds its readers exactly what one might discover at summer camp. Stirring, evocative, and resonant to anyone who has feared being on their own, The Interestings reminds us that even the most terrifying experiences can be filled with wonder.
The Red House
With The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time, Haddon proved his writing to be a vessel for empathy. With Red House, he continues this trend. The Red House is an odyssey of biblical storm fronts and very personal problems, all baking in the sun.