THE SUMMERTIME GIRLS by Laura Hankin, showcases the friendship of Ally and Beth who have been BFF’s since childhood. But they’ve managed to become distant. Whose fault is it? Is it Ally’s fault for giving precedence to her relationship with Tom, or, is it Beth’s?
When Beth’s 80 something grandmother needs help downsizing from her large home on the coast of Maine, she asks both Beth and Ally to come stay with her. So Beth reluctantly reaches out to Ally who’s been living in NYC and trying to get a singing and songwriting career off its feet. Ally, no longer with Tom, is free to join up for the trip, so off they go.
Initially, I was afraid this novel would be too much about two much younger women who were into music and not much else, but it quickly became much more than that.
I felt for Beth’s grandmother as she cleans out her home of more than fifty years to go live in a home for older people. And when her adult children sell her car out from under her, I was actually mad as hell. Getting old is difficult enough let alone when your children start treating you like a child.
There is so much more lurking within the lives of these people Beth is struggling with something just under the surface that we are eager to learn more about. Her recent year long stay in Haiti is somewhat of a mystery tour. And, then there’s Ally’s break up with Tom and how she’s going to turn her life around. And, of course. how is Beth’s grandmother going to fit into her new life?
The writing is compelling. The story is too. What a great summertime read. It’s hard to believe that THE SUMMERTIME GIRLS is Hankin’s debut novel. She’s been published in The Washington Post and has written for numerous websites. I see a long writing career ahead of her.
My review copy came from Berkley Books. Thanks so much.