SUMMER AT HIDEAWAY KEY, by Barbara Davis, is just the book to read as your last hurrah for summer reading. The cover itself will pull you away from whatever you’re doing, and off you’ll go, transported to the beach.
SUMMER AT HIDEAWAY KEY, goes back and fort in time. It begins in 1953 with the shocking prologue that will suck you in and keep you involved until the very end. You see, two young girls are being dropped off at a poor farm in Tennessee. ( Yes, poor farms did indeed exist) When their mama stopped the car and pulled the suitcase from the trunk, they were sad enough thinking about settling into yet another place to live. But when “mama” took off and left them behind with strangers, well, that was the beginning of an entire new journey in their short lives. And the beginning of SUMMER AT HIDEAWAY KEY.
Chapter one is set in Manhattan in a law office. It’s 1995; June. Lily is waiting impatiently for the lawyer to be done with his reading of the will. The will being her recently deceased father’s. And what she is hearing surely can not be right. He has left her a beach cottage on the Gulf coast of Florida. One that no one knew he owned. Lily decides to make a detour and visit this place she’s never heard of. So she pushes her business trip to Milan back a little bit, and heads to Florida.
We quickly discover that the cottage directly on the beach once belonged to Lily’s aunt before she left it to her father. Aunt Lily-Mae died earlier in the year. Another mystery. And an aunt with a sullied past, at best. Lily’s mother has never spoken of her sister. Ever. When Lily arrives at the beach cottage she finds a weathered place with rooms filled to the ceiling with boxes bursting with her aunt Lily’s belongings. But one particular carton caught her attention. The box filled with hand-written journals stuck out like a sore thumb calling Lily to it like honey to bees. Once she began reading she could not stop for love nor money.
There is nothing like the mention of a beach house to get me going. My mind is filled with the surf even as I write this. I can be transported to the beach in one breath. So, once this story hit this point, there was no going back for me.
Mystery, romance, tragedy, and family. What a basis for a great novel. Barbara Davis gives you all that and much, much more with SUMMER AT HIDEAWAY KEY. The perfect end of summer read.
My beautiful finished copy came from New American Library, a division of Penguin Random House. I can’t thank them enough!