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The Perfect Summer (Hubbard's Point/Black Hall #4)

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  3,175 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews
Old friendships--and love--make all things new again.

The acclaimed author of Safe Harbor and other New York Times bestsellers returns to the seaside, delving into the heart of a once happy family facing troubled waters.

Bay McCabe relishes life's simple pleasures, her children, her home by the sea. She has never forgotten the values of her Irish granny--the everyday happin
Paperback, 429 pages
Published July 29th 2003 by Bantam Books (first published January 1st 2003)
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Bobbie Savitz This is what I call "Chirpy Suburban Rich White People With a Real Serious Problem" Fiction. I'd rather, as a good friend often says, stick a damn…moreThis is what I call "Chirpy Suburban Rich White People With a Real Serious Problem" Fiction. I'd rather, as a good friend often says, stick a damn shrimp fork in my eye than try and finish this supposed "thriller." When I realized that I didn't care about any of the characters, including the missing husband, I realized it was time to use the book as a door stop. Some people can tell a story, some can't. I don't care how many books this woman has written, she doesn't like in any world I recognize.

I'd say it's a spoiler but I would suggest you can't spoil what's already rotten. Read ANYTHING by Lucy Maud Montgomery if you want a good story. Read Ewan McGregor or Philip Roth or the damn back of a cereal box. Can you tell I HATE this kind of writing? Anne Tyler disappears behind her characters. This woman screams, LOOK I'M SITTING AT MY KEYBOARD IN MY EXPENSIVE HOUSE WRITING BOOKS THAT DOPES JUST GOBBLE UP. I would like to submit some of my stories I wrote when I was 10 and see which you prefer . . . This is not writing, to quote Capote about Kerouac. It's typing.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mar 08, 2015 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Very much enjoyed reading this tale of friendship and being a parent. Of the quest for power and riches. Of the quest for the simple life with all its joys. Of finding people you truly love.
Maria Miaoulis
Sep 13, 2012 Maria Miaoulis rated it it was amazing
When it comes to writing about Irish culture and life along the northeastern coastline, no one does it better than Luanne Rice. The story of widow Bay McCabe and her fatherless children dealing with the aftermath of her husband's embezzlement scheme is absolutely heartbreaking. However, it is inspiring to watch Bay pull the pieces of their broken lives together while somehow trying to heal after years of estrangement with Sean. It's even more heartwarming to watch this tight-knit community pull ...more
Rhonda Rae Baker
Apr 10, 2010 Rhonda Rae Baker rated it it was amazing
Wonderful story and true to what can happen in life.

I understood so many of the dynamics and Ms. Rice was spot-on with her characters!

This is a great read and now I'm looking to catch up on all novels in the Hubbard's Point / Black Hall series...(-:
May 09, 2017 Loretta rated it really liked it
this was a nice read. Rice weaves together several themes in a creative and pleasing to read way.
Jan 28, 2010 Laurel rated it really liked it
The summer begins with a problem, a child not picked up from an after school activity. Things rapidly get worse. A missing spouse, shocking aligations arise and culminate in a nail-biting finale.

Bay is a woman who lives a simple life. She loves her kids, the sea, her garden and her best friend, Tara, and most of the time, her husband, or she once did; she's not sure. She is satisfied with the simple things in life. Bay is married to her opposite, the outgoing and unsatisfied Sean whose manic ene
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Jul 30, 2014 Kris - My Novelesque Life rated it really liked it

"Old friendships--and love--make all things new again.
The acclaimed author of Safe Harbor and other "New York Times" bestsellers returns to the seaside, delving into the heart of a once happy family facing troubled waters.
Bay McCabe relishes life's simple pleasures, her children, her home by the sea. She has never forgotten the values of her Irish granny--the everyday happiness of family, good friends, and hard work. Bay and her husband, Sean, have weathered rough spells and moved on. Now
Jun 08, 2014 Dawn rated it really liked it
Did I 3 star like it? Or did I really, 4 star, like it?
So much of the emotion we attach to a book can be based on the circumstances in which it was read and how we were feeling at the time. My son bought me this book as a Mother's Day present in a second hand store with a magnet of painted roses that matched the cover, and some chocolate. Spring had finally come to upstate NY. So I read it on my porch, ate my chocolate and thought nice thoughts about my son. That brought the book from like to r
Paula Ratcliffe
Dec 10, 2009 Paula Ratcliffe marked it as to-read
Shelves: kindle, read-in-2012
While reading this book I felt the title was anything but perfect. With the husband in trouble early on, having not picked up his youngest daughter Peggy from practice. Bay McCabe finds herself wondering what is going on with her husband as she rushes to pick up her frantic daughter. Her oldest daughter Annie is frantic to find her father thinking the worst has happened. She rushes out to her father's boat to find blood on it, and the mystery deepens. Early on we find out Sean is in some deep tr ...more
Aug 16, 2014 Pat rated it really liked it
Bay McCabe relishes life's simple pleasures, her children, her home by the sea. She has never forgotten the values of her Irish granny--the everyday happiness of family, good friends, and hard work. Bay and her husband, Sean, have weathered rough spells and moved on. Now a perfect summer, filled with the scent of beach roses, lies before them.
Charming and ambitious, Sean splits his energy between the town bank, his old fishing boat, and the family he seems to adore--until he leaves his young da
Dorry Lou
Mar 10, 2017 Dorry Lou rated it really liked it
I gave this book 4 stars even tho' there were a couple things I did not feel good about. Its the story of a family, 3 children and husband and wife. The husband turns up missing which changes everything as he is accused up many things. The family is shamed, tries to go on with life with a lot of sadness. The book centers on discovering what has happened to the husband/father. Lots of twist & turns.
Feb 19, 2011 Janjohn rated it it was amazing
Jul 06, 2009 Helen rated it liked it
Recommends it for: CarolBeth, Rhonda
I wasn't going to even list books that would come under this category. But I have to make an exception for Luanne Rice. When I first started reading her books they were understandably light reading romance novels. This book changed my mind.

I picked this one up to read at the lakehouse knowing it would be an easy read for the few days I would be there. It turned out to be a very good read and I do not think it belongs strictly in the romance novel category.

It starts out with a seemingly normal fa
Was ich gerne an Luanne Rices Büchern mag: Obwohl die (deutschen) Titel meist sehr unglücklich bzw. sehr kitschig gewählt, sind ihre Romane immer mehr als das, was man hinter Cover und Beschreibung vermutet. Die darin behandelten Geschichten sind komplex gestaltet, die Charaktere sind immer umfassend gut gezeichnet und man spürt bei jeder noch so fremden Thematik, dass eine vorherige einwandfreie Recherche stattgefunden hat. Schön finde ich es auch, dass das Thema 'Liebe' zwar zu einem der Haupt ...more
Michele Olson
Apr 28, 2014 Michele Olson rated it liked it
I'm a tremendous fan of Luanne Rice's books, but this book was a bit of a disappointment for me. I loved the relationships in it, the descriptions, all that I usually love about Ms. Rice's books. And while I agreed with how a person such as Bay would feel about being betrayed by the person she should be able to trust the most, and how horrible it was that he stole and cheated and lied ... He was MURDERED. I would be TERRIFIED that I would be next, or my children would be next or that somebody in ...more
Jan 23, 2012 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
Bay McCabe had always kept the advice of her Irish granny close to heart. The closeness of family, friends and the joy of hard work. Bay and her husband Sean had weathered storms, but had finally come to their beach house to work together on their problems.

Sean is charming and ambitious, splitting his time between the town bank, his fishing boat and the family he seems to adore - until he forgets to pick up his daughter from school. As troubling old memories resurface, a phone call confirms that
Jun 29, 2010 BurgendyA rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: to anyone who loves to read romance.
Recommended to BurgendyA by: No one really.
The Perfect Summer was a wonderful love story. This novel was so sweet, filled with suspense and romance. I remember it being a real page turner. I enjoyed the tale alot. The story is about a widow/mother name Bay, who is trying to get her life and the childrens lives together thru the tragedy of losing her husband. But not that tragic since he was not such a perfect husband to Bay. So beyound all that pains and fears Bay still finds the strength to love & trust again.

This is the first boo
Jennifer Robb
Jan 17, 2016 Jennifer Robb rated it liked it
I found this book slow to start and it took me a few chapters to get into the storyline and to care about the characters. I liked the strong friendship between Tara and Bay and how willing Tara was to protect Bay and help her. I also liked how they tried to mentor a friendship between Annie and Eliza to become as strong a friendship as their own had been.

I didn't like that Bay's husband had affairs or that the author had the children learn of the affairs. I also didn't like that Eliza had so man
Brenda Benoit
Jan 25, 2017 Brenda Benoit rated it really liked it
This was my absolute favorite book of Luanne Rice's so far. There was so much emotion and I just couldn't put it down. I loved the old friendships, the new friendships and the budding relationships. I love FBI agents named Joe (if you read The Women's Murder Club series by James Patterson then you know what I'm talking about) and I love when I know who the bad guy is pretty early on but it doesn't take away from the story at all. I kept hoping for a different turn with Sean's story but I'm okay ...more
Feb 06, 2010 Aimee rated it really liked it
A portrayal of a story most common to us. A story of a family broken apart by the husband's strong inclination to success & temptation and a loving, loyal wife with two great kids. Started out with a husband being tragically killed by his partners-in-crime for transferring trust funds to his own, then wife & kids struggling to keep their lives normal, some shocking revelations, receiving justice to the untimely death of the husband & rekindling the passion that had died-down to an ol ...more
May 24, 2011 Sofia added it
At first I got bored there are no excitement at all except for Sean gone missing and the mystery thing about the blood on his boat, the "ed", "the girl" etc.

Bay, I love how she cares for her children. And Annie, unbelievable, at that age she already know what is going around their family, all the problems and changes.

It's really nice how Rice emphasize friendships here. How friends stay together even through good or bad times.

Eliza Day, I love the name. :) It's just so sad she's kind a suicidal.
Apr 25, 2008 Christina rated it really liked it
Whoever said, "don't judge a book by it's cover" was talking about this book. My friend Cara gave me this book like 5 years ago and I thought it looked like a sappy love story so I was not keen to read...but, I picked it up to give it a try and it was very good! Luanne Rice is a bit flowery in some spots but all in all her books are great mysteries...without all the Paterson/Coben/Cornwell gore. A great summer read!
Sep 26, 2016 Tamara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
This book was filled with so much emotion. The story takes place in a small town during one summer. During that time, a father is murdered, long lost friends are reunited and new friendships are formed. The murder ties all of the families together, but one does not know how much until the book is almost over. The book is well written and kept me wanting more. Luanne Rice is an excellent author and one that I will continue to read in the future.
Mar 14, 2012 Anna rated it liked it
Shelves: to-2012
I enjoyed escaping into this book, but I was not as impressed by Rice as I had expected to be after hearing so many recommendations. There are places where the writing is great, but sometimes it is clumsy and even distracting. I liked the sisterhood and loyalty themes between the main female characters, Sean's character made more sense as the end unfolded.
Jun 11, 2014 Linda rated it it was ok
Wow. At 100 pages I thought it might get better. At 200 pages ...I don't know what I was thinking. At 300 pages I was on a mission.
Nothing about this was a perfect summer except the last three pages. Wrong title. LONG drawn out mystery. Loved the love story, but it was hardly there. Too many words.
Rena DeBerry
Jun 25, 2016 Rena DeBerry rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
It has been a long time since I read a book in 24 hours. From first to last page I was hooked. The story was well conceived and characters well developed. As a reader I could find a bit of myself in each character causing me to read straight through. A story of forgiveness, loss, discovery and well worth the read.
Jul 18, 2013 Candy rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 28, 2010 Rita rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book as I usually do all of Luanne Rice's books. Bay McCabe thought it was going to be a perfect summer but it was a summer that changed her life. First was the devestating news about her husband Sean. Where was he and what had he been doing? Thank goodness Bay had her dearest friend Tara to help her through it all. Part mystery, part romance--just a really good book.
Eileen Carter
Aug 16, 2013 Eileen Carter rated it really liked it
This book kept you guessing what was going to happen next. It discussed issues that are often not discussed (anorexia, embezzling money, and self inflicting wounds). Aside from that this is a story that can and probably has happened in some town in the United States to some sense. I thoroughly enjoy reading her books. She is an incredible author.
Kathy C.
May 15, 2008 Kathy C. rated it liked it
Bay McCabe cherishes life's simple pleasures: family, friends, and the beauty of summer. Her world is turned around when Sean, her husband, turns up missing in his fishing boat. Her dreams of a perfect summer turn into a search of what her marriage and life is all about.
Jul 28, 2014 Mim rated it it was amazing
Luanne Rice has a great way of developing her characters. Enjoyed the character Bay, whose husband is a philanderer, and later discovered, an embezzler. But there is a past friend and his daughter, who are caught up in this scenario. It was definitely a page turner.
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Luanne Rice is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty-two novels including THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF SISTERS, her first YA novel. Five of her books have been made into movies and mini-series, many have been New York Times bestsellers and two of her pieces have been featured in off-Broadway theatre productions. She divides her time between New York City and the Connecticut shoreline.
More about Luanne Rice...

Other Books in the Series

Hubbard's Point/Black Hall (6 books)
  • Firefly Beach
  • Safe Harbor
  • True Blue
  • Beach Girls
  • Last Kiss

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“never judge anyone by their appearance, or the car they drive, or the house they live in, or even by the words they say. judge people by their actions. that's how you know whether they're bad or good." - perfect Summer” 8 likes
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