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The Summer Girls

(Lowcountry Summer #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  14,935 ratings  ·  1,209 reviews
From New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe, the heartwarming first installment in the Lowcountry Summer trilogy, a poignant series following three half-sisters and their grandmother.

Three granddaughters. Three months. One summer house.

In this enchanting trilogy set on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe capt
Paperback, 392 pages
Published June 25th 2013 by Gallery Books
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  14,935 ratings  ·  1,209 reviews

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Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I read The Summer Girls this week and at the end of the book, I wanted to know more! I had been looking forward to reading the most recent book by Mary Alice Monroe and this one did not disappoint. As I read I could almost sense the sun on my shoulders, the sea spray upon my face, the smell of the sea grass, and the feel of the sand on my feet....the Carolina beach!

The author has written with a depth of understanding about the emotions of love and longing for family acceptance in a dysfunctional
Breezy summer vacation read

Marietta Muir--known to her granddaughters as Mamaw--is turning eighty. Her one wish is that those granddaughters, Dora, Carson, and Harper, return to her home, Sea Breeze, in Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina for (unbeknownst to the girls) one last summer.

"Three granddaughters, three necklaces, three months... she thought to herself. This was the plan."

Each granddaughter is struggling in their own way, and no one is really prepared to spend the summer with Mamaw
Three young ladies, Dora, Carson, and Harper, are invited to stay with their grandmother for three months in her old mansions on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina. There are secrets to deal with, serious issues to address, and forgiveness to happen. One father, three mothers, and three immensely different daughters growing up separately. One eighty-year-old grandmother to make it all right and pay for her own sins. One lost little boy. And then there is the bonding as a possibility before Mamaw ...more
This is where a 1/2 star would come in handy. The Summer Girls is a thoroughly entertaining story set on one of my favorite places in all the world, Sullivan's Island, SC. It is the island of my childhood vacations as it was for the three sisters in the novel. My father and his 11 siblings were born on the Island, thus we went there in the summers to see my grandmother.

Monroe does a lovely and loving job of capturing several aspects of the island; the pace, the scents, the feel of the place. Th
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Monroe captures the feel of family ties so well in this story. The setting of course is beautiful, and I was transported to Sullivan Island. I loved the character Marietta "Mamaw" and her wish to bring her Summer Girls together again, and make them realize how important family is....that they are always there, love them or not, you can't get rid of them. They often know all your secrets and failures....and can usually see what you try to hide from others. As different as you may be, there is al ...more
Aug 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2013
I was really looking forward to this book and I really wanted to like it but I really just didn't.
I love books about women and summer and some secrets thrown in. But I Gotta admit, I was really bored. I did wake up a little with the scene with Delphine and the fishing wire and that was such an upsetting part of the book but for the rest of it, I just couldn't get into it.
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Summer Girls by Mary Alice Monroe is a 2013 Gallery Books publication. I was provided a copy of this book as an XOXOpert, the official street team of XOXO After Dark.

It's almost officially summer and many of us are ready for vacations, trips to the beach, and soaking up some rays by the pool. I admit there are books I go for in the summer months because I'm just more in the mood for them. The Summer Girls with it's apt title is a perfect summertime/ beach read.

I can envision the South Car
May 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern-lit
The Summer Girls are Dora,Carson and Harper. Sisters, they share a father,now deceased, all have different mothers. Their individual upbringings as different as night and day. The one person beside their father that they share is their grandmother Marietta Muir known affectionately as "Mamaw".
Mamaw has drawn her summer girls back to her idyllic South Carolina home, Sea Breeze, for what she believes might be her last summer with them. As adults they each have gone their own way, drifting ever f
May 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fun-or-frivolity
Good beach read, but a bit disappointing. Based on the synopsis, I was expecting this to be one of those books where several women go to the beach together and end up having a lot of interesting interactions where you really get to see their different personalities. Instead, this book focuses mainly on one of the three sisters: Carson. The others are secondary characters. If I had realized this was part of a trilogy at the outset, I might have had different expectations. Presumably the other sis ...more
Cassandra King
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
full disclose: i read an advance copy of this book when the author, whose work i've enjoyed in the past, asked me for an endorsement, so my review might appear to be influenced by that. however, i only endorse books i really like, and this was no exception. it's such an intriguing concept, three sisters who don't know each other--same father, three different mothers, and raised in different parts of the country--that i would've been hooked even if it hadn't been about dolphins, a special interes ...more
(Lonestarlibrarian) Keddy Ann Outlaw
A somewhat formulaic novel where three half sisters reunite at their Grandmother's home on Sullivan Island, South Carolina. The sister given the most page time is Carson Muir. She has lost her job with a tv series in LA. Her sister Dora is on the brink of divorce and has an autistic son. Third sister Harper hails from NY, where she has been working as an editor for her snooty mother. Growing up, the sisters came to Sullivan Island during various summers, but time has marched on and they are no l ...more
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
Marietta "Mamaw" has invited her three grown granddaughters back to their summer home - Sea Breeze - on Sullivan's Island. She's fixing to celebrate her eightieth birthday and wants Dora, Carson, and Harper to be there. She's also hoping that the half-sisters will stay the summer before Sea Breeze is sold and reunite as sisters, rather than the strangers they've become to each other.

Carson Muir, the middle sister, arrives first. She's unemployed, broke, and homeless. Mamaw's invitation is a god
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was a solid 5 star for me until the ending.
In the beginning I didn't care for the excessive drinking when there's a family history of alcoholism but fortunately, that was discussed and part of the story so I was cool with that. The part I didn't care for was the crazy, extreme overreaction about the dolphin. My God. Each adult and then the way Carson acted towards Nate was ridiculous and she still always kept it about her. Frankly, I cheered Dora for standing up to her! And then Blake
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A must for your summer reading list this year! Absolutely wonderful. I loved it. Read in two sittings. Takes place on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina. What a fab sense of place. I found the characters totally engaging and smart. You've hit a home run with THE SUMMER GIRLS. ...more
Blodeuedd Finland
Just what I needed, a good fiction book :) I have been on a bit of DNF spree lately and deliberately picking those books to make my pile smaller. But now I am back and this book did the trick.

Grandma Muir is turning 80 and invites her 3 grandchildren to spend the summer. 3 halfsisters who have lost contact. Carson the one who freelances and never settles down. Dora, the stay at home mum with a child who needs special care, and a husband who left her. And Harper, the youngest who is ruled by her
Jul 11, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: adult-fiction
This is just not my kind of book. I read it because a friend gave it to me to read and I wanted to honor the gift, so I pulled myself through it kicking and screaming.

I don't think I fully understand what constitutes a "beach read." I guess it's supposed to be one that doesn't make you think too hard while you're squinting at a white page reflecting sunlight and constantly losing your place because the wind won't shut up (and between dodging beach balls and keeping an eye out for the rising tid
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
Mary Alice Monroe’s books are just what I need as summer approaches. This is the first book of her Low Country series. What I love most about her beach series are the characters and they stay with me!! I am still thinking about the characters from last summer when I read her Beach House series....they are people that will stay with me for a very long time. In this series I am being educated on dolphins. I advise you to take a break from all the historical, suspense, classic, and heavy topic read ...more
Mar 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What is most precious to you? This question is the one that Mary Alice Monroe answers through her novel Summer Girls. She discusses the traits of the bottle nose dolphin and how it affects both human and animal.
This summer will be different! The summer girls will be back this summer if Mamaw has her way. Carson the middle daughter is the first one to return home and has no problem coming back out of work and looking for a fresh start. The best part of going to her Mamaw is that Sea Bree
Judy D Collins
May 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-releases
THE SUMMER GIRLS (Lowcountry Summer #1) by Mary Alice Monroe, is a story of Forgiveness---after years of Secrets, Silence, Enabling

A beautifully written novel set in the Low Country of SC of three half-sisters (Carson, Harper, and Dora) finding their way back to one another for the summer at coastal Sea Breeze on Sullivan’s Island, with the help of their loving and aging grandmother, Mamaw. (love her)!. The one link is the deceased son/father, Parker, an alcoholic whose actions still affect t
Julie Barrett
May 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Summer Girls by Mary Alice Monroe
I wanted to read this book because of the cover-the beach scene.
The grandmother of the 3 girls has invited them to the island so they can be together for the last time before she heads to a retirement center.
No spouses or children. Carson on the west coast=her TV show job had ended and she was out of money.
Dora in SC, divorced with an autism child, Harper in NY, personal asst to her mother.
This book hit home real quick as I plan to give one strand of my pearl
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With engaging prose that captured me from the opening lines, The Summer Girls (Lowcountry Summer Book 1) takes the reader on a voyage of discovery. A special wish and invitation from an aging grandmother brings three half-sisters to the lowcountry in South Carolina, and to a beach house that was a wonderful part of their childhoods.

Dora (Eudora), Carson, and Harper, all named after Southern authors by their wannabe-author-father, Parker, have been separated from one another by their life circums
Jun 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: women-s-fiction
I've read some "hard to get through" books lately. So this was a nice respite from that. It was just what I needed and I gladly sank into this.

I liked the Grandma. She was the anchoring force behind the other characters. She is turning 80 and invites her 3 granddaughters (all half siblings) to come and celebrate with her. Since they are all from different walks of life, this story seemed a little disjointed, but it had a good message of forgiveness and moving on and a side helping of unloading f
Aug 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
Really have liked this authors previous books but am 1/3 of the way through this book and have to keep putting it down. I find that the author's overuse of adjectives and adverbs is truly distracting to the flow of the story. I have not been able to connect to the characters since the characters are not developed but I know that the grandmother went fishing with a Farragamo (?) coral colored silk scarf. Who cares unless the author is trying to tell us that the grandmother is a superficial sort o ...more
Oct 14, 2014 added it
Loved it. Loved it. HOWEVER!! It ended entirely too soon. Seemed like the author just got tired of writing! Sequel would be a GREAT idea!!
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is my first book by this author and I just loved it! Love the cover too!
A heartwarming story that will make you laugh and cry. A story about family being reunited and family secrets coming out in the open plus hurt feelings. A story about 3 half sisters who have the same father but different mothers who have grown apart over the years. They have found excuses to not come and visit grandma for the summer. So as her 8oth birthday approaches she plans to reunite the girls and have them spend t
Amy Ingalls
Jul 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I picked up this book thinking it would be a light beach read, but it surprised me. The issues it discussed were a lot more serious than I expected. I thought the shark scene was well written. Delphine's storyline warmed my heart and then broke it. I gotta warn you-- if, like me, you have a hard time with any scene where an animal is hurt or imperiled in any way, then this may not be the book for you. The author definitely had a message to convey, and she delivered it with a hammer. ...more
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
After finishing The Summer Girls, I am looking forward to learning more about all the characters and their stories! I had not read any books by Mary Alice Monroe before this one, but it did not disappoint. It was a perfect beach read, but there was also much more to the story than I was expecting. Ms. Monroe did a great job of weaving the plot intricacies together while still keeping the story light and fast-paced. Her writing was also very descriptive; I felt like I was there on the Carolina be ...more
Joni Graybill
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
I was told this book was about a dolphin.

As a life-long Lowcountry girl, I've always been curious about the whole genre of books written by authors from the area. They always have pretty covers that look like a glimpse into my world - sun-kissed covers with beaches, marshes and flipflops. Despite the appeal to my aesthetic as a resident of this beautiful corner of the world, I never picked one up before because I knew they were likely romances, despite the lack of white people almost kissing on
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
4.5 stars.
The Summer Girls written and narrated by Mary Alice Monroe was well worth the listen and I will be eagerly listening to the next two in this trilogy. It is about three girls - half sisters, and their grandmother - Mamaw. They have all been invited to her house for the summer, and with a somewhat tentative approach they all end up responding to the invitation.

Eudora (Dora) is the oldest and has a young son who is autistic. She is in the process of seeking a divorce from her husband. Ca
Pam Jackson
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am now dolphin smart! I will share my knowledge about dolphins after finishing this enchanting story of the heart! I am always inspired by the nature of MAM's novels and dolphins are my favorite sea creature! When I read the teaser, I was enthusiastic about learning the personality and character of each sister. "The Summer Girls" is so much more! I think we can all see a part of ourselves in each girl. They are now my friends! Lucille is also so important to the family. "Mamaw felt a rush of l ...more
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Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of nearly 30 novels and children's books, including THE SUMMER OF LOST AND FOUND, on sale May 11, 2021.

More than 7.5 million copies of her books have been published worldwide, and she’s earned numerous accolades and awards, including: Induction into the South Carolina Academy of Authors’ Hall of Fame; the Southwest Florida Author of Distin

Other books in the series

Lowcountry Summer (5 books)
  • The Summer Wind (Lowcountry Summer #2)
  • The Summer's End (Lowcountry Summer, #3)
  • A Lowcountry Wedding (Lowcountry Summer, #4)
  • A Lowcountry Christmas (Lowcountry Summer #5)

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