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Beach House #7

The Summer of Lost and Found

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The Beach House series returns with this tender and compassionate novel following the historic Rutledge family of Charleston, South Carolina as they face a summer of upheaval and change with perseverance, a spirit of unity, and a dose of humor.

The coming of Spring usually means renewal, but for Linnea Rutledge, Spring 2020 threatens stagnation. Linnea faces another layoff, this time from the aquarium she adores. For her—and her family—finances, emotions, and health teeter at the brink. To complicate matters, her new love interest, Gordon, struggles to return to the Isle of Palms from England. Meanwhile, her old flame, John, turns up from California and is quarantining next door. She tries to ignore him, but when he sends her plaintive notes in the form of paper airplanes, old sparks ignite. When Gordon at last reaches the island, Linnea wonders—is it possible to love two men at the same time?

Love in the time of coronavirus proves challenging, at times humorous, and ever changing. Relationships are redefined, friendships made and broken, and marriages tested. As the weeks turn to months, and another sea turtle season comes to a close, Linnea and the Rutledge family continue to face their challenges with the strength, faith, and commitment that has inspired readers for decades.

In The Summer of Lost and Found, Mary Alice Monroe once again delves into the complexities of family relationships and brings her signature storytelling to this poignant and timely novel of love, courage, and resilience.

368 pages, Hardcover

First published May 11, 2021

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About the author

Mary Alice Monroe

64 books4,502 followers
Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of 27 books, including The Summer of Lost and Found, the latest installment of her beloved Beach House series.

Monroe has also published children’s books which complement the environmental themes she is known for in her adult novels. Monroe’s middle grade series, written with Angela May, The Islanders, debuted #2 on the New York Times Best Sellers List in 2021. The second book in the series, Search for Treasure, debuted #3 on the New York Times Best Sellers List.

Nearly eight million copies of her books have been published worldwide.

Mary Alice has earned numerous accolades and awards including induction into the South Carolina Academy of Authors’ Hall of Fame; South Carolina Center for the Book Award for Writing; the South Carolina Award for Literary Excellence; the SW Florida Author of Distinction Award; the RT Lifetime Achievement Award; the International Book Award for Green Fiction; the Henry Bergh Award for Children’s Fiction; and her novel A Lowcountry Christmas won the prestigious Southern Prize for Fiction.

Mary Alice is also the co-founder of the popular weekly web show and podcast Friends & Fiction.

The Beach House is a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, starring Andie McDowell. Several of her novels are optioned for film.

Mary Alice has championed the fragility of the earth’s wild habitat. The coastal southern landscape in particular is a strong and important focus of many of her novels. For her writing, Monroe immerses herself in academic research, works with wildlife experts, and does hands-on volunteering with animals. She then uses the knowledge and experiences to craft captivating stories that identify important parallels between nature and human nature. Sea turtles, bottlenose dolphins, monarch butterflies, shorebirds are among the species she has worked with and woven into her novels.

Mary Alice is also an active conservationist and serves on several boards including the South Carolina Aquarium board emeritus, the Pat Conroy Literary Center Honorary Board, and the Leatherback Trust, which she received the Leatherback Trust Lifetime Achievement Award in 2022. She is especially proud to be a state-certified volunteer with the Island Turtle Team for more than twenty years.

Mary Alice splits her time between her home on the South Carolina coast and her home in the North Carolina mountains. When she’s not writing a novel, she is with her family or busy working with wildlife somewhere in the world.

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5 stars
2,727 (31%)
4 stars
3,180 (36%)
3 stars
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162 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 998 reviews
Profile Image for Julie .
3,977 reviews58.9k followers
May 10, 2021
The Summer of Lost and Found by Mary Alice Monroe is a 2021 Gallery Books publication.

Good old-fashioned southern comfort!

The Coronavirus has the whole country is its grip, that includes the Rutgledge family.

Because of the virus, the aquarium is closed, so Linnea has been laid off. Because of the financial hit, she's temporarily moved into the beach house- rent free.

Sadly, her boyfriend, Gordon, is stuck in England and can’t travel to the US because of the virus lockdowns, and what’s worse, her former lover, John, is back in town, quarantining at his mother’s house.

Linnea really wishes she could avoid John, but that turns out to be next to impossible, forcing her lingering feelings for him to resurface.

Despite the challenges she faces, Linnea has family and friends to lean on as she navigates her tumultuous feelings for both, Gordon and John. Faced with a difficult choice, Linnea ponders her future, while carving her own path towards personal independence.

It’s not summer without an installment in the ‘Beach House’ series by Mary Alice Monroe!!

This is the first novel I’ve read, miraculously, that incorporated Covid into the plot, making it a part of the landscape the characters had to navigate.

The sobering challenges of job loss, financial strain, family distance, quarantines, and sickness proved that the Rutledge clan still has the temerity to rise to any and all occasions. The characters make mistakes, but as always, they grow stronger through adversity.

Linnea’s personal journey is now the main focus of the series, as Cara moves into more of a secondary character role. I really loved the way Linnea came to understand how she needed to proceed with her personal life. I'm not sure what others will make of her decision, but I thought she did the right thing.

There were, as always, laughter and tears, and heartwarming moments as these characters lives continue to evolve over time. I always look forward, with eager anticipation, to catching up with these beloved characters, both the younger and older generations of the family, the turtles, and the charming beach house that serves as an anchor in challenging times…

Overall, I’m sure writing a book set during the early days of the pandemic, and dealing with some transitional character development, must have been daunting. MAM did a fabulous job with integrating the changes and giving voice to the fears we faced during 2020, spoken through the strong southern Rutledge women, and their commitment to each other, their family, and to their own true selves as well.

4 stars
Profile Image for Tina.
2,306 reviews1 follower
August 2, 2022
This is a Contemporary Romance/Women's Fiction/Chick-Lit, and this is the 7th book in the Beach House series. That takes place during the beginning of covid-19. I was surprised that I enjoyed this book because I thought that the covid-19 parts would really upset me. I have to say in the beginning the covid-19 parts bother me, but the storyline pulled me in. I liked the characters, and I felt the books was written well. I enjoyed the southern parts of this book. I have to say the ending felt very rushed to me, and I did not love the ending. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Gallery Books) or author (Mary Alice Monroe) via NetGalley, so I can give honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that.
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,056 reviews30k followers
May 21, 2021
Favorite author alert! I look forward to Mary Alice Monroe’s books every summer. She writes southern fiction with an environmental/ecological twist, and I never tire of that.

Set in the spring of 2020, in Isle of Palms, South Carolina (swoon! If you’ve ever been, you know!) there is much to relate to here with the story of the Rutledge family. Linnea is worried she may be laid off from the aquarium where she works. Her significant other is unable to fly back to South Carolina from England, and Linnea’s old beau, John, is in quarantine next door.

Yes, my friends, this book is about finding love in the time of coronavirus. Will Linnea wait for Gordon to arrive, or will the proximity of John win out? And it’s sea turtle season, so that makes everything better, right? Especially when it’s in your own back yard.

The Summer of Lost and Found is a sweet story of love and second chances. As ever with a Mary Alice Monroe book, it left me feeling good. It’s a heartwarming story, and while it’s technically part of a series, it completely stands on its own with enough backstory to fall in love with these charming characters.

I received a gifted copy.

Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader
Profile Image for Big Time Book Junkie.
725 reviews38 followers
February 20, 2021
While I usually am a sucker for a Mary Alice Monroe book, The Summer of Lost and Found wasn't really my cup of tea. I think it will appeal to many, many readers, as her work does, but it didn't do it for me.

The book was filled with far too many references to the coronavirus, social distancing, masks, and other such things that I am just not ready to read about while living it. I gave this book 3 stars because while it wasn't for me, I'm obviously in the minority and there are quite a few others that will love this visit to the Lowcountry.

Thank you to the author, publisher, and Netgalley for providing an ARC at my request. all thoughts in this review are my own.
224 reviews5 followers
March 20, 2021
I have thoroughly enjoyed following the Rutledge family through the Beach House series. This multigenerational saga has highlighted strong female protagonists, the beauty of the low country and the beloved sea turtles. Unfortunately this last offering was very disappointing.

The storyline features the CoVid pandemic far more than characters and the turtles. Perhaps if I were reading this at a future date with a more historical perspective, I would appreciate it more. At present, it just felt like overload on the topic. Additionally there were elements of the story that were questionable in terms of safe practices. For example, the group forms a “pod” with certain rules about interacting socially only with its members (from four different households!), but when some of the characters start to return to their respective work environments, the rules seem to be ignored.

There are two additional problems I have with the book. First, there are times when the dialogue shifts from a natural rhythm into a format that sound like a lecture on CoVid and even gets a bit preachy. The second issue relates to love triangles. I’m not a big fan of the dynamics between two people vying for the affections of another. This one drags on through the entire book and culminates in physical violence.

The author mentions in the Acknowledgements that this book was written through a very different developmental style and it is evident in comparing this book to the others in the series. Sadly, it was not a very satisfying read.

My thanks to the author, Gallery Books, and NetGalley for the privilege of reviewing a digital ARC in exchange for an independent, honest review.
Profile Image for Kate Olson.
2,087 reviews727 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
April 30, 2021
Turns out I’m just not ready to read fiction set during COVID 🤷🏼‍♀️ but since I’m still not ready to read 9/11 fiction, perhaps I’ll never be ready for this?
Profile Image for Heather~ Nature.books.and.coffee.
589 reviews149 followers
April 11, 2021
This book takes place during the coronavirus pandemic. Linnea gets laid off from her job at the Charleston Aquarium. She is currently renting her Aunt Caras beach house and is worried about paying her rent. Her current love interest, George, is trying to make it there from England to be with her, and her ex, John, is now quarantining next door after coming back from California. She starts having feelings for him again.

When Caras husband gets sick and they think it could possibly be covid, she asks Linnea if her 6 year old daughter can stay there while he recovers. This book mostly is about Linnea, and where she finds herself having feelings for the 2 men, and what she will choose to do. There is also alot of talk about covid, such as mask wearing, social distancing and, washing hands.

I thought this was a heartwarming story about love, family, and the uncertainty during the time of covid. An enjoyable, easy summer read, not to be missed.
53 reviews2 followers
March 6, 2021
I was disappointed in this book which did not fit with the rest of the series. The Rutledge family and the sea turtles are the basis of the series but not in this book. The story mainly focuses around the pandemic and is mentioned in every paragraph. The sea turtles are mentioned just three times and seem like an afterthought.
Profile Image for RuchReads.
53 reviews
May 22, 2021
A book with our current pandemic situation as background...no thanks 😌
Profile Image for Tammy.
867 reviews159 followers
May 18, 2021
This is such a beautiful story - one that inspires hope in a time of uncertainty. The Rutledge family and friends come together despite challenges and differences, to support and encourage each other during the covid pandemic. This all takes place on the Isle of Palms, South Carolina, with its beautiful lowcountry backdrop of marsh grass, dunes, sand and sun, wildflowers, local birds, turtle nests and hatchlings, sunrise and sunsets. Mary Alice Monroe’s picturesque writing provided a perfect escape, even if only for a short while. Love love love this series.
Profile Image for Linden.
1,427 reviews1 follower
March 2, 2021
Linnea is laid off from a job she loves at the Charleston Aquarium, so she's worried about paying the rent on the beach house owned by her Aunt Cara. Cara's OK with no rent, but then asks her niece to care for Cara's 6 year old daughter while her husband recovers from a possible bout with corona virus. Linnea has kindly offered a room in the beach house to Anna, who was also laid off, and her brother decides to move in too. Next, her boyfriend Gordon arrives from England, and she must decide if she loves him, or John, who says he made a mistake when he dumped her a few years ago. Cara advises Linnea to follow her heart, and it is only when an elderly neighbor with Alzheimer's disappears that Linnea begins to understand what she must do. Thanks to the publisher for allowing me to review this advance copy.
220 reviews
May 26, 2021
Way too soon. Who wants to read a book about masks and Covid when you’re still in lockdown. And super predictable.
1 review
June 7, 2021
Really nothing

First time reading this author. Nothing happens!! Nothing exciting!! Forcing stories about the pandemic. I just didn’t like it at all.
Profile Image for Pam Jenoff.
Author 28 books4,902 followers
April 19, 2021
Summer readers like me always look forward to the latest installment if the Beach House series, which chronicles the Rutledge family on the Isle of Palms. But this year's book is especially meaningful as it is set in summer of 2020, when Linnea and her family, like all of us, must navigate the challenges of covid. An important and moving story of family, love and resilience to which we can all relate.
June 10, 2021
If you are familiar with Monroe's The Beach House series, you know that Linnea Rutledge loves her job at the aquarium; however, she is furloughed due to COVID cutbacks, and on top of it, her boyfriend, Gordon, was supposed to come back from England to the Isle of Palms, but due to the COVID outbreak, it's looking like he won't be able to. Thanks to COVID, her life has been thrown for a loop. Even her ex-boyfriend, John, the one who had her move to California, is back home on the Isle of Palms and is now quarantining next door. She is set to ignore him, because he broke her heart, but how can she when he is next door and throwing paper airplanes with notes her way? Like many Americans last year, the rest of the Rutledge family is challenged during COVID. There's love, there's heartbreak, there's friendship and marriages tested, and so much more. Mary Alice Monroe's latest edition in the The Beach House series, The Summer of Lost and Found, is a decent beach read; however, I could have done with more descriptions of the Isle of Palms and less focus on the coronavirus.
Read the rest of my review here: http://www.confessionsofabookaddict.c...
Profile Image for Lisa.
607 reviews229 followers
April 11, 2021
A timely and touching story of relationships during the summer of the 2020 pandemic

In March 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic Linnea Rutledge is laid off from the the South Carolina Aquarium. As she worries about finances she agrees to help her Aunt Cara take care of her daughter, while Cara’s husband is battling Covid at home. Linnea’s boyfriend, Gordon is trying to return to Isle of Palms SC from England for the summer. Linnea’s previous boyfriend John also travels to Isle of Palms from California and is quarantining next door to Linnea and desperately trying to reignite a relationship with her. When Gordon eventually make it to Isle of Palms , the two men battle for Linnea’s attention.

In THE SUMMER OF LOST AND FOUND Linnea and the Rutledge family face challenges with the coronavirus. With stay-at-home orders relationships are strained and major opportunities are lost.

The story is timely, touching and at times even funny. Linnea’s character, exhibited strength and fortitude handling Hope, a precocious six-year-old, two new frustrating roommates, a new puppy and two good-looking men competing for her attention. New friendships are formed at Primrose Cottage, Her old flame John was a colorful and delightful character who added humor and light-heartless to the story

Author Mary Alice Monroe’s writing is smart and captures a timely topic. It’s a quick and easy read. Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of over 27 books, most recently including On Ocean Boulevard (2020) and The Summer Guest (2019)

Thanks to Netgalley for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher Simon & Schuster
Published May 11, 2021
Review www.bluestockingreviews.com

#Bluestockingreviews #FindingGreatReads #ReadItLoveIt #Books #Netgalley #ReadingIsFun #Bookreviews
Profile Image for Sherri Thacker.
1,185 reviews226 followers
May 12, 2021
This is my 1st book that mentions Coronovirus! I always thought it takes YEARS to write a book but I guess not. Mary Alice Monroe is a fabulous author and I love reading her books! This is my 6th book by her. This one just did nothing for me. I DNF at 50%. I feel like we’ve lived enough with Covid and I don’t want to read about it all over again. Just not for me. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this early release in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
453 reviews3 followers
May 9, 2021
1.5 stars simply because I did finish it, albeit I was skimming the last quarter. This one just didn’t do it for me. Felt very forced and tone deaf in a lot of ways. I’m not a die hard Beach House series fan but have read a few, this one just didn’t feel like it fit.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Amy.
1,799 reviews1,854 followers
May 15, 2021
Well, I thought I was ready to read a book set during the pandemic and was curious to see how the author would navigate things but I think it may have been a little too soon for me. I’ve been watching a few TV shows that incorporated the real life events recently and have been ok with it but for some reason this just didn’t translate to a book well for me. I think maybe it’s set primarily in the early days, March 2020 to be exact, and it just brought me back to a place of anxiety and fear that I wasn’t into. So I wanted to start by saying that right off because this is more about me than the book and my own emotions and feelings so take that into consideration when you hear what I’m saying here.

As much as this one unsettled me there was still things to like, I enjoyed the large cast of characters and their various challenges and problems. With an ensemble cast there is a lot going on and while it felt a little chaotic, it definitely kept things interesting. I truly have to give some major credit to the narrator, I don’t know if I would’ve finished this one had I read it in print actually but Cassandra Campbell did a fantastic job of keeping me engaged. There’s a lot of family drama, life drama, friendship drama and just overall drama and that’s usually right up my alley, but again having it centered around the pandemic was just too much too soon for me. If you think that wouldn’t bother you though give this a try, if the pandemic wasn’t mentioned I would’ve adored this one I think, a total me issue and not the book at all, MAM is a wonderful writer and I’m sure many will love this one.
Profile Image for Annissa Joy Armstrong.
242 reviews37 followers
April 11, 2021
Thank you to NetGalley, Gallery Books and Mary Alice Monroe for an early copy of this book.

This is the 7th book in The Beach House series and it was so good!! I have loved all of the books in this series and the author does a great job making sure that they all can stand-alone.

The book begins as COVID is starting to hit in March 2020. People are trying to return from other countries and some will come down with COVID. COVID is a part of the book but there is so much more to the book.

This book is about the third generation of the Rutledges from these books...the children of Palmer Rutledge....Linnea and Cooper and their friends. They have been sent home from their jobs and they are all trying to find some normal in the craziness. Gordon is trying to come to SC and John is already there so Linnea is flooded with emotions and is trying to figure it all out!!

They all come together and try to support each other during the crazy time. I believe this is my favorite of the Beach House series. It was beautifully written and so engaging!!! Can not wait for the next installment of the Beach House series.
Profile Image for Katie.
82 reviews
July 13, 2021
I really wish I’d given up on this one. I only continued because I’ve read all of the other books in the series. So many complaints. I skimmed a lot of the book.
What did you do when the quarantine first started? Nothing. So did the characters in the book. This is a book about nothing. Nothing happens.
The characters are also getting so, so unrealistic. The dialogue is just weird. Monroe should stop attempting to write for a bunch of 20 year olds. The characters speak as if it’s 1941. Linnea is the worst offender. Really dislike her character. She needs to be retired.
Profile Image for Sue .
1,588 reviews95 followers
February 14, 2021
A book by Mary Alice Monroe always makes it feel like summer. Even though it was cold and icy outside when I read this, I took a well needed mental vacation to the beach. In her new novel, the author takes us back to Isle of Palms and the Rutledge family. I've read every book in this series and felt like I was visiting old friends. The main difference is that this book is written about 2020 and the characters all have the same problems adjusting to the new world after Covid hits as we all did. It's the first book that I've read about the pandemic and the way life changed and thought this added an extra dimension to this family saga.

Right from the beginning, the family is plagued with problems from Covid - Linnea loses her job and is afraid that she won't be able to pay rent on the cottage, David is stuck in England trying to get home to Cara and when he arrives, he needs to quarantine for 14 days so that Cara and Hope don't get sick. Cara asks Linnea to keep Hope at her home while David quarantines to make sure that she stays safe. To top it all off, Linnea's boyfriend, Gordon, is stuck in England and her ex-boyfriend John has moved back in next door to help his mother take care of Flo. When Gordon arrives and John gets out of quarantine, the quest for Linnea's affection grows stronger.

As always in a MAM book, there is information on turtles and turtle nests as well as about the effect of plastic on ocean creatures. She is a real conservationist and it is always very apparent in her books.

This book is a well written story of how Covid and the new rules changed everyone's lives and how difficult it was for many people to endure the isolation that it caused. Hopefully, by the time this book publishes in May, we'll have turned a corner on our battle with Covid and life can gradually return to the new normal.

Thanks to Gallery Books for an arc to read and review. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Diane.
938 reviews34 followers
April 26, 2021
"Every day is meant to be lived. Fully. With our eyes wide open. Our senses on full alert. Not wasted. Or squandered in doubt or self-pity" John, The Summer of Lost and Found
Bravo! I laughed, cried, and thoroughly loved The Summer of Lost and Found! I devoured the latest Rutledge family book by Mary Alice Monroe. The Summer of Lost and Found is a marvelous story of adapting and dealing with the unexpected during the time of a pandemic.
Linnea Rutledge is among several employees at the aquarium that has been affected by the pandemic and furloughed until further notice. Linnea offers a room to one of her co-workers, Anne, who has become homeless due to the loss of her job. Cara had instilled the concept of ‘paying it forward’ and being kind to those in need. Soon Cara asks Linnea to take Hope and care for her as David recovers from an illness that appears to be Covid-19. A few weeks later, Cooper, Linnea’s brother asks to move into the beach house to avoid conflicts with Palmer and Julia. Linnea begins to feel trapped and uncomfortable with so many people in the house.
Problems arise as Linnea and Hope begin to interact with John who is visiting his mother during the Covid sheltering in place. Memories of their past together and how John sent her home a year ago make it difficult for Linnea to accept his offer of friendship.
Gordon is planning to return from the UK for a marine research project. He and Linnea are anxious to reunite and explore the possibilities of their relationship. The small cottage is filled with differing personalities and the stress of adjusting to a new way of living during the pandemic takes a toll on family and friends. The way the 'pod' comes together as support of each other is amazing.
Publication Date: May 11, 2021
Thank you to NetGalley, Mary Alice Monroe, and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book.
Profile Image for Chanele.
356 reviews5 followers
July 4, 2021
Sweet as iced tea in a South Carolina summer, this book was very much a chick lit beach read. I had not read any of the prior books in the series, so maybe that was part of why I didn't connect very well to the characters. The story is set in the spring and summer of 2020, when the world went into covid-induced lockdown. Like the rest of us, the crew of rich elites on the Isle of Palms, South Carolina, had to lock down as well. However, unlike the rest of us who didn't see our friends for a year and spent our time moving between the couch and the bed while praying the rent moratorium would be extended, we got to watch this group form their "pod," throw parties for the pod, and otherwise amuse themselves in their (naturally rent-free) fancy beach houses. And don't you dare think that just because half the characters were randomly in England when this mess went down that they would get stuck away from Charleston like plebes. They all got on the last magical flights out because love is not tourism!

It was a little eye-roll-worthy when they would offer platitudes on how much everyone suffered the pandemic, when they spent their time surfing, sunbathing, sleeping with one another, or fighting about who was sleeping with one another. Think Dynasty but with beaches and a pandemic. (There might be an award for first worldiest problem when one character, upon being faced with a person who was the son of a British viscount exclaimed, "But my family is important, too!") While it was hard to feel sorry for any of them (and honestly we weren't supposed to, right?) when they bemoaned their problems against the backdrop of the 2020 world, it was still sweet escapist fiction. I can't see myself seeking out more in this series, but it was fine for what it was.
Profile Image for Christi.
1,057 reviews6 followers
May 14, 2021
I've read a few other books in the Beach House series in the past. Mostly I remembered there was the grandmother, Lovie, and lots of turtles details.

This book has so many characters and there is very little back story give as each appears to help set the stage. Instead of learning/being reminded how an almost 60 year old can have a 6 year old daughter, we get lots of details on clothing and home decor. Even if I just read all of the other 6 books in a row, I would probably have trouble keeping all of these people straight. There are maps and family trees at the beginning of the book but they aren't that helpful if characters aren't referenced there.

Also, I didn't enjoy reading a book set in the pandemic DURING the pandemic. It's too soon for this to be historical fiction. This isn't light beach reading for me.

*I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher and I am required to disclose that in my review in compliance with federal law.*
Profile Image for Carla.
5,726 reviews121 followers
August 12, 2021
This is the first book I have read by Mary Alice Monroe and even though it is the 7th in the Beach House series, I had no problem following or enjoying this story. It is set during the Covid-19 pandemic and was very realistic. You have people being laid off as places are closing, others in quarantine and stuck in places they would not normally be, some trying to get home and others into the US and even death due to the virus. It is all included in this well-written and enjoyable contemporary romance and family drama. The story centers around Linnea, who is renting her aunt's beach house. She has been laid off from her job so asks a co-worker to move in with her to share expenses. This does not go according to Linnea's expectations so there is some conflict there. Throw in a love triangle and Linnea has a lot on her plate. I really liked the characters and thought they were all well developed. I did not want anything bad to happen to any of the characters, but knowing the many things that have happened during this time, I knew there would be some unhappy situations. I also enjoyed that she included the turtles. It was nesting time and she mixed in the story of the babies making their way to the sea. Life goes on. This is a story of family/friends as they find their way through the pandemic and all that comes with it such as job loss, sickness, quarantine, isolation, friendship, family, and love. I will definitely look at this author's backlist, and definitely start at the beginning of this series. Cassandra Campbell narrated this audiobook and did a wonderful job, adding to my enjoyment of this story.
Profile Image for Linda Zagon.
1,299 reviews94 followers
May 10, 2021
Wow! Mary Alice Monroe, the author of “The Summer of Lost and Found” has written a memorable, heartfelt, captivating, and riveting novel. The genres for this novel are Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, and Fiction. The timeline for this story is set in the present and goes to the past when it pertains to the characters and events. I love the way the author vividly describes, the scenery, landscape, and characters. The author describes her characters as complex and complicated. Of course, there is a dog, and I love reading about Sea Turtles. One of the themes that run in the story is about the problems of the 2020 Covid Pandemic.

Mary Alice Monroe writes about the Rutledge family as they enter spring during the pandemic. Linnea Rutlege, finds herself furloughed as a result of the COVID situation. Linnea’s Aunt Cara tells her not to worry about the rent. Linnea does get a roommate, and then more than that. Linnea is torn between her current boyfriend Gordon, and her past boyfriend John, who is in quarantine next door.

It is wonderful to see how the women form a sisterhood, and that the family forms a pod of both family and close friends. I appreciate the way Mary Alice Monroe discusses her characters and the problems of Covid. Family relationships and friendships seem more complex. I would highly recommend this thought-provoking story to others.
237 reviews20 followers
May 14, 2021
This delightful new entry in the Beach House series about the Rutledge family is one of the first novels to take place during the pandemic and even more impressive, written in real time. It’s very interesting to see how various members of the Rutledge family deal with the effects of the COVID pandemic.

First we have Cara and David, the matriarch of the family and her husband David, and their daughter Hope. He returns from the business trip in London and returns with what is possibly COVID. This leads to their daughter, who has compromised health having to live with her cousin Linnea, across the street.

Then we have Linnea, Cara’s niece who is again laid off from a job and feels alone. Then she unexpectedly decides to take in her cousin and watch her for a few weeks. Then she suddenly finds out her ex and first love, John has returned to town.

This all sends her into a tailspin. She also finds out her British boyfriend wants to return to Charleston to see her.

We also see how other members of Linnea’s family are coping with the pandemic, her mother Julia and her father Palmer (Cara’s brother) and her brother Cooper. Throw a few dear friends into the mix and this will prove to be an interesting summer for the Rutledge family. Written with Mary Alice Monroe’s signature heart and memorable characters, it was an amazing book. I highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Barbara Powell.
671 reviews48 followers
April 30, 2021
This is the first book I’ve read that completely takes place during the Covid-19 pandemic and that added a whole other dimension to the story.
Linnea gets laid off from her job at the aquarium as a result of shutdowns due to the pandemic and moves into the family owned beach house in exchange for childcare of her niece because her uncle had been exposed to the virus. Linnea also let’s her brother and another employee of the aquarium move in with her in attempts to pay it forward, but it complicated things more than she thought, especially when her ex moves into the house next door and her current boyfriend comes to win her back as well.
There were some light moms, but also lots of heavy ones, including the death of the matriarch from Covid. It was a quick read despite the seriousness of the pandemic and I think it will be a hit this summer.
Thanks to Gallery Books and Netgalley for this Arc in exchange for my review.
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3,098 reviews59 followers
April 28, 2021
Over the last year and a half I have used Books relentlessly to escape the COVID crap. I am not interested in reading about the pandemic in books. But I made an exception for The Summer of Lost and Found. I wanted to catch up with the sea turtle gang. Honestly, ,the first few chapters threw me back a year and caused me to relive the chaos. But then the story evened out and the focus was on other things. Some characters faded into the background as a couple of characters stole the stage. I did enjoy reading the book. I loved the beach details, the little hatchlings, and the low country cadence. One of the best scenes was when the men go fishing. Too much testerone for one boat. Linnea had to make some hard choices and I can't wait for the next book to see where her road takes her. I love the cover as well. Thanks to Gallery Books and NetGalley for the early read.
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