Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Summer Shift: A Novel” as Want to Read:
Summer Shift: A Novel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Summer Shift: A Novel

3.2  ·  Rating details ·  403 Ratings  ·  66 Reviews
Forty-four-year-old Cape Cod clam bar owner Mary Hopkins is stuck in the cycle of her seasonal business; overwhelmed by the relentless influx of new names and fresh young faces, she feels as if life is passing her by.

In the first days of the summer season, a young waitress’s tragic accident stirs up unresolved pain from Mary’s past, leaving her longing for connection. At
ebook, 336 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Touchstone (first published May 5th 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Summer Shift, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Summer Shift

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Sep 13, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a bad summer read. Mary is a widowed Cape Cod restaurateur who runs a place called The Clambake, mostly with the help of college kids and young locals. When one of her waitresses is killed in a car crash it brings up many old and new issues for Mary: her husband's untimely death, the man she lost after that who has suddenly reappeared on the Cape scene, her lack of connection with the people who work for her, how to cope with her great-aunt's encroaching Alzheimer's, and what will become of ...more
Ange H
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had a lot of problems with this book. Mary is a hard character to like. She's mostly a bummer, with lots of real problems, but some of them seem to be self-inflicted. She's like a slightly-less- cranky, female version of Larry David, bumbling through life and causing trouble every time she opens her mouth. Throughout the book she lies frequently, for no apparent reason. It's just hard to buy her as the owner of a successful restaurant. There were many other characters, but few of them were wel ...more
Susan Marshall
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great summer read!
Sep 19, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all people...because we all must realize our need for each other and for human interaction
Recommended to Doreen by: melissa - the Nest book club
I enjoyed this story from start to finish. I read it within a 24 hour period. Initially, I felt that Mary, the main character and owner of the Clambake Restaurant, was an aloof, cold, anti-social person. I saw her as a woman in her 40's who needed to 'grow the heck up!' As a business owner and childless widow, she was profoundly self-absorbed, in my opinion.
A tragedy involving a server at her restaurant, causes her to broaden her world and begin to concern herself with other people, instead of
Oct 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
Bonasia’s second novel is set against the background of a simple clam bar open for the summer crowd on Cape Cod. The characters are drawn with the complexity they might share in life and thus, are flawed, view their small world from their developmental perch, struggle to deal with the death of a young woman/co-worker, are perplexed by the personality (and often the decisions and behavior) of the woman who owns the place. This woman must face truths about her marriage which ended in the death of ...more
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked but did not love this book. It is the story of a woman who owns a seasonal sea food restaurant on Cape Cod. Mary is widowed following a meaningless auto accident at a very young age. Her husband was less than perfect. Years later, there is a similar tragic accident and she finds herself reliving her past, exploring the facts and seeing her current life in a new way.
The story was satisfyingly complex, exploring various relationships, family, friends, co-workers and those that might come
Linda Day
This is the second book by this author which I have recently read, and my review is abt the same ... "eh".

The central character, Mary, has lost her husband in a motorcycle accident, runs a restaurant in the Cape area, has a "summer" business primarily with lots of characters who work there. One of those employees has an automobile accident and dies bringing back the tragedies of her husband's death ... yadda, yadda, yadda !

Of the better parts was the Alzheimer's behavior of Mary's aunt, and a f
Jul 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I picked this on up in the Brewster Book Store looking for some Cape Cod fiction :-)

Sometimes I REALLY enjoyed this. Sometimes it felt sort of weird. I enjoyed the synesthesia and yet felt like she must have watched a Discovery Health show on it and decided to include it (that wasn't the case, as I found out in the notes at the end). It felt like "ooh, I learned about this cool thing so I'll work it into my story" but didn't feel like it was overly important to the story. Maybe I read too much i
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this book on vacation in Texas. I wasn't that interested in it. I thought it would be good because the main character was a single woman running her own restaurant on Cape Cod. I'm a New Englander, love the Cape, believe in accomplished women. But this book didn't do anything for me. First, it had some very poor editing. It was like parts were chopped and then reconnected in a disjointed way, leaving some details of the story occurring non-chronologically. I never could warm up to the mai ...more
Jul 15, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not a great book in my opinion but an easy summer read. For the main character Mary, everything complicated in her life seems to collide at once. I didn't like Mary much which probably had something to do with my overall opinion of the book. In spite of running a successful restaurant, Mary is deficient in a number of other ways. I did like the storyline that followed her great-aunt's diagnosis of Alzheimers and ultimate decline...I found it pretty realistic. I found the book overall pretty pred ...more
Nov 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mary Hopkins has withdrawn from life. She owns a restaurant but runs it from the back. She doesn't get involved with customers or staff. After one of her young waitresses dies in an accident, she finds herself having to deal with unresolved feelings from when her husband died in an accident twelve years earlier. Summer Shift is the story of her reconnection to others. I found it slow in the beginning but ended enjoying the characters and the story.
Terri Tinkel
It took me a little while to get into this book. The heroine seemed to procrastinate at times. And of course, the theme was about keeping secrets that caused problems. And yet, the secret keeping continued throughout the story. However, this would be a good beach reach for a long weekend. About 1/2 way through the book, the story really picked up. I will be checking for the other book written by this author.
Jul 10, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Honest truth... I bought this book because I didn't think I'd make it to the Cape for a summer visit... It was to be my Cape fix... But I made the trip and brought it along, enjoying it in a guilty pleasure sort of way. I was reading it on the beach, and the tide came in unexpectedly and took it. Washed out to sea! I don't know how it ends! :-/
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-loans
This summer story turned out to be what I expected, a light, easy read. I enjoyed reading about Mary's characters and all the issues she had the deal with and how she tried to overcome them.It had it's feel sad time as well as it's feel good moments, but I also felt like this book was nothing special.
So this was one of those books that I picked up, started reading, only to realize I'd already read it before. And I didn't like it much. In fact, I kind of disliked it. This summer beach read - woman rediscovers meaning of life and romance in the process - has some misogynistic elements to it. And coming from a female author, it's disappointing. Meh...
Jan 05, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a pretty good summer read. It wasn't what I was expecting. I love the descriptions of the Cape, and all the talk of the clambake. I loved Waynes character... i wanted the book to end differently though. Perhaps she needs to write another one, and pick up where she left off.
Jun 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
there's a lot in this book. Makes you think about what's important in life and how your actions reflect that (or not).
But then the book just ended. I wasn't ready for it to be over! More needed to happen
Nov 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beach-reads
Enjoyable story about a woman who owns a summer restaurant on Cape Cod. Her life is sort of a mess, and it's easy to be drawn in. Having grown up on Cape Cod and waitressed at a small seafood restaurant, I really liked it. Great beach read.
Tricia G
Jan 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this read. Living on Cape Cod gave me a different perspective. The descriptions were right on and I enjoyed reading a book with references to things I knew! The characters sucked me in and it was a very fast read.
Jan 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a light read, good for the summer. I enjoyed the setting on Cape Cod. It is nice to see someone who was really disconnected from her employees turn around and realize she really does need to know them.
Amanda Coussoule
I wouldn't even recommend this as a mindless summer read. The main character is thoroughly unlikable; the love interest is almost fully undeveloped; and the writing is sophomoric at best. Skip it and find another mindless romance - there are plenty of them out there.
Mel Plav
Aug 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
315 pages. Good mindless summer read. Set on Cape Cod and you fall in love with the characters, especially when the main character, Mary, has to move her great aunt to a nursing home because of Alzheimer's. Happy ending.
Jul 20, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A summer time waster. The main character,Mary, came off as a real person because she did so many things and then thought about whatbshe'd done. Hmmm
was a nice little read, nothing exciting. a nice message.
Adriana Jackson
Really got into this character, overall a good read.
Erin Ott
Jul 12, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A beach read - not much to make you think, a touch of romance, and a plot that is just interesting enough to make you keep reading.
Sep 12, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2013
The first few chapters had me worried, but as Mary struggled though her summer, I enjoyed the story more.
Apr 02, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fun to read if you know the Cape and you want a light summer book.
I just love the by the beach romances. It might be because I love Hilderbrand and am searching for more books like hers. This one was good.
Apr 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great read. Enjoyed the story, funny at parts and loved the characters. Makes me want to know more about them.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Widow's Tale
  • Snow Soldiers
  • Down Right Good
  • One More Sunrise
  • Another Summer
  • The Shortest Distance Between Two Women
  • A Light at Winter's End (Cedar Springs #3)
  • The Perfect Happiness
  • Cover Girls
  • All for One (The Four Lindas, #3)
  • Beauty & the Biker (Impossible Dream, #1)
  • A Distant Music (The Mountain Song Legacy #1)
  • Once in a Blue Moon
  • Hawthorne: A Life
  • Playing with Matches
  • Jo Joe
  • The Granny (Agnes Browne, #3)
  • The House on Oyster Creek
Lynn Kiele Bonasia is the author of two novels set on Cape Cod. Summer Shift (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster), about a woman who runs a New England clam bar, is scheduled for release on June 1, 2010. Her first novel, Some Assembly Required (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster), came out in 2008. Prior to that, Lynn sold her soul as a freelance advertising copywriter.

Technically a “washashore,” Lynn
More about Lynn Kiele Bonasia...

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »