For me, it’s not summer without a Mary Kay Andrews novel to read. I started reading her novels about the Charleston Low Country area when I lived in Charleston, SC a long time ago (we won’t say how long) and I’ve been a fan ever since. So when the publicist approached me about reading and possibly reviewing The Weekenders, it was a no brainer. When I opened this novel and found that it was inspired by locations just a few miles up the road from me, I cracked up. How appropriate!
Bestselling author Mary Kay Andrews wrote The Weekenders while staying on Bald Head Island, just a ferry ride from Southport, NC. Southport and Bald Head Island are both just a short drive from my little beach town. What were the odds? I even lived in Southport for a year, teaching school, right after I got out of college. It was really a sleepy little village that time had forgotten then. Now it’s turned into a beautiful town with tons of restored homes – a great place to visit and live. In fact it was named the Happiest Seaside Town in the U.S. in 2015. And Bald Head Island is a unique island, with no cars allowed.
I loved every nail-biting minute of The Weekenders, which depicts the interwoven relationships of small towns whether they’re located on isolated islands or not – and I think you’re going to love it too. It’s a great beach read like many of Mary Kay Andrews’ beach novels plus it’s a mystery. Yay! It’s hard for me to part with my copy, and I’m still going to pay it forward in a giveaway that one of you will win.
Belle Isle is just a short ferry ride across the sound from the scenic village of Southpoint on North Carolina’s southern coast. It’s a largely unspoiled island with strong founding family ties that are determined to keep it that way. Some people live there year-round but most arrive for the summer when the temps begin to rise and that almost visceral need to get to the beach takes over.
Riley Nolan Griggs’ family is one of Belle Isle’s founding families. She and her husband, Wendell, live in Raleigh, but she and their twelve-year-old daughter, Maggie, can hardly wait to get to the ferry and onto the island they love. Their plan is to meet him at the ferry since he’s been spending a disproportionate amount of time at Belle Isle this year. He’s been putting together a large development project for the island that Riley has decidedly mixed feelings about. She also has mixed feelings about being back at Belle Isle for the first time ever.
The other thing she has mixed feelings about is Wendell Griggs. In fact, one of the reasons he’s supposed to meet them is that he and Riley plan to finally tell Maggy that they are getting divorced. The marriage hasn’t worked for quite some time. Counseling also didn’t work because he didn’t go after a few sessions. And then there’s the other woman. Riley knows there’s another woman – she just doesn’t know who that woman is. Sigh. No wonder she has mixed feelings about being back on the island she has loved her whole life.
“Wendell Griggs was big on promises. Always had been. On their first date, he’d promised Riley Nolan she’d never want to date anybody else. When he’d presented her with her engagement ring – a three-carat diamond bigger than any of her girlfriends had – he’d promised it was the start of a life that would be big and rich and exciting. No doubt about it, her husband was a dreamer. And a schemer.
But lately, Wendell’s promises meant nothing. Just talk. Hollow words meant to placate or stall. Nothing more. What was it her grandmother used to say?
‘All hat, no cattle.’
Like today. Wendell had promised – sworn – he’d meet them at the ferry dock at Southpoint in time to make the last boat over to Belle Isle.”
To make matters worse, Wendell is a no show at the ferry. And then Riley gets the shock of a lifetime when she and her daughter get to their island home only to find it locked with a foreclosure notice on the front door. WTH is going on? There must be a mistake, she thinks, yet she soon learns that this foreclosure is just the tip of the financial disaster awaiting her.
“’Hey, Mom!’ Maggy called.
‘Honey, I’m coming! Just give me a few minutes, will you? You’re not the only one who needs a bathroom.’
‘There’s some kind of sign on the door,’ Maggy called.
Riley dropped the bags and hurried toward the doorway, where her daughter stood bathed in a pool of light.
Taped to the door was an official-looking plastic-coated poster.
NOTICE OF FORECLOSURE
‘Oh my God,’ Riley whispered.
‘What does it mean?’ Maggy asked, dancing from one foot to another. ‘Why can’t we get in the house?’
‘Oh my God,’ Riley repeated. She took out the document she’d been served on the ferry and actually read it this time, her eyes glazing over all the legalese. But there were two words she understood: default and foreclosure.”
Wendell has basically bet the farm on his new development deal, and lost everything they have. And he’s missing…but not for long. The police find him floating face-down near the ferry landing, and determine that he didn’t just fall in accidentally – he was murdered.
Now Riley is under suspicion, as are her other family members. She has to discover the details and depth of Wendell’s financial betrayal, which are going to be horrible enough…and she’s also got to figure out who murdered him, because the police don’t seem to be able to handle the job. Oh, and to add just a little more trouble, there’s a storm brewing out in the Atlantic in addition to the storms brewing on the island. This is so not the summer she had planned!
Riley is a strong, intelligent woman, a woman who gave up a promising TV career to raise her daughter. That her father turned over the family business to Wendell when they got married never felt right to her but she was powerless to stop it. Her family all trusted Wendell, and so did she. And now they’re all paying a heavy price for that misplaced trust. Whatever Wendell’s motivations or intentions, he’s landed them all into hot water. And, if his plans for the island had been successful, it would have destroyed what made Belle Isle the wonderful refuge it is.
There is so much going on in The Weekenders with different relatives, friends and foes, legal issues, a murder, and nature that you’d think that would be enough to keep anyone spinning like a top. But this wouldn’t be a Mary Kay Andrews novel if there weren’t a man from Riley’s past who crops up…and he’s – well, I’ll just spoil it all by saying that he’s lovely. Bad timing personified but oh so lovely.
The Weekenders may be my favorite Mary Kay Andrews novel to date, and that’s saying a lot! It’s got all of the hallmarks we look for in a great beach read by her, and it’s got a murder mystery on top of that! I would likely recommend any Mary Kay Andrews novel if you’re looking for a fun beach read, and I’m definitely recommending this one. Loved every nail-biting minute of it!
Upcoming Author Appearances:
May 28, 2016 at 2pm at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
May 29, 2016 at 12pm at Bethany Beach Books in Bethany Beach, Delaware
May 30, 3016 at 9-11:30am at Duck’s Cottage in Duck, North Carolina
May 30, 2016 at 2-4pm at Downtown Books in Manteo, North Carolina
May 31, 2016 at 7pm at Park Road Books in Charlotte, North Carolina
June 1, 2016 at 11am at Reynolds Library in Winston Salem, North Carolina
June 1, 2016 at 7pm at Glenn McNairy Library in Greensboro, North Carolina
June 2, 2016 at 11am at Mars Hill University (County Library Author Luncheon) in Mars Hill, North Carolina
June 2, 2016 at 7pm at Malaprop’s Bookstore in Asheville, North Carolina
June 3, 2016 at 2pm at Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina
June 4, 2016 at 2pm at Hub City Bookshop in Spartanburg, South Carolina
June 5, 2016 at 2pm at Jefferson Public Library in Jefferson, Georgia
June 7, 2016 at 7pm at Bookmiser in Roswell, Georgia
June 8, 2016 at 7:15pm at Decatur Library in Decatur, Georgia
June 14, 2016 at 6:30pm at FoxTale Book Shoppe Woodstock, Georgia
June 18, 2016 at 2pm at Highlands Methodist Church in Highlands, North Carolina
Can’t wait to read it? The Weekenders is available in almost all formats from your favorite online bookseller. Click on the link below to get it immediately!
I’d love to get your comments about The Weekenders, Mary Kay Andrews and/or her other work, and/or this review. Click here to read our review of Beach Town.
One lucky reader will win a finished hardcover copy of The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews!
1) The deadline for entries is Saturday night, 6/11/2016, at 11:59pm EDST. No entries after that date/time will be eligible.
2) This giveaway is open to entries with U.S. mailing addresses only because we do not ship books outside of the U.S.
3) Please note: You must be at least 15 years old to enter this particular giveaway because of the nature of this book’s content.
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7) That’s it – this is an easy giveaway, so have fun and best of luck!