It’s summertime and the living’s easy. That means it’s time for that perfect summer beach read. Look no further, I’ve found it. The Islanders by Meg Mitchell Moore checks all the boxes for that light breezy summer reading. Set at the beach on an island? Check. Interesting and likable characters? Check. Easy to read with minimal need to think too hard? Check. A little summer romance? Check.
The Islanders features a cast 3 main characters that easily relatable. An overworked single mom, a stay at home mom looking for more a purpose and an author struggling through some hard times. The three lives become entangled without any of them realizing it. Joy is a single mom raising her daughter on a small island that depends on the income of summer tourists to sustain it through the winter. Joy owns a bakery that specializes in whoopie pies that she built with her two hands from the ground up. She struggles to deal with the real-life problems of a small business owner including increasing rent cost as well as potential trouble from a competitor. At the same time, she is having to navigate the changing relationship with her teenage daughter.
Lu is a stay at home mom who is on the island for the summer thanks to the generosity of her mother-in-law paying for summer rental for the family. Her husband is a surgeon who commutes off the island leaving her with her two children and strained relationship with her in laws. Lu was a successful lawyer before having kids and agreeing to be a stay at home mom to appease her husband. She’s realizing that she isn’t feeling fulfilled not working and only being a stay at home mom. This leads her to turn a hobby into a secret job that takes off and forces her to confront her husband with her feelings.
Anthony is the last piece of the puzzle. He’s also a summer visitor but he came to hide and not be seen. As the son of a successful author and successful author himself he caved to the pressures of work and life demands ultimately leading to his downfall. Now he’s come to the islands to lick his wounds and figure out his next steps.
These characters become a part of each other’s life by various coincidences. By the end of the summer they realize that they were in each other’s lives for a reason, each bringing something to the others. There are several twists and turns to keep the book interesting and not as predictable as I originally thought. It’s definitely worth pulling up a lounge chair and ordering a margarita for!
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