Book Review: Summer Hours by Amy Mason Doan

Book Review: Summer Hours by Amy Mason Doan

Summer Hours by Amy Mason Doan is an interesting coming of age book set in the 1990s and 2008. The characters are so dynamic, and the main character, Rebecca, is one that is easy to relate to, although her choices make things hard for her. The setting and the summer road trip make this a perfect book for a summer TBR.

Book Review: Summer Hours by Amy Mason DoanTitle: Summer Hours
Author: Amy Mason Doan
Publisher: Graydon House
Publication Date: June 4, 2019

four-stars
Summary (from Goodreads):

Commencement meets The Graduate in this sparkling novel about a secret affair, the summer it all unravels, and the reunion a decade later that will be one woman’s happy ending or her biggest mistake.

Becc was the good girl. A dedicated student. Aspiring reporter. Always where she was supposed to be. Until a secret affair with the charming Cal one summer in college cost her everything she held dear: her journalism dreams; her relationship with her best friend, Eric; and her carefully imagined future.

Now, Becc’s past is back front and center as she travels up the scenic California coast to a wedding—with a man she hasn’t seen in a decade. As each mile flies by, Becc can’t help but feel the thrilling push and pull of memories, from infinite nights at beach bonfires and lavish boat parties to secret movie sessions. But the man beside her is not so eager to re-create history. And as the events of that heartbreaking summer come into view, Becc must decide if those dazzling hours they once shared are worth fighting for or if they’re lost forever.

Set in the mid ’90s and 2008, Amy Mason Doan’s Summer Hours is a warmly told novel about the idealism of youth, the seductive power of nostalgia and what happens when you realize you haven’t become the person you’d always promised to be.

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❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Book Review: Summer Hours

Flipping between the two time periods of Rebecca’s life makes Summer Hours a book that is hard to put down. In the 1990s setting, Rebecca is just graduating from high school and navigating adulthood in her college years. Her dreams and fears are realistic and she makes some wise choices and some choices that affect the relationships she has with her friends. It is really enjoyable to read as the two timeframes converge and Rebecca takes ownership of the mistakes she has made.

❀ Interesting Side Characters

There are quite a few interesting side characters in the book that make for a fun read. Serra and Maggie are such great friends for Rebecca. They are supportive, yet aren’t afraid to call her out for her actions. Also, there is a bit of a sub-plot in the book that is tied into Serra’s art  that I really loved reading about.

❀ Perfect Setting

California is a perfect setting for a summer read. There are lots of descriptions of the coast, islands, and boating. This aspect of the novel can really sweep you away and adds a romantic vibe to the plot.

Summer Hours is a novel that will add some summer excitement to your reading list this year. The time periods, characters, and setting are the ideal mix for a summer contemporary. One that I highly recommend.

About Amy Mason Doan

Image of Amy Mason Doan

Amy lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, daughter, and rescue tabby. She grew up in California, but as a girl she visited the Oregon Shakespeare Fest with her grandparents every year, and she now considers both states home.

As a writer for publications including The Oregonian, San Francisco Chronicle, Wired and Forbes, Amy has interviewed everyone from beer-brewing monks to nanotechnologists. Amy has an M.A. in journalism from Stanford University and a B.A. in English from U.C. Berkeley.

THE SUMMER LIST is her first novel, and draws on her beloved summers in lakeside Pinecrest, California. A second novel, set in coastal California and Oregon, will be published in 2019.

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