5 books to read this summer if you can’t make it to the beach 

By: Katherine McLaughlin 

Summer 2020 is shaping up to be one of the strangest—but most memorable—summers of the century. With the Coronavirus restricting gatherings, sporting events, concerts, and travel— to name only a few things — these next three months will look very different from anything anyone has experienced before. If you’re like me and your favorite part of summer is salty air, singing seagulls, and hot sun but you can’t actually make it to the shore, I’ve rounded up a collection of beach reads to transport you to your favorite coastal town. Full of mystery, romance, family, and growth, these novels are as sweet as a slice of watermelon on a hot July day.  

Summer Longing by Jamie Brenner 

Summer Longing is Brenner’s long-awaited return to Massachusettes. When a baby is abandoned on the doorsteps of her beach home, Ruth Cooperman must call on women of Provincetown to help care for the child. Over the next three months, relationships are tested, alliances are created, and secrets are unearthed. Summer Longing is a beautiful tale of motherhood, friendship, and knowing that nothing is ever too late. 

Summer at the Lake by Erica James 

If you’re more of a lake-goer than a beach-goer, this compelling novel by Erica James might be the perfect addition to your summer. On the banks of Lake Como, three people at very different stages of their lives come to terms with their pasts and inevitable futures. A nuanced story on love, fate, and second chances, summer at Lake Como will be an unforgettable season for Floriana, Esme, and Adam. 

What My Body Remembers by Agnete Friis

This beach novel by Danish writer Agnete Friis is sure to fill your summer with a little mystery and leave you hungry for more. Ella Nygaard has no recollection of the night her father murdered her mother, but her body does. After a bad PTSD induced panic attack that causes the state to take her only child into foster care, Ella kidnaps her son and returns to her seaside hometown. Now back in her childhood space,  she must confront the demons her mind has repressed but her body has never forgotten. 

The Vacationers by Emma Straub 

Set on the island of Mallorca, this novel contains everything you need for the perfect summer getaway: beautiful sites and hidden secrets. The Posts are excited for their two-week stay off the coast of Barcelona, but just because they leave home, doesn’t mean their problems leave them. 

Searching For Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok 

When golden child Sylvie Lee travels to The Netherlands to visit her grandmother — and subsequently vanishes — her younger sister Amy is determined to find answers. As Amy traces her sisters steps, she discovers just how many secrets Sylvie was hiding to to put on the perfect facade. Jean Kwok paints a profound look at an immigrant family and how easy it is to never really know someone.

Katherine McLaughlin is an NYC based writer originally from Indianapolis. She lives in Brooklyn and studies at The New School. Primarily interested in creating human connection, she values the power of words that can create the effect. To stay up to date with her writing you can follow her on instagram @mclaughlinkate or visit her website www.bykatherinemclaughlin.com.

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