If the title of All The Summer Girls doesn’t represent a true beach read, I don’t know what does. This was my first book by Meg Donohue, and I absolutely loved it. I’m not usually a huge fan of multiple viewpoints in stories, but here the lives of three longtime friends were narrated by each of them perfectly. I liked all three of the girls within a few pages, even though I didn’t necessarily identify with the trying situations they faced.
Of course, I liked lawyer Kate who is dumped by her fiancé weeks before the weeding instantly. I also felt I was a kindred spirit with Dani, a reading addict who can’t put down a book long enough to write her own novel. I liked Vanessa slightly less only because I didn’t personally connect to her issues of motherhood, and didn’t agree with her strong devotion to her daughter which prompts her to give up her promising career. I couldn’t wait for the girls to arrive on the Jersey Shore and rekindle the friendship they once had that dissipated over time. I wished they’d reached the beach a bit sooner, but the plot was very stronger, enhanced by the fantastic descriptive writing that made each character unique and likeable. A serious subplot concerning the death of Kate’s twin, Colin, haunted the three girls and provided a secret that tied their stories together. Donohue used Colin’s death to test the girls’ friendships and examine the lasting impacts of grief weighed down by guilt. Despite the heavy themes, the book was upbeat and focused primarily on the women’s bonds.
This was absolutely perfect for a weekend read!