Thursday, July 7, 2016

Review: Mystic Summer

By Hannah McKinnon
Published: June 7, 2016

A chance run-in with a college boyfriend puts a young woman’s picture-perfect life in perspective in this warm-hearted and lyrical novel—from the author of The Lake Season.

Since finishing graduate school, Maggie Griffin has worked hard to build an enviable life in Boston. She’s an elementary school teacher in a tony Boston suburb, a devoted sister, and a loving aunt. With her childhood best friend’s wedding quickly approaching and her own relationship blossoming, this is the summer she has been waiting for.

But when Maggie’s career is suddenly in jeopardy, her life begins to unravel. Stricken, Maggie returns home to seaside Mystic, Connecticut, where she expects to find comfort in family and familiarity. Instead, she runs into Cameron Wilder, a young man from her past who has also returned home, and whose life has taken a turn that puts Maggie’s city struggles in harsh perspective. When tragedy strikes for Cameron, Maggie is faced with big decisions as she weighs what matters most and strives to stay true to the person she’s become.

Set against the gorgeous backdrop of a New England summer when past and present collide, Mystic Summer is a gorgeous novel about looking back, moving forward, and the beauty that blooms when fate intervenes.

My review:

Maggie is a teacher at a private school in Boston and as summer vacation starts, she has to deal with the upheaval of finding a new place as her best friend and roommate is getting married. She also finds out that she may not have a job next year due to funding issues at her school. Maggie's boyfriend Evan isn't as supportive as she'd hoped. When circumstances lead to Maggie going back to her hometown of Mystic, Connecticut she is surprised to run into Cameron Wilder, her onetime boyfriend who is now a single father. Cameron has had a difficult life in the years since they split but he is doing his best to be there for his daughter. Maggie and Cameron become fast friends again but even though she is starting to feel some stirring of her former attraction to him and she is drawn to his infant daughter, she has her own issues to deal with and she is  still committed to Evan. On top of that her best friend Erika's wedding has been moved from Boston to Mystic and Maggie's sister Jane calls on her to help take care of her children while she goes on a much needed break with her husband so Maggie has her hands full.

I think I was expecting this to be a contemporary romance but it ended up being something a little more. Maggie is facing some difficult decisions about her future and what she wants from life. I liked Cameron from the start and I enjoyed the rekindling of their friendship. He is a good fit for her but neither of them are in a place to start a relationship just yet. The novel also looked at Maggie's relationship with her family, particularly her mom and her sister Jane, as well as Maggie's friendship with Erika.  I wasn't a big fan of Erika to be honest. She wasn't that great of a friend and if this were real life, that friendship would fade into mere casual acquaintance status after Erika's wedding.

I loved the setting of Mystic and it made me want to visit the town for myself although I don't think I'd like the crowded tourist season. I think it was the setting and the character of Cameron that really stood out for me in this book. He is a fantastic dad and I loved his interactions with his daughter Emory. I think he's a little too perfect :)

Mystic Summer would make a good beach read. It is the kind of book you could finish in an afternoon. There is a little bit of romance and a great setting so even if it's easy to guess what will happen, it is a fun journey to get there.

Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Edelweiss


  1. Great review! I did like the setting and agree re: Cam's interactions with his daughter but this was missing something for me.

    my review

  2. I am hoping to read this one this summer as well. I'm glad it was good overall. I think I will love the setting of Mystic. I haven't been there in years, but I remember it was such a cute town. Great review, Christina. I will definitely be adding it to my beach bag.

  3. I just love it when a book turns out to be more than what I expected. I'll take a "perfect" man where ever I can get them. Ha ha. I really enjoy kind men, and Cameron's interaction with his daughter would likely win me over and then some. Thank you for sharing!


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