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Monday, May 24, 2021

The Summer Seekers by Sarah Morgan

The Summer Seekers by Sarah Morgan
Published by Harlequin ISBN 9781335180926
Trade paperback, $15.99, 432 pages

If your idea of a fun vacation is a road trip along historic and scenic Route 66, Sarah Morgan's novel The Summer Seekers will take you there in a Mustang convertible no less. It's the story of three women in different stages of life who choose to escape from their lives, if only for a little while.

Kathleen is a vibrant eighty year-old widow, living in her family home by the sea in Cornwall, England. After she surprises an intruder in her home with a smash of her frying pan to his head, her daughter Liza becomes convinced that they should move Kathleen to a retirement home and sell the family home.

Instead, Kathleen plans a trip to America, traveling from Chicago to California along the famous Route 66. She advertises for a driver, and twenty-something Martha shows up. Martha is looking to get away from her family's home following the death of her beloved grandma and the collapse of her short-lived marriage after she catches her newlywed husband in bed with another woman.

The fact that Martha is not a very experienced (or good) driver doesn't faze Kathleen, nor does Liza's disapproval. Kathleen and Martha fly to Chicago, and Kathleen shows Martha the good life, starting with fancy cocktails and lobster risotto at the rooftop restaurant of their hotel.

For twenty years Kathleen hosted a television travel show called The Summer Seekers. It took her away from home and Liza, and their relationship suffered as a result. Perhaps because of that, Liza is a very hands-on mother to her twin teenage daughters. She does everything for her children and loving-but-work-obsessed husband Sean. They depend on her for everything.

When Sean forgets their anniversary, Liza leaves and goes to her mother's home to get away to think. She relaxes, and indulges in a lot of 'self-care'. She enjoys being responsible only for herself, walking the beach, and even taking up painting again. 

Kathleen picks up a hitchhiker named Josh much to the dismay of Martha. Kathleen encourages Martha to open herself up, and she hopes to make a love match between Josh and Martha. The three continue on their way along Route 66, seeing the sights and eating in the best reviewed diners.

Martha, Kathleen, and Josh become close spending so much time together. They draw each other out, and eventually Martha discovers why Kathleen wants to go to California.

The Summer Seekers has characters you care about, and you will root for Kathleen, Martha and Liza to each to find what they are seeking. You'll feel the wind blowing through your hair as your ride along Route 66, and the sea breeze and sun on your face as you walk along the beach with Liza. Toss this one in your beach bag, it's a great summer escape.

Thanks to Harlequin for putting me on their Beach Reads Summer Tour.

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