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Monday, May 13, 2024

The Summer Swap by Sarah Morgan

The Summer Swap by Sarah Morgan
Published by Canaray Street Press ISBN 9781335474940
Trade paperback, $18.99, 336 pages

From the Publisher:

A recent widow’s plan to spend the summer in Cape Cod hiding from her interfering family is upended when she discovers her beach house has an unexpected guest, and the secret she's been keeping about her marriage threatens to be exposed. Perfect beach reading for fans of Taylor Jenkins Reid and Emily Henry.

70 year old widow Cecilia Lapthorne can’t bear the prospect of a family party to celebrate her birthday and the memory of her husband, famous artist Cameron Lapthorne. They had a toxic marriage but stayed together for the children, and bound by a big secret. She runs away to the Cape Cod seashore cottage she owned with Cameron--it’s where they first fell in love--but she hasn’t returned since she discovered him cheating on her there (for the first time). No one in her family knows about it, so she will be perfectly, delightfully alone for the summer.

Except struggling artist Lily has been secretly crashing on the sofa of the seashore cottage for the last couple of weeks. Unable to make rent after dropping out of medical school to pursue her dreams of becoming an artist and working as a housekeeper in Cecilia's Cape Cod enclave, she’s been illicitly camping at the cottage. Which isn’t a problem as it’s been unoccupied for years…until Cecilia unexpectedly shows up.

After the drama of discovering she has an unexpected house-guest has faded, Cecilia decides she’ll get along just fine with Lily for the summer. They form a tentative and powerful bond, based on shared love of art, but also the vulnerabilities they both share with each other. And when Todd, Cecilia’s beloved grandson (and the man who broke Lily’s heart in college) tracks her to the cottage, the three of them settle in for a summer of self-discovery, self-belief and second chances.

My Thoughts:

As someone who has visited Cape Cod on more than a few occasions, I was drawn to Sarah Morgan's The Summer Swap initially because of its setting. Morgan paints a vivid picture of the cottage that Cecelia, Lily, and eventually Todd end up spending the entire summer. I could see the cottage in my mind's eye and would love to have spent time there myself, and if you are someone who loves interior decorating, you'll enjoy this part of the story even more.

The characters are also vividly portrayed and you can see why Cecelia and Lily were drawn to each other. They are both trying to discover what the rest of their lives should be, what would make them happy and fulfilled. It was also enjoyable watching the relationships between Todd and Lily and Cecelia and her old friend blossom.

There is a bit of a mystery here, but one that careful readers will probably guess at early on; that doesn't make it any less interesting however. 

The Summer Swap is a perfect novel with which to start the summer beach reading season. Pop it in your beach bag next to the sunscreen.

Thanks to Harlequin for putting me on Sarah Morgan's blog tour.