I’ve been taking advantage of our beautiful Minnesota weather to read outside. Some of my favorite summer outdoor reading spots are under a shade tree in my front yard and on the beach at Glendalough. The library also has a wonderful reading garden that is open. You can grab a book, your lunch, etc, and enjoy the sunshine.
Lately I have read quite a few novels about adult friendships. I’m currently reading “The Summer Sail” by Wendy Francis, about three women who have been best friends since college. The women remain friends, despite living in separate cities, and meet up every year or so for a weekend trip. A few decades after graduating, they pack up their families for a seven-day cruise to Bermuda. I am appreciating the cruise-ship setting, complete with bright sunshine and characters reading on the ship’s deck.
“The Happy Place” by Emily Henry is about three friends. Over the years they each find a partner, who also becomes part of their friend group. They meet up each summer at a large cottage in Maine on the water. For the main character, Harriet, this is her happy place. And right now she needs her happy place. Life hasn't been so happy since her fiancé, Wyn, suddenly dumped her. So Harriet is surprised to find, when she gets to the cottage, that Wyn is there. I look forward to an Emily Henry book each year, and this one did not disappoint.
“The Five-Star Weekend” by Elin Hilderbrand is the perfect beach read, full of female friendships, drama and a Nantucket summer. Hollis Shaw is a widely popular food blogger. But things aren't going great. Her husband died six months ago and her daughter is barely talking to her. Her life looks perfect from the outside, but she is struggling. Hollis stumbles across an idea that might turn things around, at least for a weekend: she will plan a five-star weekend and invite her best friends from each stage of her life. They'll stay at Hollis’ Nantucket house and be treated to a meticulously planned weekend. I was drawn into each woman's perspective and could not stop turning the pages to find out more about their lives.
“Beyond the Point” by Claire Gibson follows three women, all basketball players, as they apply to West Point (just before 9/11), go through college, and deal with life after school. Gibson looks at the struggles they face as women, both in and out of the army. This was an enjoyable read that made me think and exposed me to a lifestyle I don't know much about. Highly recommended to fans of Kristin Hannah.
“The Thursday Murder Club” is the first book in a series by Richard Osman. This is a delightful mystery about a group of friends who live in a senior living community in England. Each member of their club has a different background and skills, which they use to solve murders. The characters are clever and support each other. I laughed out loud throughout this book. There are now three books in the series. Highly recommended.
“The Queens of New York” by E.L. Shen is a young adult novel about three best friends: Jia, Ariel and Everett. They all live in New York City and each goes through big changes over the summer after their junior year of high school. Jia is resigned to her destiny taking over her family restaurant, which she would really rather not inherit given how frazzled it makes her parents. Ariel is mourning the accidental death of her sister, while trying to maintain her status as a star academic student--so important to her parents, but increasingly less important to her. And Everett is going to theater camp in Ohio; the next step on her way to broadway. This well-written coming-of-age novel explores relationships, family expectations and racism through the eyes of these three best friends. This book will be published on June 6.
Katelyn Boyer is the Adult Services Librarian at the Fergus Falls Public Library.