Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews

It's been a long time since I've read a Mary Kay Andrews novel, and I'm happy to report her latest, The High Tide Club was just as entertaining as her previous novels. 

Set on an island off the coast of Georgia, The High Tide Club centers around Josephine Bettendorf Warrick, a 99 year old woman who is dying of cancer, and wants to make amends with friends before she dies. Brooke Trappnell, a young lawyer in the small town St. Anne, is called in to help Josephine with her requests. Living in a crumbling pink mansion on the island of Talisa, Josephine wants to reconnect with the ladies of the High Tide Club: Ruth, Varina, and Millie. Unfortunately, only Varina still lives, but she's a fragile 91 year old. Brooke quickly realizes there's more to Josephine's story--she's quite the sassy, bossy, and tough lady, even in her last days. 

Woven throughout the contemporary plot is the story of the High Tide Club, and a momentous evening in 1941, as Millie's engagement party takes place at Shellhaven, the Bettendorf mansion on Talisa Island. Engaged to a cruel man in order to provide for her mother, Millie is miserable, and the night of her party is a turning point for not only her, but all the girls. Russell Strickland, Millie's finance, is missing the next morning. What happened to him, and what do the friends know? How is Brooke connected to Talisa Island, and Josephine's family? Who will inherit the house and island after Josephine dies? 

I very happily settled into this novel. There were a few little twists that I wasn't expecting, and I was disappointed in the weak storyline regarding Henry, Brooke's three year old son. Brooke's reconnection with Henry's father seemed like an afterthought, and could have used more attention in the novel. But overall, I loved the characters, the plot, and the setting. A satisfying read all around. It's got me itching to read more of Mary Kay Andrews' backlist. I've missed a few over the years. 

Rating:  4/6 for an enjoyable summer read about the power of friendship, the power of money, family, and some good old scandals. Friendships between women old and young; friendships that span decades and some that are new,  built from shared experiences and connections. Pack your beach bag with this novel!

Available in hardcover, audio, and ebook.  

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