Book Review: The Summer Without You by Karen Swan

Rowena Tipton isn’t looking for a new life, just a new adventure, something to while away the months as her long-term boyfriend presses pause on their relationship before they become engaged. But when a chance encounter at a New York wedding leads to an audition for a coveted houseshare in The Hamptons – Manhattan’s elite beach scene – suddenly a new life is exactly what she’s got. Stretching before her is a summer with three eclectic housemates, long days on white sand ocean beaches and parties on gilded tennis courts. But high rewards bring high stakes and Rowena soon finds herself caught in the crossfire of a vicious intimidation campaign. Alone for the first time in her adult life, she has no-one to turn to but a stranger who is everything she doesn’t want – but possibly everything she needs…     – from GoodReads

My Rating:  ★★★

My Thoughts:  

This is an enjoyable summer read, something good to take on holiday.
It provides a good dose of pure escapism as Ro leaves behind her everyday life in London for a summer in the Hamptons, vacation destination of the super-rich.
With glorious beaches and ocean, expensive designer shops, yoga classes and endless parties (one of which features a treasure hunt for a real diamond bracelet), its like a glimpse into another world, one which for a few moments at least you can‘t help wishing you could experience in real life.

The heady escapism does have elements of more weight to drive the plot – possible attempted murder, actual murder, blackmail, and intimidation are fused with tragedy and romance to put this cast of likeable characters through their paces.

I liked some of the supporting characters a lot, particularly Hump (who became like a best friend/brother to Ro), Melodie, Florence and Ted.

Ro’s initial dependence on her long-term love Matt, her neediness and reluctance to let him go off on his adventure and start their relationship ‘pause’ didn’t make for scintillating reading, but I persevered through those initial pages as I’d read other books by this author and found them really enjoyable.
I hoped that once Matt was out of the way the story and Ro’s adventure could really begin, which it did. Watching her become immersed in her new circumstances, making new friends and developing as a character resulted in an engaging, entertaining read.

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