Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Book Review: The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews

Pages: 480
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: May 8, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin's 
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author:  The Weekenders
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "When ninety-nine-year-old heiress Josephine Bettendorf Warrick summons Brooke Trappnell to Talisa Island, her 20,000 acre remote barrier island home, Brooke is puzzled. Everybody in the South has heard about the eccentric millionaire mistress of Talisa, but Brooke has never met her. Josephine’s cryptic note says she wants to discuss an important legal matter with Brooke, who is an attorney, but Brooke knows that Mrs. Warrick has long been a client of a prestigious Atlanta law firm.  Over a few meetings, the ailing Josephine spins a tale of old friendships, secrets, betrayal and a long-unsolved murder. She tells Brooke she is hiring her for two reasons: to protect her island and legacy from those who would despoil her land, and secondly, to help her make amends with the heirs of the long dead women who were her closest friends, the girls of The High Tide Club—so named because of their youthful skinny dipping escapades—Millie, Ruth and Varina. When Josephine dies with her secrets intact, Brooke is charged with contacting Josephine’s friends’ descendants and bringing them together on Talisa for a reunion of women who’ve actually never met.  The High Tide Club is Mary Kay Andrews at her Queen of the Beach Reads best, a compelling and witty tale of romance thwarted, friendships renewed, justice delivered, and true love found. "
Lawyer and single mother Brooke Trappnell has left her well-off life in the city to start over with her son in a coastal Georgia town.  She is just trying to get by at this point when she receives a mysterious phone call from an elderly woman named Josephine.  But this isn't any old lady. She is a millionaire! Why is she calling Brooke? Well, Josephine wants Brooke to meet her on Talisa Island to talk about how Brooke, as a lawyer, can help Josephine. The more she learns about Josephine, the more complex and complicated things become.  For starters, Josephine wants Brooke to help her make sure that her house doesn't get torn down and turned into some ridiculous conference center. She also wants to make sure that her money, (and the island!), get left to her three best friends, Millie Ruth and Varina. She calls them members of the High Tide Club. But there's a problem. Josephine hasn't talked to them in ages; in fact, they are estranged.  Josephine, at this point in her life, wants to make things right, but she needs Brooke to help her get the women to Talisa Island.  Plus, there's secrets that Josephine is hiding and lots of them!

Josephine is a complex woman in The High Tide Club. Of course I didn't enjoy her character at first; she's really rather crotchety, but once Andrews explained more about her background and we flashback to Josephine as a younger woman, I really started to enjoy her more. Through the flashbacks, we get to see Josephine and the High Tide Club girls as young ladies enjoying life. I truly loved these flashbacks; they were, for me, the best parts of the book along with the coastal setting of Talisa Island.

But The High Tide Club is so much more than your regular beach read. There's secrets, romance, and......a murder mystery. I have to say a few events in the novel took me by surprise. Andrews does a good job with some plot twists! Also, I loved the setting of Talisa Island. Andrews made me feel like I was down South, on the beach with a good drink and contemplating skinny dipping with the High Tide Club gals. The parties, the beautiful homes, the private beaches and star filled skies were all so vivid and memorable.

I ended up giving The High Tide Club 3.5 stars instead of 4 due to some slow parts as well as the character of Brooke. While I liked her, her romance in the story left me feeling a bit flat and I didn't feel as drawn to her character as much as the other aspects of the story, such as Josephine's secret.

Nonetheless, if you like your beach reads with not just romance and a gorgeous Southern setting, but also historical details and a side of intrigue, then check out The High Tide Club before the summer is over.

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