Tag Archives: 2020 Summer Reading List

Review: The Safe Place

The Safe Place

The Safe Place 
By Anna Downes
Minotaur Books, 9781250264800, July 14, 2020, 368pp.

The Short of It:

A surprising read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

The Rest of It:

The cover hints at something sinister going on and yet I could not for the life of me figure out what until very late in the story. It kept me guessing and I really enjoyed how it all unfolded as I eagerly turned each page.

Emily is a young, struggling actress who works temp jobs just to get by. One morning she shows up to work only to find out that she’s being let go. She can’t make the rent, her bank account is depleted and now this. What she doesn’t know is that Scott, the boss who just decided to let her go, has other plans for her.

He offers her a live-in position caring for his wife and daughter at his home in France. Included in the deal is a car, a bank account with plenty of spending money and a beautiful place to call home. This is the answer to Emily’s dreams and after a few weeks with the family she discovers that she loves this family and has really grown attached to their young daughter, Aurelia.

As the story unfolds, Emily becomes concerned. Something isn’t right and there seems to be many secrets that Nina and Scott are keeping from her. At one point in the story I was seriously creeped out!

I really enjoyed The Safe Place. I read it in just a couple of sittings because the story starts with a bang and right out of the gate you want to know what’s going to happen next. I am loving these kinds of reads during these COVID times. If you need a quick, riveting read to get you through the day, pick this one up.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: The Second Home

The Second Home

The Second Home
By Christina Clancy
St. Martin’s Press, 9781250239341, June 2020, 352pp.

The Short of It:

The Second Home is the type of story you linger in for awhile. Full of nostalgia and set in a classic Cape Cod setting.

The Rest of It:

The Gordon family has spent many summers at their beloved Wellfleet home on the Cape and have made many good memories there. But one summer, seventeen-year-old Ann experiences something that changes how she feels about the beloved beach house and when reality hits her, there’s no way to ever go back to how it was before.

The story goes back and forth in time. To the past, with the events leading up to Ann’s change of heart and then into the present which finds the Wellfleet home about to be put on the market. The decision to put the house on the market is not an easy one for Ann but what she feels is best for her sister Poppy and herself. However, their adopted brother Michael, who has been estranged from the family for years shows up to claim his piece of the house which forces Ann and Poppy to revisit their past.

At first, I had a hard time connecting with these characters. It took awhile for the author to lay the groundwork for the story but once she did, I was hooked. Clancy did an amazing job at setting the tone for this novel. It’s warm when it needs to be and brimming with nostalgia at times which I personally love. It’s also a story of loss and tragedy. There are many bittersweet moments as I turned the pages but the sense of family is overwhelming in a totally good way.

I did not want this story to end. As I got to those final pages I wanted to experience them without any distractions so I  drew them out for as long as I could to ensure distraction-free reading. So good.

Have you read this one? Besides the awesome Cape setting, the house itself was so present and enjoyable even with all of its faults. The Second Home will be on my list of favorites at the end of the year.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.