Mary Kay Andrews loves writing books about beaches, romance, and mystery, and with “Hello, Summer,” she mixes all of the above into a sweet read about Conley Hawkins, who has left her small town and her family newspaper, the Silver Bay Beacon, to become a star journalist in Atlanta.
But when that new, more prestigious job falls through, after she gave notice and gave up her apartment, she goes home to recoup and think about her future. Living with her grandmother, a quirky character, is lovely. She reconnects with her best friend from childhood, Sean Kelly, and even starts working with her sister at the family paper.
But when she and Sean come across a burning car in the wee hours of the morning, and a US congressman is dead, it all turns into the story of a lifetime. And Conley is at the center of it.
The setting is the Florida panhandle, and Andrews shines at sharing small town Southern values and prejudices. Readers will wonder about what choices Conley will make when faced with staying with family or leaving to make her way solo into the world again. The well-drawn characters, the intricate plot, and the charming setting all make this a lovely beach read.
Please note: This review is based on the final, hardcover book provide by St. Martin’s Press, the publisher, for review purposes.