Summer is the perfect time to slide into a new story. Whether you are poolside or fitting in a few pages on your lunch break, Summer is calling you to your favorite books- new and old! Looking for a new read that will inspire you to relax and enjoy the warmest months of the summer? Check out our top 3 picks for Good Summer Reads! (And check out each issue of Eastern Home & Travel for our latest Great Reads reviews!)
In the Unlikely Event
By Judy Blume
For millions of women, the novels of Judy Blume defined their youth. Her novel, “In the Unlikely Event”, is geared toward an adult audience, including some compelling, semi-autobiographical story telling. In the 1950’s, a series of three commercial airplanes fall from the sky unexpectedly within 58 days, killing dozens of passengers who were headed to or from nearby Newark Airport. These crashes, whose causes are still mostly unsolved, left the surrounding community reeling, and served as the perfect backdrop for a fictional story. The novel explores the experiences of several generations of family, friends, and strangers who were all profoundly affected by the disasters. In true Blume form, vivid details of the time in which the novel takes place are a highlight of the novel.
-Review excerpts by Molly Fellin Spence
The Legacy of Kings
By Eleanor Herman
The initial chapters of “Legacy of Kings” introduce the main characters and their interactions with each other. All had ties to Phillip of Macedon’s royal court in Greece. Alexander, Macedon’s 16-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world, but finds himself drawn to a beautiful and mysterious peasant girl, Katerina, “who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while keeping hidden her own mission: kill the queen.” Another character, Jacob, wants Kat and will do anything for that purpose, especially preempting Hephaestion, who is a murderer and also the best friend of Alexander. There there is Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s “unmet betrothed.”
The leading paragraph leads off with- “Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.” This is the first in her series of four books on the subject of Alexander the Great.
-Review exerpts by Joe Motheral
The Fairy Tale Girl
By Susan Branch
Author Susan Branch embarks on her latest volume, a two-part illustrated fairytale memoir based on the diaries she has kept since she was in her 20’s. The story begins in “The Fairy Tale Girl” and continues in “Martha’s Vineyard, Isle of Dreams.” Both volumes follow Branch’s journey “running away” from her California home to a one-bedroom cottage in the woods in Martha’s Vineyard, “discovering heroes, finding purpose and learning to become and artist and an author.”
Reading one of Branch’s books is a unique experience, almost like perusing a graphic novel. Pertinent drawings and photos are peppered throughout the pages, and many paragraphs begin with a beautiful little hand-drawn monogram letter. Through her writings and drawings, Branch draws readers in, making us feel like close friends. Funny, sometimes slightly embarrassing, little vignettes like these charm Branch’s readers with their honesty and relatability. In fact, Branch has millions of ardent fans she calls “girlfriends” who come in contact with her work everyday.
-Review exerpts by Molly Fellin Spence
Want to win your own copy of The Fairy Tale Girl by Susan Branch? Enter the Giveaway, happening Tuesday June 21st through Thursday June 23rd, on the Eastern Home & Travel Facebook page!