The Light in Summer by Mary McNear Release Date: June 20, 2017 Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks Book #5 of the Butternut Lake series Number of pages: 372 Kindle edition Source: MCL Contemporary Romance M/F Rating: R Read 7/6/18 to 7/8/18
Like the heroine in this story, Billy, I am a huge fan of Jane Austen and could read her books over and over. I also (surprise, surprise) love being surrounded by books. So, of course, I took an instant liking to Billy. Her fear of being without a book and the destruction of books, it was like she was my spirit animal.
Cal, the hero, was also easy to like. In fact, I couldn’t reconcile the Seattle Cal, that we saw bits and pieces of, with the Butternut Cal. I think that was the point. Cal had to find himself again…I believe he even said something about a “reset”. What better place to do that than returning to your childhood summer home?
Since Cal is Allie’s brother, things circled back around to some of the original favorites like Up at Butternut Lake that the last book, The Space Between Sisters, had veered away from a bit. They’re mostly on the periphery, but it’s always good to get a bit caught up with the lives of the original characters.
Billy is going through what a lot of parents go through when their kids start getting into their teens, whether they are single parents or not. On top of the usual fears and doubts, she has the added burden of deciding if her son should meet his biological father, who doesn’t even know he exists. Where you can’t fault Billy for not telling the father initially (there’s a logical and good explanation to this), it gets sticky with where their lives are now and the information she now has available. As much as Billy agonized over this decision, I felt myself waffling on what I felt was the right choice, too. The author really had me empathizing with all of the characters and wanting to somehow help them.
Most of this story is a back and forth on Billy’s and Cal’s point of view. We also get a glimpse into Billy’s son, Luke, though. And that really helps to humanize him and not just keep him as this annoying kid who is getting into trouble out of spite.
It’s been a while since I’ve read this series and I’m glad something caught my eye to get me to circle back around to it. Not only was it a great read, but I see there’s another book in the series coming out soon that sounds quite interesting.