Review: The Summer House by Hannah McKinnon

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☆☆➹⁀☆ 5 stars☆➹⁀☆☆


What it’s about:

Flossy Merrill has managed to—somewhat begrudgingly—gather her three ungrateful grown children from their dysfunctional lives for a summer reunion at the family’s Rhode Island beach house. Clementine, her youngest child and a young mother of two small children, has caused Flossy the most worry after enduring a tragically life-altering year. But Samuel and his partner Evan are not far behind in their ability to alarm: their prospective adoption search has just taken a heart-wrenching turn. Only Paige, the eldest of the headstrong Merrill clan, is her usual self: arriving precisely on time with her well-adapted teens. Little does her family know that she, too, is facing personal struggles of her own.

No matter. With her family finally congregated under one seaside roof, Flossy is determined to steer her family back on course even as she prepares to reveal the fate of the summer house that everyone has thus far taken for granted: she’s selling it. The Merrill children are both shocked and outraged and each returns to memories of their childhoods at their once beloved summer house—the house where they have not only grown up, but from which they have grown away. With each lost in their respective heartaches, Clementine, Samuel, and Paige will be forced to reconsider what really matters before they all say goodbye to a house that not only defined their summers, but, ultimately, the ways in which they define themselves.

Purchase: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Google | Books-a-Million | IndieBound | Blio

My Thoughts:

The Summer House on the shores of Rhode Island is the Merrill family’s bastion. Matriarch, Flossy, and patriarch, Richard are weary of keeping up the vacation property that has been in their family for generations. The task has become onerous since their grown children and extended families return home to visit less and less frequently.

Current day problems mingle with childhood memories of the beach house and sibling rivalries. Each of Flossy’s children (Paige, Samuel, and Clementine) arrive at the summer house with worries and mounting problems from their adult life, but in the course of the week spent preparing for Richard’s 75th birthday, they are reminded of their strong familial bonds and the strength and support received from one another.

In this character driven novel, a family that grew apart found their way back to center. They reconnected and renewed their bonds “down by the water”. The family dynamics are rich and complicated. Ms. McKinnon explores not only the Merrill’s relationships within the nuclear family, she dives into Paige, Sam, and Clem’s relationships with their own children and spouses. The Summer House by Hannah McKinnon is a classic family drama that made me long for a summer at a beach house with my own family.



Enter to win a paperback of The Summer House

THE SUMMER HOUSE by Hannah McKinnon
Emily Bestler Books Paperback | ISBN: 9781501162800 | On-sale: June 6, 2017 | 320 pages | $16.00  | eBook ISBN: 9781501162817, $9.99

About the author: Hannah McKinnon is the author of The Lake Season and Mystic Summer. She lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut, with her family, a flock of chickens and two rescue dogs. Check her out at and

FIND HANNAH McKINNON ONLINE: Website | Twitter | Facebook


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