The High Season
You know Judy Blundell from her award-winning young adult novel What I Saw and How I Lied. This summer she’s back with her first novel for adults. The setting is a tiny town in the “uncool” northern fork of the Hamptons, two ferries away from the summer society scene. Ruthie loves her life there, but can only afford it if she moves out during the summer high season to rent her house to the ultra-rich. Her daughter resents the annual move, but that’s the least of her worries. She’s about to lose it all: her ex-husband unexpectedly falls for someone, her art gallery employees revolt, and she’s driven to take drastic action with unthinkable consequences. This would be an excellent companion to Anna Quindlen’s spring release Alternate Side or Tom Rachman’s The Italian Teacher. Compulsively readable but seriously dark: if you need likeable characters this is NOT for you.
“A shimmering story of art, money, and celebrity, The High Season is wicked summer fun.”—Helen Simonson, New York Times bestselling author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand
The Hamptons hath no fury like a woman scorned.
No matter what the world throws her way, at least Ruthie Beamish has the house. Lovingly renovated, located by the sea in a quiet Long Island village, the house is her nest egg—the retirement account shared with her ex-husband, Mike, and the college fund for their teenage daughter, Jem. The catch? To afford the house, Ruthie must let it go during the best part of the year.
It’s Memorial Day weekend and Ruthie has packed up their belongings for what Jem calls “the summer bummer”: the family’s annual exodus to make way for renters. This year, the Hamptons set has arrived. The widow of a blue-chip artist, Adeline Clay is elegant, connected, and accompanied by a “gorgeous satellite” stepson. But soon Adeline demonstrates an uncanny ability to help herself to Ruthie’s life—her house, her friends, even her husband (okay, ex-husband, but still). And after her job as the director of a local museum is threatened, Ruthie finally decides to fight back.
Meanwhile, away from the watchful eyes of her parents, Jem is tasting independence at her first summer job, but soon finds herself growing up too fast. One of Ruthie’s employees, a master of self-invention named Doe, infiltrates the inner circle of an eccentric billionaire and his wayward daughter. With a coterie of social climbers and Ruthie’s old flame thrown into the mix, the entire town finds itself on the verge of tumultuous change. By the end of one unhinged, unforgettable summer, nothing will be the same.
In a novel packed with indelible characters, crackling wit, and upstairs/downstairs drama, Judy Blundell emerges as a voice for all seasons—a wry and original storyteller who knows how the most disruptive events in our lives can twist endings into new beginnings.