“Wicked Summer” A Cape Harriet Novel,
by Roma Brooks
Publication Date: August 15, 2016
Synopsis: Wicked Summer follows the Bloom family as they spend a once in a lifetime vacation at Cape Harriet, a charming seaside town on Virginia’s scenic Eastern Shore.
All Mary Bloom ever wanted was to celebrate her 60th birthday at the beach. The extended Bloom family converges at the Rising Tides Inn, where their slightest whim is catered to.
Forty-something Iris is the perfect suburban mom, holding her four kids and husband on a tight leash. 36-year-old Hyacinth is single, successful and the self-proclaimed brains of the family. At 26, Poppy is a top travel blogger, wandering across countries most people only dream of visiting.
The rivalry among the sisters is as strong as ever, and each sister is dealing with it in her own way. So while Iris taunts and needles, Hyacinth takes the high road and shows disdain. Poppy suffers silently, lost in her own inner turmoil. None of them has an inkling of the storm that is about to break loose in their lives.
Soft shell crabs and salt marshes will be forgotten as shocking secrets are revealed. Everyone seems to be guilty of hiding something.
“Wicked Summer,” is the upcoming installment in The Cape Harriet Series by Roma Brooks. This novel once again takes readers to Cape Harriet and the Rising Tide Inn with Zadie and Pete. In celebration of their mother Mary’s 60th birthday, the Bloom daughters and grandchildren book the Rising Tide Inn for a week of relaxation and celebration. From the beginning of the novel, however, you quickly realize that the oldest sister Iris is miserable and hateful to everyone, especially her sisters. The middle daughter, Hyacinth, is quieter and keeps to herself unless it’s to battle with Iris. The youngest sister, Poppy, is a free-spirit travel blogger that tries to get along with both of her sisters but they just won’t allow it. Iris is a stay at home mom that is like a drill sergeant with her children and obsesses over eating as few calories as possible. Hyacinth has always been the “smart one,” a college professor, and been alone. Poppy dropped out of college and has been to 40 countries at the age of 26. All of these women plus Iris’ children at the Inn for the week equates to bickering and jabs at one another, and insults. As the week progresses, the family members begin to learn things about each other indicating that things are not always as they seem. Mary, Poppy, and the grandchildren are the most supportive of everyone, while some of the tension remains.
I enjoyed this story quite a bit, especially Poppy’s character and that she was presented as just an overall great young lady. I liked Mary’s quiet demeanor, just sitting back and taking everything in. Hyacinth puzzled me initially, but as the novel progressed and I learned about her story, I really liked her. Then there is Iris… I disliked this woman from the beginning until the end. She was hateful to everyone around her for about 98% of the novel. Even after the author revealed the issues that Iris had been dealing with, I still just wasn’t able to like her at all. In spite of her hardships and family issues, she continued to choose to be overbearing, critical, and selfish throughout the story. But there’s always one in a family or a novel that you just can’t wrap your arms around.
Once again I must mention that Brooks just kills you with the descriptions of Zadie’s cooking. Not to mention that the family visits a summer festival where the food descriptions will make you drool! This story was full of surprises, drama, and at times – love and consideration between the characters. I loved Mary’s story that she shared at her party, and especially the “surprise” from Poppy after sharing (can’t give spoilers!). My only negative comment would be regarding James and Sandhya from “Clipper Beach” were only mentioned once or twice throughout the entire novel. The ending of “Clipper Beach” left me thinking that their story would be continued in “Wicked Summer” but it wasn’t. Hopefully, they will return in a future installment of the Cape Harriet Series. I think Poppy would be a great character to base an installment around also, but just a suggestion. 🙂 “Wicked Summer” is available starting August 15, so make sure and get to know Roma Brooks and her Cape Harriet Series!
*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.