Book Review

Book Review | Summer Hours by Amy Mason Doan

Title: Summer Hours
Author: Amy Mason Doan
Genre: Romance
Published On: June 4, 2019
Publisher: Graydon House
Source: physical copy
Pages: 416


“Fantastic. Wistful, mysterious, sparkling with secrets, scenery, and some steaminess. I raced through Summer Hours in a day!” —Meg Donohue, USA Today bestselling author 

“A perfect summer read.”

“Engaging and nostalgic. Doan’s writing sweeps you away.”
—Helen Hoang, author of The Kiss Quotient

From the author of The Summer List, a warmly told novel set in the mid ’90s and 2008 about the idealism of youth, the seductive power of nostalgia, and what happens when you realize you haven’t become the person you’d always promised to be.

Becc was the good girl. A dedicated student. Aspiring reporter. Always where she was supposed to be. Until a secret affair with the charming Cal one summer in college cost her everything she held dear: her journalism dreams; her relationship with her best friend, Eric; and her carefully imagined future.

Now, Becc’s past is back front and center as she travels up the scenic California coast to a wedding—with a man she hasn’t seen in a decade. As each mile flies by, Becc can’t help but feel the thrilling push and pull of memories, from infinite nights at beach bonfires and lavish boat parties to secret movie sessions. But the man beside her is not so eager to re-create history. And as the events of that heartbreaking summer come into view, Becc must decide if those dazzling hours they once shared are worth fighting for or if they’re lost forever.

As of 5/29 this book is currently $2.99!
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My thoughts

(Spoiler free!)

Summer Hours is nostalgic, atmospheric, and all-consuming. I would have preferred to read it all in one sitting, but life is always getting in the way. 

“We used to escape together, years ago, when we were so sure we could steal time before it stole us.”

Amy Mason Doan, Summer Hours

I so enjoyed Amy’s debut novel The Summer List, and I loved Summer Hours even more. I remember saying in my review of The Summer List that the only thing that would have made it better was if I’d read it by a lake, and I feel the same way about this one. It would have only been better if I’d read it by the ocean. Preferably the Pacific Ocean, somewhere off Highway 1, where much of this novel is set. 

I love the alternating timelines, the slow reveal of what has pulled these close friends apart. I love the main character Becc, who is flawed and real and discovering who she wants to be despite what the rest of the world wants her to be. I love her friends and how they weave in and out of her life. It’s a perfect ‘beach read’ or book club book. Lots to think about and discuss. I know I’ll be thinking about this heartfelt novel for a long time, and I’m happy I’ve found another auto-buy author.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

A Song For A Book

On Bookstagram I created a hashtag for when I include a song that reminds me of the book I’m sharing, #ASongForABook, I thought I’d make it a regular feature on my reviews, too.

Amy has already done the hard work for me and composed a playlist of her own on Spotify. And I’ll be highlighting “Ice Cream” by Sarah McLachlan, a very 90’s nostalgic song that I love(d), as well.

…Your love is better than ice cream
Better than anything else that I’ve tried
Your love is better than ice cream
Everyone here knows how to fight

It’s a long way down
It’s a long way down
It’s a long way down
To the place that we started from…

Have you read Summer Hours? Did you add it to your TBR? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Wandering!

6 thoughts on “Book Review | Summer Hours by Amy Mason Doan”

  1. I used to live near the coast (three blocks from the Pacific Ocean… loved the spot, but had to get away from the guy I was there with) so the cover on this one instantly brings back memories for me. I can see where this would be a very nostalgic read!

    1. Oh I’m sorry you had to leave, but nice that you got to experience it for a bit. It’s been many years, but we drove down Hwy 1 from San Fransisco to almost LA. To this day, it’s still my favorite vacation. <3

  2. Lovely review! And somehow romance books are better when they’re near water bodies. The entire vacation on a beach vibe is nice.

  3. This sounds really good Dedra. This is an author that I keep saying I want to try. Maybe I will start with this series. Wonderful review.

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