Louisa Fitzgerald McLean is a history professor at New York University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Steven, who is trying to grow his podcast company, and their three school-age children Matty, Abigail and Claire. For the summer, Louisa and her children head to the place she truly calls home – Ships View, her parents’ vacation home in Owls Head, Maine. Under pressure to publish a new book, Louisa is hoping to have time to write while on vacation in Maine. She is resentful that her husband is staying in Brooklyn to work. She also has to face the reality that her father Martin, a retired judge of great prominence, continues to decline as he suffers from Alzheimer’s. While the family settles in, Louisa literally bumps into Kristie Turner, a young woman who has just arrived in the area. While she is a stranger to her, Kristie knows everything about Louisa and her family and wants to find a way to speak with Martin, unaware of his illness. As the summer progresses, family tensions rise as Steven’s absence is preventing Louisa from writing and it is making the children very unhappy. And Kristie, who has been trying to connect with Louisa’s father, starts to find some much-needed happiness, which could be short-lived.
Author Meg Mitchell Moore has created a group of interesting characters who all feel very real, with their flaws and struggles. The Fitzgerald family members have a strong love for one another. And for Louisa, she also has a love for Ships View. Her children are wise beyond their years and their letters to their father are some of my favorite parts of Vacationland, an enjoyable book with a lot of heart. It is a perfect summer read, especially if you’re heading to Maine.
Many thanks to William Morrow and HarperCollins for the opportunity to read Vacationland in advance of its release.
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.
Publication Date: June 14, 2022.
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