Breaking my I-don’t-post-reviews-here rule once again. Obviously, it’s a silly rule, meant to be broken when the urge comes upon me–as it did this morning when I finished reading Summer at Hideaway Key.
Barbara Davis has done it again. She told me I’d love Lily-Mae. What she didn’t tell me was that I’d become so emotionally entangled with this wonderful character that I’d want to climb into the story and shake some sense into her, then turn around and pull Lily-Mae into my arms to soothe her. I wanted to promise that it would all work out. Surely, it would all work out.
Thank you, Barbara, that it did. Not perhaps as I would have preferred, but the deeds had been done already and couldn’t be undone. And isn’t that the gift of great storytelling? That the author can draw the reader so deeply into the narrative that she totally suspends disbelief? I was there. I was rooting and crying and laughing right beside Lily and Lily-Mae, beside Dean and Roland. (And I wanted to throttle Caroline, who became the perfect example of choices gone bad.)
Barbara dealt with some hard topics here—abuse, jealousy, lies, and betrayal. She made us think about the meaning of love, the gift of forgiveness, and the choices we make to follow love or to follow anger, to risk our heart or to run and hide from the possibility of pain.
Oh, and let’s not forget the setting. Barbara may have shown the horrors of a poor farm, but she also gave us Hideaway Key, the Gulf coast, and a gorgeous white beach. She tossed in pink drinks and pink flip flops, a tightly knit community, and the comfort of friends. I wanted to sift through Lily-Mae’s jar of shells, to sit on the deck and count blessings as I watched the sunset with my beloved, waiting every night for the green flash and rooting for happy endings all around.
And make sure you collect all three of Barbara’s books. I can’t wait for number four.