Mary Kay Andrews, 2012
St. Martin's Press
Sometimes, when you need a change in your life, the tide just happens to pull you in the right direction.... Ellis, Julia, and Dorie. Best friends since Catholic grade school, they now find themselves, in their mid-thirties, at the crossroads of life and love.
Ellis, recently fired from a job she gave everything to, is rudderless and now beginning to question the choices she’s made over the past decade of her life. Julia—whose caustic wit covers up her wounds—has a man who loves her and is offering her the world, but she can’t hide from how deeply insecure she feels about her looks, her brains, her life. And Dorie has just been shockingly betrayed by the man she loved and trusted the most in the world…though this is just the tip of the iceberg of her problems and secrets.
A month in North Carolina’s Outer Banks is just what each of them needs. Ty Bazemore is their landlord, though he’s hanging on to the rambling old beach house by a thin thread. After an inauspicious first meeting with Ellis, the two find themselves disturbingly attracted to one another, even as Ty is about to lose everything he’s ever cared about.
Maryn Shackleford is a stranger, and a woman on the run. Maryn needs just a few things in life: no questions, a good hiding place, and a new identity. Ellis, Julia, and Dorie can provide what Maryn wants; can they also provide what she needs? Five people questioning everything they ever thought they knew about life. Five people on a journey that will uncover their secrets and point them on the path to forgiveness. Five people who each need a sea change, and one month that might just give it to them. (From the publisher.)
Read an Excerpt.
• Aka—Kathy Hogan Trocheck
• Birth—July 27, 1954
• Where—Tampa Florida
• Raised—St. Petersberg, Florida
• Education—B.A., Iniversity of Georgia
• Currently—lives in Atlanta, Georgia
In In 2003, a writer named Mary Kay Andrews burst on the book scene with an entertaining, lighthearted confection entitled Savannah Blues. Hailed as a promising debut, the book received positive reviews; but not everyone realized it was actually the work of journalist-turned-novelist Kathy Hogan Trocheck, author of a bestselling mystery series begun in 1990 and featuring ex-cop-turned P.I. Callahan Garrity. Trocheck explained in an interview with Reading Group Guides.com the reason for adopting a pseudonym (derived, by the way, from combining the names of her two children): "Because Blues is so different from my Callahan books, I wanted a chance to try for a whole new group of readers, people who like women's fiction, Southern fiction, and still, mysteries. That Mary Kay is a pseudonym for Kathy Hogan Trocheck is not a secret from my fans."
Savannah Blues introduced readers to Eloise "Weezie" Foley, whose marriage to the wealthy Talmadge Evans III suffers a fatal blow when he announces he is in love with someone else. When Talmadge's mistress moves into his Savannah mansion, it's the backyard carriage house for Weezie, who soon begins to devise a plan to get revenge on her cheating hubby. Blues may have been a marked departure from Trocheck's grittier early work, but it was a rousing success on all fronts. Publishers Weekly hailed it as "delightfully breezy, richly atmospheric" and Kirkus reviews called it "pure fun."
Soon, Mary Kay Andrews had assumed a life of her own. A year later, she published Little Bitty Lies, followed in 2005 by the joyfully wacky New York Times bestseller Hissy Fit. Having revisited the world of her irresistible protagonist Weezie Foley twice more in Savannah Breeze and Blue Christmas, Andrews continues to craft her winning brand of witty, Southern-fried fiction -- much to the delight of her many fans.
• When Andrews was a journalist at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she covered the famous "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" murder case. As Kathy Hogan Trocheck, Andrews's mysteries have been nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, Agatha, and Macavity Awards.
• When she isn't writing, Mary Kay Andrews lectures and teaches at writing workshops.
Mary Kay Andrews spins a beach blanket sizzler around three lifelong friends...This warm weather treat has a lot going for it, not least the sunny forecast that summer love can blossom into a four-season commitment.
[A] tailor-made beach read…another charmer.
(Starred review.) Andrews…is at her warm and funny best…[she] simply excels at creating the kind of characters readers can relate to, and she has a fabulous sense of humor to boot
1. Each of the four characters comes to Ebbtide with a major problem. How would you characterize each problem?
2. Which of the characters’ dilemmas did you find the easiest to relate to? Which one felt the least identifiable to you, and why?
3. There is a famous saying that “money is only something you need in case you don’t die tomorrow.” Do you feel that money could have solved each one of these characters’ problems, including Ty Bazemore? Why or why not?
4. Maryn Shackleford leaves her life behind to create a new identity. If you were in her position would you have done the same? Would it be easy to leave your life behind? Have you ever been tempted to do so?
5. Does the idea of a month-long rental with a group of girlfriends appeal to you? Where would be your dream place to go? What problems could you foresee occurring?
6. Do you think it’s possible to be married to someone and not realize he’s gay? If Dorie’s situation happened to you, what would you do?
7. For someone who has devoted her entire life to her career, being fired is the ultimate devastation. Can you relate to Ellis’s situation? Do you understand why this threw her so much? Do you think being fired can actually end up being the best thing that ever happened to you?
8. Julia fights against the physical realities of growing old. What do you really think she’s worried about? Do you embrace the concept of aging with humor, acceptance, or dread?
9. Ty and Ellis could not be more opposite. But did you see any ways in which they are similar? Can you see their relationship working in the long term?
10. What is your go-to karaoke song?
11. If you were to create a soundtrack to go along with this book, what would be on the playlist?
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