Year 4, Book 73

73. July and August by Nancy Clark
This is the book one of my book clubs was reading for November. The story revolves around an extended family who all seem to descend upon the remaining family matriarch, a spinster aunt named Lily, for the months of July and August. The setting is a small town in Massachusetts named Towne. Some of the characters do actually live in Towne, but the majority of them seem to have some reason to come visit and then some seemingly contrived reason about why they can spend 2 months sitting around this town where they don’t live helping Lily out at her farm stand. The whole book just felt really shallow to me. It bothered me that all these people were randomly stepping out of their lives for 2 months to hang around with each other, and there were a lot of characters so you never really got more than a cursory glimpse at any one of them. The author has written a couple other books that I’m not familiar with, but that based on the titles I suspect may have featured some of the characters. In which case some of the back story alluded to may have occurred in previous novels. As it is I sort of felt like I was abruptly dropped into these characters lives and was reading the second half of a story. I don’t know if the answer is in the previous books or not, but at any rate I definitely felt like I was missing something while reading this book. I give it a 5 out of 10.

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