There’s no doubt about it: Friendship is a long and winding road. Long-term friendships are fraught with challenges, and Erin Duffy, author of Lost Along the Way, knows this better than most. Her new novel deals with a trio of friends and their evolving relationships over the years. Here, Duffy picks the perfect beach books to read with your BFF. These summer novels will bolster your bond and raise issues common to most friendships. Slather on the SPF, and get reading!
Ahh, summer. The perfect time to hang out with your best girlfriend–preferably on a beautiful beach, ideally with a cold cocktail, and definitely with a great book. Here are the summer novels I’m dying to read and discuss with my BFF by Labor Day.
A book about a dead celebrity chef and his three ex-wives has all the hallmarks of a perfect summer read. Plus, it’s set on magical Nantucket and contains recipes, including one for a champagne cake. Yes, please! The women in this story are not meant to be friends; after all, the only thing they have in common is that they married the same man. When they’re forced to spend a weekend together in a crowded house, their silent agreement to avoid each other goes out the window, and unlikely friendships develop. We all have women in our lives that we wouldn’t share our books, or anything else, with, but maybe we’re wrong to judge them so quickly. Is your adversary really as bad as she seems?
This is an oldie but a goodie. A group of friends spend a summer together in a Hamptons house, and an illicit romance evolves. This book explores how our own personal interests can sometimes interfere with our friends’ happiness. Even the best of friends can make mistakes that prove to be too damaging to forgive, and romance is nothing if not complicated. This book is real. It’s scandalous, it’s beachy, and it’s fabulous. When you’re finished reading, look over at that friend sitting next to you in her beach chair, and be happy that the only thing she ever stole from you was a pair of jeans. Actually, hug her. She deserves it.
Four friends fly via private jet to Jamaica to spend a weekend together in a beachfront villa. As far as I’m concerned, that alone makes this the perfect beach read. Add to that scandal, secrets, cocktail-soaked evenings, and a hurricane threatening the island, and it might just become the best beach read ever. I love how the characters in this book all struggle with their own problems, but they manage to reconnect with each other in spite of it all. Old friends make the best friends, and this book will remind you of that. It will also make you wonder why none of your friends have a private beachfront villa you can visit on a regular basis. Sigh.
In this novel, college roommates reunite to rehash their past and possibly rebuild their shattered friendships. I love books that examine the way friendships evolve over time, especially since my own 20-year reunion is approaching faster than I’d like! Why does life sometimes get in the way of the relationships we used to value the most, and how can we prevent that from happening? Most of us have friendships that we let slip away for one reason or another. How many of us come to regret that decision? This thought-provoking cautionary tale about tested friendships should be shared, and discussed, with your bestie.
I love this book. It has nothing to do with a beach, but it does have to do with family, romance, and fashion on Fifth Avenue in 1950s Manhattan, and that makes it a perfect book to read anywhere! Lucia Sartori is ambitious, beautiful, talented, and torn between following her heart and following the wishes of her family. Modern women are encouraged to follow their dreams. It wasn’t always like that, and I love that this book reminds us not to take that for granted. Do you have a girlfriend who’s trying to balance her family and her career? I bet you do. This book is for her—and for you.
Erin Duffy graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in English and worked on Wall Street, a career that inspired her first novel, Bond Girl. She lives in New York with her husband and children.