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August Book Look

Local bibliophiles review their recent reads

This Book Look is the latest installment of a recurring round-up of book reviews by local readers. To contribute to this feature, contact the Kittanning Library. We would love to share your critiques & recommendations with other readers.

Hello Summer by Mary Kay Andrews


And 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand

Book Reviews by Daphne Ruffner

My guilty pleasure? Beach books.

And, when you can’t go to the beach…read about it. The two latest of this category are Hello Summer by Mary Kay Andrews and 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand.

The primary character of Hello Summer is a small weekly hometown newspaper.

The plight of America’s print papers is the message.

There are numerous controversial secondary characters, a crooked politician, a mysterious all-night DJ, an elderly gossip columnist lost in the 1960s. The setting is a small town in the Florida panhandle.

The main characters are members of the Hawkins family who own the paper.

Conley Hawkins returns home after losing a job at a big time paper in D.C. Grayson is her sister who gave up a law career to be the editor. Lorraine is the elderly grand matriarch who owns it. The sisters have been at odds all their lives and Conley has no intention of working there, until…

A highly revered congressman dies in an unexplained car accident which Conley and a friend witness. The investigative reporter kicks in. For a sleepy, idyllic beach town it’s getting dangerous out there.

Follow the money.

Elin Hilderbrand’s 25th novel (all best sellers) 28 Summers is set once again in ritzy, high-end Nantucket.

Mallory Blessings is living in New York City, working a crappy job for which she is overly-qualified, with her best friend who is a bit much. She hates it, until…

She inherits her aunt’s cottage in Nantucket. She is gone instantly. A part-time waitress jobs gives her time for the beach, then in the fall a teaching job. She’s the happiest she’s ever been.

Labor Day weekend her brother and two friends arrive. One guy-Jake!! It’s mutual love at first sight. But he lives in D.C. and has a girlfriend. They agree to meet every year “no matter what.”

Its 28 years of the same routine, same food, same schedule, same activities. Jake marries his long-time career centered girlfriend out of some ill-thought loyalty over her devotion to his twin sister while she was dying. Mallory has some relationships which go nowhere, ultimately having a son to another friend of her brother.

These are good writers. Elin says things like “reading is the holiest activity a person can engage in.” She tells us of history and events each year and includes many book recommendations. There’s a lot of romance, but you wouldn’t necessarily call it a romance novel. There’s politics. The descriptions of landscapes are breath taking.

These are two recent releases, both on the New York Times best seller list, available at the Kittanning Public Library. Call and get on the waiting list.

If you like beach books, think Dorthea Benton Frank. I was saddened to read of her death in September of 2019. The library has a large selection of her books. They are all worth reading.


Daphne Ruffner is an avid reader and lover of good books. She can be found volunteering at the library and perusing patron donations and book sales for gently-used gems. Daphne plans and coordinates the much-anticipated Kittanning Library Book Sales.

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