If you didn't spend some time pouring over a page-turner at the beach, did summer even happen? If like us, buying a new book or two is compulsory ahead of your main holiday, you don’t want to take your chances rushing through the airport selection. There’s nothing worse than finally settling into your sunbed, slathering on some SPF, a bit of AM/PM Tinted Lip Balm, ordering a drink, and then realising that you’re not really feeling your book a chapter in. So, we’ve done a bit of research, and found some seriously engrossing plots to keep you engaged for those idyllic lazy beach days. Here’s our top ten.
City of Girls - Elizabeth Gilbert The iconic Eat, Pray, Love author weaves an intricate tale about a woman named Vivian Morris who leaves Vassar College in New York City to move in with her eccentric aunt, Peg. In a true girls’ book and coming-of-age story, the reader is roped into the fanciful summer Vivian spends in the city and the colourful characters she meets along the way.
Mrs. Everything - Jennifer WeinerThe acclaimed author of Who Do You Love and In Her Shoes is back with another summer read. We go back to the 1950s, following the lives of two sisters, both then and now. They attempt to navigate the ever-changing world around them, and like Weiner's other novels, this one will have you losing precious beauty sleep.
Lock Every Door - Riley SagerWant to bring a bit of darkness into those sunny summer afternoons? For a poolside thriller, check out Sager's Lock Every Door. When Jules Larsen takes a new job as an apartment sitter, she has no clue that she'll eventually try to solve the disappearance of her colleague. That, combined with the apartment building's troubling past, makes it a book that will thrill and terrify you.
Three Women - Lisa Taddeo Over the course of eight years, star writer Lisa Taddeo unveils the lives and desires of three real non-fictional women living in the United States. A housewife in Indiana, an entrepreneur on the East Coast, and a high school student in North Dakota have highly revealing and all-too-relatable stories to tell. You’ll devour it.
The Golden Hour - Beatriz Williams Journey to the Bahamas circa 1941, where a recently widowed woman named Lulu is reporting on the lives of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. They have plenty of drama already, but there's even more when Lulu discovers a sinister truth behind the couple's marriage. During all of this, she falls in love with a man who vanishes. A tropical historical page-turner.
Never Have I Ever: A Novel - Joshilyn JacksonProtagonist Amy is happy enough with her fairly typical life and daily routine. But when a new woman named Angelica comes to her book club, encouraging the group to share their secrets, she is forced to confront her own past. Ultimately, she realises that the only way to protect herself is to beat contrarian Angelica at her own game.
My Lovely Wife - Samantha DowningAt the core of this thriller is a husband and wife who are pretty bored in their 15-year marriage. But the lengths to which this couple is willing to go through to liven things up is as unconventional as it comes. Instead of the usual: role playing or planning vacations, Millicent and her husband engage in murder.
Park Avenue Summer - Renée RosenPart fiction and part reality, this book is a must for women’s magazine lovers. Tracing the origins of the popular women's magazine and the feminist movement of the 1960s, Park Avenue Summer follows Alice, a young girl who moves from Ohio to New York City to pursue her dreams of becoming a photographer. As she climbs the career ladder, her first gig is a secretary for former superstar editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, Helen Gurley Brown.
The Last Resort - Marissa StapleyOn the Mayan Riviera in Mexico exists The Harmony Resort, a getaway for married couples on the verge of divorce. The retreat is led by celebrity therapists Drs Miles and Grace Markell who give the guests tools and advice to repair their relationships. But when a tropical storm hits the Caribbean coastline, the hosts and the guests are trapped at the resort, where secrets are unveiled, trust is tested, and the illusion of Drs Miles and Grace’s perfect marriage is called into question.
The Woman in The Window - A.J. Finn A modern reimagining of the 1954 film Rear Window, you’ll love this book if you enjoyed Paula Hawkins's The Girl on the Train. The main character, Anna, is an agoraphobic who is afraid to leave her home. Out of boredom, she starts spying on her neighbours from the window of her three-story NYC brownstone for entertainment. But then one day she sees something dangerous happening and no one believes her when she reports it. As you pace through this fast-moving read, you'll also find yourself questioning Anna's story.