Audiobook, Contemporary Fiction

An Invincible Summer by Mariah Stewart #MariahStewart @KateMarcinVO @BrilliancePub

the setup…
It’s been two years since Maggie Flynn lost her husband Art who died from a terminal illness. She was his primary caretaker during that time, devoting herself entirely to the man she loved dearly. Now her 40th year high school reunion is coming up and she’ll be returning to her hometown in Wyndham Beach, Massachusetts for the event. It’s been a long time since she last visited and is looking forward to reuniting with her two best friends, Lydia (Liddy) Bryant and Emma Dean. But, Maggie’s return to her beloved home awakens something inside of her, stirring a desire for her to return for good, despite having to leave her two daughters, Grace and Natalie, and her granddaughter Daisy behind. But it also means that she’ll have to face Brett Crawford, the man who broke her heart years ago.

the heart of the story…
I am a big fan of contemporary fiction as it tends to focus on the whole life of the character, including those closest to her (or him) and is often messy, mirroring real life. This story embodies everything I love about the genre as Maggie is the central character but her daughters’ and her friends’ lives get equal attention. Grace works at the law firm her father founded but her ex-husband Zach who also works there is humiliating her there in the worst of ways. Natalie is raising her three-year old daughter on her own as the child’s father ran after learning she was pregnant but she’s thriving on her own and in the middle of a developing relationship. Liddy is divorced and looking to start a new business venture and Emma, also a widow, yearns to have her only son Chris visit more often but he’s a famous rock star and that’s not feasible. And then there’s Maggie who’s immersed in all of it but soon will have to face a secret she’s shared only with Brett and it may fracture all of her relationships.

the narration…
It’s often tough to have just one narrator for so many characters with points of view in a story but it worked wonderfully in this one. Kate Marcin was able to give each slight distinctions, enough so I always knew whose voice was at the forefront. Even the subtle Massachusetts accent emerged for some, without exaggeration. I loved everything about her performance.

the bottom line…
It didn’t take long for me to settle in fully and quickly embrace the characters, their conflicts, hopes and issues. There was a lot of drama around Grace’s situation and I found myself secretly fighting for her to win. And when Maggie’s secret was revealed in the most curious of ways, I identified with the reactions of those closest to her as they varied amongst them and felt authentic. This was a lovely story that was indeed messy at times and liked that the focus was primarily on more mature characters who still led vibrant and active lives. The narrator had the right voice and tone for this kind of story, sounding appropriate for the age of the main characters. It’s a great start to what promises to be a compelling series and I’m dying to jump into the next books.

Book Info

  • Release Date: May 1, 2021
  • Series: Wyndham Beach #1
  • Narrator: Kate Marcin
  • Audio Length: 10 hours, 52 minutes
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio



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(Thanks to Brilliance Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)

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