Riley Griggs has spent summers on the island of Belle Isle, North Carolina her whole life. Her family has held a prominent place on the island for generations and her husband took over her family's business. It is not uncommon for families that stay on the island for the summer to send somebody of the island during the work week. They are known as "weekenders". Riley is expecting her husband, Wendell, to join her and their daughter, Maggy, for the first weekend of the season. Unfortunately, they will be breaking the news to their twelve year old daughter that they will be divorcing. Except Wendell never shows up as expected and the locks on their summer home have been changed and there is a "foreclosure" sign on the door. But it gets worse, the next morning the Sheriff is at the front door of the home of Riley's mother to tell her that Wendell was murdered. Riley's world has been completely destroyed. Not only was her husband murdered, but apparently he has lost all of their money, her mother's money, and her brother's money, and the FBI are investigating his business deals. Riley must spend the summer trying to put her life back together and keep her daughter from spinning out of control. Will she be able to hold it all together? What role will the billionaire from her past have in her summer? But most of all,who killed Wendell?
Mary Kay Andrews is a beloved summer author. To me her books signify the beginning of summer and fluffy beach reads. The Weekenders is a bit of a deviation than other books because I felt it was a little "heavier" than what is normal for her books. The fact that the main character's husband is murdered in the first chapter should have been the first clue that this isn't her typical book. Now, don't get me wrong, all of your favorite themes are present. Like a best friend, a new love interest, and a puppy dog. Riley's relationship with her daughter was a major source of contention, too. Not only is there the normal tween-angst, but there is the fact that Maggy has Juvenile Diabetes. Her disease adds another level of stress for Riley and rightfully so. There was some scary things that went down because of Maggy's illness that caused me way more anxiety than normal for a fluffy, summer beach read. The family dynamics between Riley and her mother and brother were unique, too. Maggy and her mother did not get along at all. And then there is her brother, Billy, a functioning alcoholic who has a pretty dark secret that he is keeping. In the end the murder is revealed and things work out just the way they are supposed to work out.
Bottom line - even though Mary Kay Andrews covered some hard hitting topics in her new book, The Weekenders, it is still a wonderful book to throw into your beach bag this summer.