Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Review: Butternut Summer by Mary McNear

Title: Butternut Summer   
Author: Mary McNear    
Series: The Butternut Lake Trilogy, #2
Published: August 2014, William Morrow Paperbacks   
Format: ARC Paperback, 400 pages   
Source: Publisher  

Return to the golden beauty of Minnesota’s Butternut Lake in this emotional story that vividly captures the joy and pain of first love, as a mother and daughter each come to terms with the desires of her heart.

Summer at Butternut Lake—a season full of surprises . . . and life-changing choices.

Preparing for her final year of college, Daisy is crazy busy now that she’s back at Butternut Lake. She’s helping her mother, Caroline, run their coffee shop and trying to build a relationship with the absentee father who’s suddenly reappeared. She never expected to fall in love with Will, the bad-boy from high school who works at the local garage. With every passing day she and Will grow closer to each other . . . and closer to the day they will have to say goodbye. As summer’s end looms, Will and Daisy face heartbreaking choices that might tear them apart.

Caroline already has her hands full trying to make ends meet at the coffee shop without having her no-good ex suddenly show up. Now that Jack is back, he’s determined to reconnect with the family he walked out on twenty years ago. But with the bank pounding on her door and Jack’s presence reminding her of the passion they once shared, Caroline’s resolve begins to crumble. As Daisy’s departure looms and her financial worries grow, Caroline just may discover the support she needs . . . in the last place she ever imagined.

My thoughts: This is the second book in Mary McNear's Butternut Lake Trilogy and I enjoyed it as much as I did the first installment in the series. I have to admit that I went into this book with a bit of trepidation because there are times when I've really enjoyed the first book, but then found subsequent books to fall a bit flat. I'm so happy to say this was not the case - this second book was every bit as engaging and heartwarming as the first.

I loved Caroline when we met her in Up at Butternut Lake and was thrilled to learn she was going to be the main focus of this book. She's not had the easiest life - her ex-husband walked out on her when her daughter was young, she runs a little diner in town that, while she loves it, is just about sucking the life out of her, and she's in a relationship that is a bit dull and boring. She needs to get a life!!!

Daisy, Caroline's daughter, is home from college for the summer. She's always been extremely close with her mom - it's always been the two of them against the world, but this summer, things are about to change. Suddenly Daisy is not sharing everything that happens in her life with Caroline, including the fact that she's been talking with her dad, Caroline's ex, for the past year. And when Daisy sets the two of them up for lunch, and then doesn't make it due to car trouble, her mom is furious!

I loved watching Caroline and Jack dance around each other during the first half of the book. It's so clear that Caroline isn't quite as over him as she'd like to believe. I also appreciated the mother-daughter relationship throughout the book - this relationship is as flawed as the characters which makes it that much more relatable.

My only complaint about this book is that Allie and Jax, Caroline's friends, weren't in the book as much as the three were in the first installment. Maybe that's because the first book was all about introducing everyone, but I did miss them. They were present in this book, but in very small doses and I would have liked to see more of them. Oh well...I guess we'll have to see what happens in the final installment - maybe they'll all be back! Plus, with the way the book ended, I'm curious to see how certain things play out...

Books in this series:
  1. Up at Butternut Lake
  2. Butternut Summer


  1. I haven't heard of or read this series, but the cover is so inviting and the storyline sounds like fun. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Sounds good! It sounds like I'd need to start with the first book.

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed this book, Kristin. It sounds like a wonderful trilogy.

  4. I so want to read this series. Good to know the second one was good. It is always hard to let go loved characters from previous books - we've begun a relationship with them. I'm with you, I always want to catch up with them.

  5. This series is on my library list for next year :)


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