Standalone Sunday is a fun feature created by Megan at Bookslayerreads where each Sunday you feature a standalone book (not part of a series) that you loved or would recommend. There’s so much focus on books that are part of a series… she thought it’d be nice to focus on some standalone novels, too!
Feel free to join in on this weekly feature by creating your own Standalone Sunday post! And be sure to check out Megan’s very creative blog and leave a link in her Standalone Sunday comments section so she can add your blog to the list
My Standalone Pick this week is:
Set in the weeks leading up to an idyllic New England wedding, this “enticing and refreshing” (Nancy Thayer, New York Times bestselling author) novel sparkles with wry wit, sweet romance, and long-kept family secrets.
Iris Standish has always been the responsible sister: the one who studied hard, settled down, and always made the right choices—even when they came at the expense of her passions. Meanwhile, her sister Leah dropped out of college to “find herself” by hiking through Yellowstone and switches jobs nearly as often as she switches lovers, leaving Iris to pick up the pieces in her wake.
But now Iris’s life is coming apart at the seams, and when Leah calls her back to their childhood home with a desperate cry for help, she is thrust headfirst into preparations for her sister’s wedding to a man their New Hampshire clan has never met…with her own marriage and family on the brink.
Still, despite the rush of dress fittings, floral arrangements, and rehearsal dinners, Iris is learning to put herself first. And amid a backdrop of late-night swims and a soul-restoring barn renovation comes Cooper Woods, a high school crush who beckons with the promise of a new start.
While Leah faces a past that has finally caught up to her, Iris prepares to say goodbye to a future that is suddenly far from certain. As Hampstead Lake shimmers in the background, Iris must decide when to wade in cautiously and when to dive—and, ultimately, how to ferry herself to safe harbors in this “glittering…memorable” novel of second chances and the ties that bind (Michelle Gable, nationally bestselling author of A Paris Apartment).
Iris Standish’s life has been turned upside down. Her husband Paul has blind sided her with wanting a separation. THE LAKE SEASON is filled with love, heartbreak, family, and romance. Iris has always had the love of her family, which is why she runs home to them when her life falls apart. But she has always felt like an outsider looking in. Her parents, while maybe not meaning to, have always played favorites with her sister, Leah. No matter what Leah does, no matter how many bad decisions she makes, her parents have always had her back. Iris doesn’t feel like they are the same way with her.
Leah has shocked everyone by announcing she is getting married and wants Iris there to help her with all the plans. Once home, Iris is shocked by the changes her family has made to the farm and barn in her absence. The one thing that appears to be exactly the same is her sister. Leah still seems to be a little reckless and attention seeking – you know the kind that always has to be the life of the party. Iris becomes concerned by some of Leah’s strange behavior. Although Iris tries to get Leah to open up, Leah refuses to confide in her and their relationship becomes just like it was when they were kids. Iris was always picking up the pieces to the mess Leah would leave behind and she finds herself doing it again. Why don’t her parents make Leah take responsibility for her actions?
While all of this is going on, Iris finds herself constantly running into one of her teenage crushes, Cooper Woods. Iris hides out in the barn that Cooper is renovating for her family, to escape her problems. Cooper learns of Iris’s troubles at home and offers to listen when she wants to talk. At the same time, he teaches her so many things as she helps him in the restoration of the barn. Their renewed friendship is just what each of them need. Neither one of them is interested in a summer fling, but is there really time for anything more?
I still can’t believe THE LAKE SEASON is a debut novel. Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. I read this wonderful story in two sittings! Hannah McKinnon pulled me right in from the very first page and never let me go. She does such a great job of describing the scenery and the way the characters are feeling that it was almost as if I were right there with them at the lake and the farm. I love when an author can put me in their story.
I usually am reading many books at one time but once I started THE LAKE SEASON all other books were put aside. I found myself cheering for the Standish family, wondering if tragedy would pull this family together or splinter it further apart. I finished reading the very last page with a huge lump in my throat and a big smile on my face! I can not wait to read more by Ms. McKinnon.