A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

The Summer of Lost and Found by Mary Alice Monroe- Feature and Review


The coming of spring usually means renewal, but for Linnea Rutledge, it begins a season of challenge. Linnea faces another layoff, this time from the aquarium she adores. For her—and for her family—finances, emotions, and health teeter on the brink. To complicate matters, her new love interest, Gordon, struggles to return to the Isle of Palms from England. Meanwhile, her old flame, John, turns up from California and is quarantining next door. She tries to ignore him, but when he sends her plaintive notes in the form of paper airplanes, old sparks ignite. When Gordon at last reaches the island, Linnea wonders—is it possible to love two men at the same time?

Love in the time of COVID-19 proves challenging, at times humorous, and ever changing. Relationships are redefined, friendships made and broken, and marriages tested. As the weeks turn to months, and another sea turtle season comes to a close, Linnea learns there are more meaningful lessons during this summer than opportunities lost: that summer is a time of wonder, and that the exotic lives in our own backyards. In The Summer of Lost and Found, Linnea and the Rutledge family continue to face their challenges with the strength, faith, and commitment that has inspired fans for decades.

Mary Alice Monroe once again delves into the complexities of family relationships and brings her signature “sensitive and true” (Dorothea Benton Frank, New York Times bestselling author) storytelling to this poignant and timely novel of love, courage, and resilience.




The Summer of Lost and FoundThe Summer of Lost and Found by Mary Alice Monroe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Summer of Lost and Found by Mary Alice Monroe is a 2021 Gallery Books publication.

Good old-fashioned southern comfort!

The Coronavirus has the whole country is its grip, that includes the Rutgledge family.

Because of the virus, the aquarium is closed, so Linnea has been laid off. Because of the financial hit, she's temporarily moved into the beach house- rent free.

Sadly, her boyfriend, Gordon, is stuck in England and can’t travel to the US because of the virus lockdowns, and what’s worse, her former lover, John, is back in town, quarantining at his mother’s house.

Linnea really wishes she could avoid John, but that turns out to be next to impossible, forcing her lingering feelings for him to resurface.

Despite the challenges she faces, Linnea has family and friends to lean on as she navigates her tumultuous feelings for both, Gordon and John. Faced with a difficult choice, Linnea ponders her future, while carving her own path towards personal independence.

It’s not summer without an installment in the ‘Beach House’ series by Mary Alice Monroe!!

This is the first novel I’ve read, miraculously, that incorporated Covid into the plot, making it a part of the landscape the characters had to navigate.

The sobering challenges of job loss, financial strain, family distance, quarantines, and sickness proved that the Rutledge clan still has the temerity to rise to any and all occasions. The characters make mistakes, but as always, they grow stronger through adversity.

Linnea’s personal journey is now the main focus of the series, as Cara moves into more of a secondary character role. I really loved the way Linnea came to understand how she needed to proceed with her personal life. I'm not sure what others will make of her decision, but I thought she did the right thing.

There were, as always, laughter and tears, and heartwarming moments as these characters lives continue to evolve over time. I always look forward, with eager anticipation, to catching up with these beloved characters, both the younger and older generations of the family, the turtles, and the charming beach house that serves as an anchor in challenging times…

Overall, I’m sure writing a book set during the early days of the pandemic, and dealing with some transitional character development, must have been daunting. MAM did a fabulous job with integrating the changes and giving voice to the fears we faced during 2020, spoken through the strong southern Rutledge women, and their commitment to each other, their family, and to their own true selves as well.



Mary Alice Monroe is published by Gallery Books and Aladdin Books, Simon & Schuster. Her agent is Faye Bender of The Book Group.

Monroe lives with her family on Isle of Palms, a barrier island off Charleston, South Carolina. For additional information, go to www.maryalicemonroe.com.


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