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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Review: Enchanted August by Brenda Bowen

Title: Enchanted August
Author: Brenda Bowen
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
Set on a picture-perfect island in Maine, a sparkling summer debut that offers readers a universal fantasy: one glorious month away from it all

On a dreary spring day in Brooklyn, Lottie Wilkinson and Rose Arbuthnot spot an ad on their children’s preschool bulletin board:

Hopewell CottageLittle Lost Island, Maine.Old, pretty cottage to rent on a small island.Springwater, blueberries, sea glass.August.

Neither can afford it, but they are smitten—Lottie could use a break from her overbearing husband and Rose from her relentless twins. On impulse, they decide to take the place and attract two others to share the steep rent: Caroline Dester, an indie movie star who’s getting over a very public humiliation, and elderly Beverly Fisher, who’s recovering from heartbreaking loss. If it’s not a perfect quartet, surely it will be fine for a month in the country.

When they arrive on the island, they are transformed by the salt air; the breathtaking views; the long, lazy days; and the happy routine of lobster, corn, and cocktails on the wraparound porch. By the time of the late-August blue moon, real life and its complications have finally fallen far, far away. For on this idyllic island they gradually begin to open up: to one another and to the possibilities of lives quite different from the ones they’ve been leading. Change can’t be that hard, can it?

With a cast of endearingly imperfect characters and set against the beauty of a gorgeous New England summer, Enchanted August brilliantly updates the beloved classic The Enchanted April in a novel of love and reawakening that is simply irresistible.
After reading the blurb of Enchanted August by Brenda Bowen I was ready to be enchanted; sadly that wasn’t the case. I liked the setting and liked some of the characters, but the rest was a bit lacking.

The characters are all different and go to the Hopewell Cottage with the hope of finding something that is missing in their lives.  From the four main characters I only liked one, Beverly. I couldn’t identify or sympathize with the other ones. Lottie felt completely unrealistic, Rose started interesting enough but her personality got lost between the pages, and Caroline was such a contradictory character that it felt almost as if she had multiple personalities. Beverly was the only one that felt real and the one that really transform and grew throughout the story.

Another character I liked was Max; sadly we only get tidbits about him and his life’s drama. At the end of the story we don’t know how or if his problem is resolved and if it does, in which matter.

The setting of a little island in Maine was charming and made me want to get away. It also made me dream with sea glass and dinners of lobsters and clams. The setting was actually what saved this book for me and what kept me reading. Bowen really did a good job bringing to life the summer life in the islands of Maine.

Although not a perfect read Enchanted August by Brenda Bowen was an entertaining book. Fans of women’s fiction could find it charming and maybe a good read for summer. 

My Verdict: 3 Paws

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