+Blog Book Tour+ Butternut Summer by Mary McNear

Posted Tuesday, 14 October, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , 1 Comment

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Butternut Summer by Mary McNear

Published By: William Morrow (@WmMorrowBks),
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)

Official Author Websites@marymcnear | Facebook
Available Formats: Paperback, Audiobook, Ebook

Converse via: #ButternutLakeSeries, #ButternutLake, & #ButternutSummer

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Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Butternut Summer” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. Realising this was a second novel within a series, I requested a copy of the first novel “Up at Butternut Lake” in order to understand the continuity of the characters & the story. I received a complimentary copy of the novel direct from the publisher William Morrow without an obligation to post a review. Whereas I received a complimentary copy of “Butternut Summer” direct from the publisher William Morrow, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read: 

On my review for Up at Butternut Lake, I discussed my general interest in reading a Contemporary Romance novel, but tonight what I wanted to share about my inspiration to read Butternut Summer is simply motivated by being stirred with such an evoking of narrative as to tempt me to devour the sequel without pausing for breath! The characters inside Up at Butternut Lake are incredibly inspiring due to the spirit of who they are individually and as a community at large. These are the types of stories that I cherish discovering as they not only encourage your spirit and heart as you read them, but they enliven your hours with such a beautiful expanse of fiction that your bubbling over in pure joy for having read them! I could not wait to dive into Butternut Summer, and it was a bit grieving to realise there would be a long wait until the conclusion of the trilogy; except to say, the small excerpt in the Appendix of this P.S. Edition truly helped provide a salve!

+Blog Book Tour+ Butternut Summer by Mary McNearButternut Summer

Caroline’s life is turned upside down the moment her ex-husband, Jack, strides through the door of her coffee shop. He seems changed—stronger, steadier, and determined to make amends with Caroline and their daughter, Daisy. Is he really different, or is he the same irresistibly charming but irresponsible man he was when he left Butternut Lake eighteen years ago? Caroline, whose life is stuck on pause as her finances are going down the tubes, is tempted to let him back into her life . . . but would it be wise?

For Caroline’s daughter, Daisy, the summer is filled with surprises. Home from college, she’s reunited with the father she adores—but hardly knows—and swept away by her first true love. But Will isn’t what her mother wants for her—all Caroline can see is that he’s the kind of sexy “bad boy” Daisy should stay away from.

As the long, lazy days of summer pass, Daisy and Caroline come to realize that even if Butternut Lake doesn’t change, life does. . . .

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Series: Butternut Lake, Butternut Lake Trilogy,

Also in this series: Up at Butternut Lake, Moonlight on Butternut Lake

on 12th August, 2014

Pages: 400

Author Biography:

Mary McNear
Photo Credit: Amelia Kennedy

Mary McNear lives in San Francisco with her husband, two teenage children, and a high-strung, minuscule white dog named Macaroon. She writes her novels in a local doughnut shop, where she sips Diet Pepsi, observes the hubbub of neighborhood life, and tries to resist the constant temptation of freshly made doughnuts. She bases her novels on a lifetime of summers spent in a small town on a lake in the northern Midwest.

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Read an Excerpt of the Novel:

Butternut Summer Excerpt by WilliamMorrowBooks

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Up at Butternut Lake by Mary McNearPrecursor to Butternut Summer: Up at Butternut Lake: {Book One}

You want to stay soaked inside a McNear novel due to it’s uplifting ease of story-telling and the gentle spirit of guidance the author stitches into her story-line. You are comforted by the unease the characters are feeling vexed over due to the gentleness McNear uses as a guiding compass through their walk of tribulation. One of the best blessings for me overall is how she used her creative words and expressions to voice the thought provoking narrative to be a clean read and an enjoyable read altogether. She pierced the novel with bone chilling emotional arcs and relationships grounded in realistic encounters and plausible circumstances of any modern couple today could face. The story of Butternut Lake is more expansive than this one novel alone, as she has wrought such a hearty community of characters that you feel akin to each of them in different ways. There are of course the regular muck of a rake or rat as well, but even with the bit of darkness ebbing out of the light, McNear is a natural story-teller in giving you a strong read worthy of your emotional heart being pulled through the novel she’s put in your hands.

– quoted from my book review of Up at Butternut Lake

My Review of Butternut Summer:

Butternut Summer pick up the flow of narrative straight out of Up at Butternut Lake, alighting it’s focus on Caroline (owner of Pearl’s, mothering hen to Butternut Lake residents) whose own life feathered itself a unique coil of uncertainty and misalignment the day her marriage fell apart. We gained glimpses of her past through the first installment in the series, along with it the ‘empty nest’ of losing her beloved Daisy to college life, and the unknown aspects of what a divorced single mother is meant to do as life ebbs forward without so much as a chart of an idea of where to head next. Settling back into Butternut Lake was as refreshing as a warm breeze kissing your face as Spring first starts to peek it’s way into view after a long cold Winter; an absence of familiarity tinted with a warming glow of reunion.

Enter onto the scene Daisy has this wild idea of reuniting her disconnected family after an 18 year absence of her father who walked out on her Mum and her when she was three years old! Time can heal old wounds, but there is a bit of a feverish reckless impulse to Daisy’s behaviour as she has the best of intentions in mind but hasn’t quite considered the ramifications of reuniting her parents nor the emotional reaction Caroline is going to have seeing her ex! What pulled me into the sequel was hearing her father’s point of view on everything – from Butternut Lake as a towne, to where he stood in his own life of righting wrongs and his inclination to sort out a way to make amends for leaving his family. McNear underwrites second beginnings and second chances into the threads of the Butternut Lake series; proving that your never too old, too young, or too far outside the prospect of having redemption and resolution alight on your path. She breathes together a narrative that voices real concerns for the modern structure of family as much as giving a bit of a respite from the broken beginnings and the unresolved anguish that normally knits together out of the circumstances that can affect a family as profoundly as divorce. The springs of hope, the murmurs of dialogue starting to voice believably out of her characters is a carry-over from Up at Butternut Lake as she allows her characters room to learn and grow. They’re flawed but their trying to re-align their lives and re-establish what they want the most out of life overall. These are the kind of stories I love the most, as I had reflectively felt kinetically reminiscent of Flight to Coorah Creek where Janet Gover warmed my spirit in her Outback small towne.

The misunderstood classmate of Daisy’s high school years, Will steps back into her life as a resident mechanic who has a twinkle in his eye on her behalf yet he isn’t even sure if having a relationship is a step he is willing to consider. They grew up in different families, where hers were supportive, Will’s were elusively unattached. His boredom in school and with the structure of school itself is something I could personally relate too as I agreed with his sentiments about how repetitive school can become and how languishingly dull your time there feels by your senior year. He was ready to get started on living his life, shedding school and it’s inclusive vacuum from reality whereas Daisy thrived on the experience stemming out of her studies and the sports she participated in. Two separate personalities bridged together by a childhood of growing up in a small towne sets the stage for their lives to begin to intersect in Butternut Lake.

Adding to the mix this time round is how Jack (Caroline’s ex and Daisy’s father) has a way of stirring the hornet’s nest on his ex-wife’s sense of security in the status quo. Whilst their daughter starts to get a strong lesson in dating and finding a man she not only can trust with her heart but can be honourable in his intentions. Daisy has a positive outlook on life, but when it comes to dating she can make a bit of a muck out of her choices, due to not listening to her inner intuitive voice of reason when it matters most. I enjoyed reading her character growing in depth and dimension, as she starts to stretch her experiences outside of her studies and embrace the world at large whilst sticking close to her roots and beliefs.

Happily I found Allie and Jax re-emerging into the story, at the junction of where Caroline needed a fix of her sisterhood girlfriends to help off-set her current bouts of stress. It was such a natural way to include Allie and Jax, as the three women naturally felt a kinship to each other throughout Up at Butternut Lake. It was their belief and strength in each other that gave the first novel it’s central core of heart. McNear instinctively knits in a balance of life and emotion into her stories, giving the full enjoyment of living through the character’s shoes each time you pick up one of her novels.

In one of the ending chapters I felt a nod towards where the direction of the last installment might be heading, but I could be mistaken of course. I was hoping the third novel will expand into Frankie’s life as much as bring in new characters that we have yet to meet in Butternut Lake. Butternut Lake is the place where the troubles your facing can be erased by the consideration and compassion of the community members who care enough about you to help you overcome what ill of woe beseeches you. It is the type of place where you can relax a bit easier and know that your going to be looked after and can find a way towards having a renewal of wellness re-instated inside your life. Butternut Lake is not only a series for contemporary life but a series that instills an uplifting view of modern life where even the little ruts in the road can be turnt into a measure of grace.

Mary McNear has created a trilogy for readers who appreciate realistic Contemporary novels:

Her keen observational skills as a writer and her sense of continuity are strong in this beautiful companion to Up at Butternut Lake, as it did not even feel as though a year had slipped past me, but rather it was simply the next chapter in the townepeople’s lives and one that I was happy to become a part of again. Most sequels extend quite a bit past where the last volume left off, not always mind you, but they do have the tendency to have gaps but what I appreciate about the writers I regularly gravitate towards reading in succession of their serials is the way in which they have a kinetic sense of how the story of their characters want to appear in a novel. McNear is amongst the short few who have a guiding compass to perfect the timing and tone of her serial fiction.

It was whilst I was awaiting word on my blog’s revival to become re-instated I had the unexpected joy of conversing with Ms. Eikli (author of The Reluctant Bride & The Maid of Milan) who voiced the same appreciation for small towne fiction that I possess myself! It wasn’t until she clarified what it is that draws me inside these narratives that a lightbulb went off! I think sometimes I try to over complicate the reasoning behind my fascination with small towne fiction, when what it really boils down too is what she expressed on Twitter:

I am always going to feel captivated by the world within small townes even though I grew up in a city, the essence of life’s slower pace and the community aspect of neighbours knowing neighbours whilst cordially supporting each other is what the key draw is for me. I love the fact that small townes have this entire world not set against a tick of a deadline but the pulse of humanity and the interconnections of real-life conversations. I like taking a step back from technology and set my sights on the rhythm of a more natural cycle of the seasons. Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com This blog tour stop was courtesy of TLC Book Tours:

Previously I reviewed “Up At Butternut Lake”:

Up at Butternut Lake by Mary McNear

{ click-through to follow the blogosphere tour } TLC Book Tours | Tour Host Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com See what I am hosting next by stopping by my Bookish Events page! Please take note of the Related Articles as they were hand selected due to being of cross-reference importance in relation to this book review. This applies to each post on my blog where you see Related Articles underneath the post. Be sure to take a moment to acknowledge the further readings which are offered. Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

I positively *love!* comments in the threads below each of my posts. Kindly know that I appreciate each thought you want to share with me and all the posts on my blog are open to new comments & commentary! Short or long, I appreciate the time you spent to leave behind a note of your visit! Return again soon! 

This book review had a slight delay in posting due to my blog’s host server going down & keeping my blog offline for part of the early bits of the morning. I tried to stay online long enough for it to resolve, but exhaustion won out. I apologise for the extended delay in getting this posted. Thank you for your patience and I hope that you enjoy Butternut Lake as much as I do myself!

{SOURCES: Cover art of “Butternut Summer”, author photograph, book synopsis and the tour badge were all provided by TLC Book Tours and used with permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Buy links on Scribd excerpt are not affiliated with Jorie Loves A Story. Book Excerpt was able to be embedded due to codes provided by Scribd.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Related Article: Picture This: A Visit with Mary McNear – (shereads.org)

Comments on Twitter on behalf of “Butternut Summer”:

{ favourite & Re-tweet if inspired to share }

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Tuesday, 14 October, 2014 by jorielov in Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Humour Therein, Family Drama, Family Life, Fathers and Daughters, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Minnesota, Modern Day, Romance Fiction, Scribd, Singletons & Commitment, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, TLC Book Tours, Writing Style & Voice

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One response to “+Blog Book Tour+ Butternut Summer by Mary McNear

  1. I’m so glad you loved this book, as well as the previous one! McNear really seems to have an understanding of people and their quirks!

    Thanks for being on the tour!

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