May 24th, 2011 by Marilyn
Driftwood Summer by Patti Callahan Henry
Books and the beach just go together. Driftwood Summer by Patti Callahan Henry takes place in the seaside town of Palmetto Beach, where Riley and her mother own the Driftwood Cottage Bookstore. It is a place of gathering, and hosting get togethers for book clubs, such as the Cookbook Club and the Blonde Book Club. But the bookstore is in financial trouble. Riley calls on her two sisters to come back to Palmetto Beach to help save the family bookstore. During this “Driftwood Summer” the sisters must face their past of sibling rivalry and kept secrets.
Publishers Summary by Penguin Group
Three sisters— responsible Riley, vivacious Maisy, and fun-loving Adalee—reunite to save the family’s beach-community bookstore. But summer also marks the return of Mack Logan, whose choice of Maisy over Riley years ago destroyed the special closeness between the sisters…
Now Riley, a single mom, is hiding a shattering secret about their mother. Maisy, a California designer, still blames Riley for ruining her one true love. And Adalee resents the family’s intrusion into her summer plans. All three will be forced to confront the conflicts that tore them apart and the bounds of love and loyalty that still draw them together…
Book Club Party Ideas for Driftwood Summer
Decorate for your Driftwood Summer book club party with your favorite beach items: umbrellas, beach towels, sunglasses, and shells. You could even put a cool driftwood centerpiece on your serving table.
Dress in beach attire for your Driftwood Summer book club party. You can find some fabulous sun dresses on the internet. And flip flops are a must at any beach themed party. The best pair of flip flops I’ve purchased are by Crocs. They are so comfortable and easy to clean.
One of the members of the Cookbook Club at The Driftwood Cottage Bookstore has a daughter named Brooks. “She recently changed her name to Brooks, after Garth Brooks.” She is an aspiring country singer that only speaks in country music lyrics. During the anniversary party, the big finale of the celebration week, Brooks was the musical entertainment.
Book Club Menu for Driftwood Summer
Serve up some delicious finger foods for your Driftwood Summer book club party by preparing a variety of appetizers.
Anne, an employee at Driftwood Cottage Bookstore, sells her pottery angel’s wings in the store’s gift section. These delicate wings are made out of fired clay with a single word carved between the wings. These unique gifts were the inspiration for my dessert, Angel’s Wings Butter Cookies.
Another meal option for your Driftwood Summer book club party is to make Shrimp and Grits. This is the dish that the Cookbook Club prepared at their meeting at The Driftwood Cottage Bookstore during the week of celebration. (pg 230)
Book Club Resources
Ratings at the time this post was published
|Goodreads: 3.66 stars (363 ratings)|
|Amazon: 4.3 stars (18 reviews)|
|Barnes & Noble: 4.5 stars (19 reviews)|
|My Rating: 4.5 stars Books that are set at the beach are my favorite. I enjoyed this story of family ties, secrets and struggles.|
Discussion Questions for Driftwood Summer
- Do you agree with Riley that book clubs foster compassion for others and a sense of community? What do you get out of your book club?
- The two older sisters — Riley and Maisy — suffer from an estrangement in their relationship that began when they both fell in love with the same boy. Have you ever had a relationship – with a sister, a brother or a best friend — that fell apart over a love interest?
- Kitsy Sheffield, the girls’ mother, asks Riley not to tell the other sisters about her illness until the party is over. Why do you think she wants to keep it secret? If you were Riley, could you have kept this information from you sisters?
- At the end of the novel, Maisy says, “I always thought there was this life; you know this other life….It was a life I thought existed in a parallel plane, and I couldn’t get to it.” What do you think she means? Have you ever felt that way?
- Many people in the novel talk about Riley’s carefree confidence and tomboy ways as a girl, and how she has changed since high school. Why do you think she has changed so dramatically? Do you think she’ll ever rediscover the less restrained Riley again? Is it inevitable that we bury certain parts of ourselves as we become adults?
- Mama’s cancer changes the way Riley looks at their relationship. Has impending death ever changed the way you looked at a particular relationship? At life in general?
- To both older sisters, Mack Logan represents a youthful time in their lives. Do you have someone who represents such a time in your life? Do you feel you’ve idealized him or her? Do you keep in touch?
- Maisy and Adalee both suggest that Riley lives vicariously through fiction rather than engaging fully in reality. Do you think the accusation is fair? Could you be accused of the same thing?
- Describe what you think happens to each of the main characters during the year after Driftwood Summer ends. What happens to the bookstore?
Conversation Guide used by permission from Penguin Group
Purchase Driftwood Summer at your favorite bookseller
Patti Callahan Henry is the New York Times Bestselling author of six novels: Losing the Moon, Where the River Runs, When Light Breaks, Between the Tides, The Art of Keeping Secrets, and Driftwood Summer.
Her latest novel, The Perfect Love Song, will be published by Vanguard Press this October 12th and is a heartwarming holiday tale about second chances, about the hope for redemption—and about the choices one makes in life that may close one door, but open another.
Patti is hailed as a fresh new voice in southern fiction. She has been short-listed for the Townsend Prize for Fiction and has twice been nominated for the Southeastern Independent Booksellers Fiction Novel of the Year. She is a frequent speaker at luncheons, book clubs and women’s groups where she discusses the importance of storytelling and anything else they want to talk about.
Patti grew up as a Minister’s daughter, learning early how storytelling affects our lives. She spent many summers on Cape Cod where she began her love affair with the beach, ocean, tides and nature of the coast. Moving south at the tender age of twelve, she found solace in books and stories. While attending Auburn University, she met a southern boy who later proposed on Daufuskie Island, South Carolina, next to a historic lighthouse overlooking the Sound.
After earning her Master’s degree in Child Health, Patti worked as a Clinical Nurse Specialist until her first child was born. Patti is a full time writer, wife and mother living with her husband and three children outside Atlanta on the Chattahoochee River where she is working on her next novel. Author bio used by permission from Penguin Group.
Visit Patti Callahn Henry at her website
Other Works by Patti Callahan Henry
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