The Edge of Summer

The Edge of Summer by Viola Shipman

Published:  July 12, 2022 – Graydon House

Finished copy courtesy of the author


Devastated by the sudden death of her mother—a quiet, loving and intensely private Southern seamstress called Miss Mabel, who overflowed with pearls of Ozarks wisdom but never spoke of her own family—Sutton Douglas makes the impulsive decision to pack up and head north to the Michigan resort town where she believes she’ll find answers to the lifelong questions she’s had about not only her mother’s past but also her own place in the world.

Recalling Miss Mabel’s sewing notions that were her childhood toys, Sutton buys a collection of buttons at an estate sale from Bonnie Lyons, the imposing matriarch of the lakeside community. Propelled by a handful of trinkets left behind by her mother and glimpses into the history of the magical lakeshore town, Sutton becomes tantalized by the possibility that Bonnie is the grandmother she never knew. But is she? As Sutton cautiously befriends Bonnie and is taken into her confidence, she begins to uncover the secrets about her family that Miss Mabel so carefully hid, and about the role that Sutton herself unwittingly played in it all. (publisher)

My take: 

This is a story of discovery. Sutton is on a journey to solve the mystery of her mother’s past. And what a story it turns out to be. I loved how Viola Shipman’s tale unfolded. The first scene had an emotional impact as it brought back my own vivid Covid memories of visiting my mom at the window of her assisted living apartment.

As Sutton navigates through the aftermath of losing her mom she is compelled to make changes and take chances. Her journey takes her to a Michigan resort town that could provide the answers she’s seeking. A mystery or two will be solved and she might find a future that’s more than she’d ever dreamed.

The Edge of Summer is my kind of perfect summer escape read. It has a mystery, a gorgeous setting, a little romance and a satisfying ending – just what I wanted! Grab a copy to take on vacation this summer or to read on the porch and pretend it’s the Lake Michigan shore.