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Summer Shift: A Novel Paperback – June 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1ST edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439128979
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439128978
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #991,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After her debut, Some Assembly Required, Bonasia once again mines her Cape Cod upbringing with a cast of coastal smalltown characters. Mary Hopkins is the owner of the Clambake, a typical Cape seafood restaurant whose business ebbs and flows with the summer crowd. The middle-aged Mary has pulled away from people since the death of her husband years before, remaining close only to her great-aunt, Lovey, her last remaining relative. When a summer waitress dies in a tragic car accident, Mary is left with uncomfortably familiar feelings of guilt and remorse, and Aunt Lovey's rapid deterioration from Alzheimer's pushes Mary to the limit. She is feeling completely alone when her ex, Dan Bassett, walks back into her life after a 12-year absence. She welcomes his support, but the relationship also unearths a secret about her marriage. As she makes her way through the summer, Mary finds strength and compassion in the unlikeliest of places: the grandmother of the deceased waitress, her aging neighbor, and even her crew of young summer employees. Bonasia delivers a delightful, if elementary and predictable, story of redemption and love. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

As with her first novel, Some Assembly Required (2008), Bonasia has set Summer Shift on her home turf of Cape Cod. The story centers on Mary Hopkins, the owner of a local clam bar, who is still laden with feelings of guilt surrounding her husband’s death in a car accident more than a decade past. Over the course of a single summer, events combine to draw Mary out among the living again, including a second chance at love. Bonasia is not a particularly suspenseful writer—few revelations or the ultimate outcome will surprise the reader—and she juggles one too many subplots. Yet she has a gift for vivid and inventive descriptions and a clear affection for and understanding of her characters, who come across as flesh-and-blood individuals as opposed to typical small-town eccentrics. It’s impossible not to root for Mary, particularly as she copes with a beloved great-aunt’s onset of Alzheimer’s, which Bonasia handles with tenderness and poignancy. --Patty Wetli

More About the Author

Lynn Kiele Bonasia is the author of two novels set on Cape Cod, and has her first young adult novel, Countess Nobody, coming out on June 1, 2011.

Countess Nobody (Egmont USA) is about a tenth grader who finds out she is not going to inherit the family title like her twin brother will, all because she's a girl. Devastated, she acts out by starting a blog, and soon all hell breaks loose...

Summer Shift (2010, Touchstone/Simon & Schuster) is about a Cape Cod clam bar owner and how her past comes back to haunt her when one of her young waitresses dies suddenly. Lynn's first novel, Some Assembly Required (2008, Touchstone/Simon & Schuster), is about a woman who moves to the Cape to start over and then becomes enmeshed in the lives of the locals.

Technically a "washashore," Lynn moved to the Cape as a teen and graduated from Nauset Regional High School in North Eastham. Upon graduation, she set out to seek fame and fortune, or at least to acquire some sort of formal education (a BA in journalism at the University of Massachusetts), find love, and become an advertising copywriter, which she pursued as a freelancer once her son was born. Tethered to a family, their journey took them to Boston, then New York, eventually landing in South Florida, where they baked for ten years. It was here Lynn began to write seriously, getting her Master's degree in Creative Writing from Florida International University.

During her self-imposed exile from New England, Lynn developed an unhealthy obsession for old haunts, and began writing stories about Cape Cod and its colorful inhabitants. Now, with her only son off at college, Lynn has returned to the Cape with her dog, Kiele, to live, observe, obsess some more, and write her heart out.

Customer Reviews

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This is a great book for summer reading, and it doesn't have to be a beach book.
S. Warfield
The way she writes you can picture the whole scene of the restaurant in your head and the characters are very believable!
LindaAtTheCape
Impossible to put down, hated when I had finished reading the book, because I WANTED MORE!!!!
Bobbie T.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kathy C. on September 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Enjoyed Lynn's first book but I wanted this one to go on forever! The eccentric, quirky Cape Cod lifers - the fun and funny restaurant staff - Mary's naivete...delicious! What a great book for a Lifetime movie AND a second "chapter" for next summer! I'll be waiting.....
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By luv2read on July 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful summer read! Set on beautiful Cape Cod it is an intriguing look at how our relationships with others intertwine. This book is a MUST for your beach and vacation reading by a wonderfully talented author.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By India Ballinger on July 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book evokes such a sense of summer on the Cape -- its quirky resident characters, never-ending tourist demands for seafood, and the potent mix of adventure, romance, and loss that permeates this historic place. I waitressed when I was in college, and the relationships and challenges faced by the restaurant staff are very true to life. I was a little amazed at the cluelessness of the main character, however. She is forgiven for much stupidity throughout the novel, but ultimately the images and poignant setting make for an overall pleasant read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Warfield TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 11, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book for summer reading, and it doesn't have to be a beach book. It's just as enjoyable at home. Even though Clambake restaurant owner Mary Hopkins finds her summer filled with tragedy and sadness, it doesn't mean that there aren't some good times left. Mary is still angry and guilty over her husband's death 10 years ago in a car accident in which alcohol played a part, and shortly after the restaurant opens this season, one of her waitresses is killed in a similar car accident, leaving behind an 18-month-old baby. While all of this is happening, Mary's only living relative, Aunt Lovey, is not quite herself. Mary is overwhelmed.

How all of this plays out with relationships, grieving and finding happiness again is done very well with a lot of hard work, strength, humor, and letting go. However, just when one problem seems to be solved, another one crops up.

I loved this book, and read it all in one sitting. The author obviously knows the area quite well, which makes it even better. Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Hess on June 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
This character-driven book is about how Mary, the owner of a Cape Code seafood restaurant called the Clambake, deals with the untimely death of a young employee, her favorite aunt's decline into senior dementia, and the re-appearance of a long-lost boyfriend, all in the course of one summer. This book drew me in completely by its evocative, sensory depiction of Cape Code in the summer. I could almost smell the briney air. It also did a great job depicting life working in a busy restaurant. I was a waitress in college, and could relate to the hectic, messy pace of the work and the nature of the relationships formed. (I'm an attorney now, but there is no job stress like a crowded dining room, angry kitchen staff, and hungry customer).

What turned me off was Mary. I initially found her repellant, and as the story went on she only grew more so. She is so cold and miserly, I couldn't understand why in the world she would become a restauranteer. She refuses to mingle with guests, doesn't know most of her employees names, and doesn't do any of the cooking, so I don't understand why she loves the Clambake so much. She makes a lot of money, but the nice things she is able to buy don't make her happy either. In fact, nothing seems to make her truly happy, which is what turned this summery story bustling with tourists and colorful characters into something unecessarily grim. She calls the restaurant the "love of her life," and she calls Dan, the ex-boyfriend who reappers her greatest romance. Yet, I never see her taking any joy in either of these things.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mistress on June 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
Salty Air, Clam Shaks, and Beaches, you are sure to fall in love with Summer Shift. This book took me back to my early Cape Cod holidays, when as a teenager we would visit Wellfleet for a week in August. I fell in love with the lovely, oddball characters in this book. A weathered wooden chair, some chilly French Rose wine, and this book...oh, and some sun; good times!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Martha C. on June 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this book. Great characters, evocative scenes (really feel like you are right there), and a sweet, funny, touching story. And parts of it even made me cry (although I am, admittedly, a sap). Definitely recommend as a great summer read.
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By Meredith Wallace on October 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book, it was thoughtful and well written. I am looking forward to reading another one of her books.
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