Summers are perfect for beach books - and I have plenty on my stack that would meet that criteria.
Somerset by Leila Meacham has been out for a while now, but it was a perfect summer read. It weighs in at just over 600 pages, but those pages flew by as I sat in my chair reading while my girls swam.
I've read Meacham before, and every time I am totally engrossed in the family dramas she creates. Somerset is Meacham's prequel to Roses, once again exploring the lives of two families, the Tolivers and Warwicks.
Beginning in the 1830s Silas Toliver and Jeremy Warwick plan to leave their South Carolina homes and move to Texas where they plan to strike out on their own to make their fortunes. In a strange turn of events, Silas Toliver is forced to marry Jessica Wyndham in order for her parents to get their abolitionist daughter out of their way.
Together these young families endure sorrow, celebrate joyous events and watch children grow and marry. Their fortunes increase, but not without much work on their part.
And through it all, the family attempts to overcome the "curse" that the Warwicks once felt they were under.
As the story spans several decades, the Civil War is a backdrop for the events in Somerset, although not the focus. Somerset, a prequel to Roses, provided an interesting backstory to the events in Roses, but also makes a fine stand-alone novel.