Review: The High Tide Club

Published May 8th 2018, 470 pages

Author: Mary Kay Andrews

Overview from Amazon:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Weekenders comes a delightful new novel about new love, old secrets, and the kind of friendship that transcends generations.

When ninety-nine-year-old heiress Josephine Bettendorf Warrick summons Brooke Trappnell to Talisa Island, her 20,000 acre remote barrier island home, Brooke is puzzled. Everybody in the South has heard about the eccentric millionaire mistress of Talisa, but Brooke has never met her. Josephine’s cryptic note says she wants to discuss an important legal matter with Brooke, who is an attorney, but Brooke knows that Mrs. Warrick has long been a client of a prestigious Atlanta law firm.

Over a few meetings, the ailing Josephine spins a tale of old friendships, secrets, betrayal and a long-unsolved murder. She tells Brooke she is hiring her for two reasons: to protect her island and legacy from those who would despoil her land, and secondly, to help her make amends with the heirs of the long dead women who were her closest friends, the girls of The High Tide Club—so named because of their youthful skinny dipping escapades—Millie, Ruth and Varina. When Josephine dies with her secrets intact, Brooke is charged with contacting Josephine’s friends’ descendants and bringing them together on Talisa for a reunion of women who’ve actually never met.

The High Tide Club is Mary Kay Andrews at her Queen of the Beach Reads best, a compelling and witty tale of romance thwarted, friendships renewed, justice delivered, and true love found.

Personal Review

An excellent beach read style book! It took me about two days to finish despite its slightly higher page count compared to some novels. You start the story with so many mysteries to solve as more and more revelations reveal themselves as you move through the chapters. This is my first Mary Kay Andrews and won’t be my last as I already have a few lined up and she has a seemingly never-ending collection to choose from so I’ll always have an amazing story to read.

The story, for me, started off fairly slow and it took me a little while to get absorbed into the story, but once everything got going a little more, I couldn’t stop reading and read the rest in one sitting. With many books of this style, the ending can either be very rushed or there could be some pieces of side stories that are left unfinished. This novel avoided both of those pitfalls and you walk away satisfied with how each story-line turned out (whether you agreed with the conclusions or not). To some the ending may be predictable and it might not be to others, but it does at least tie up the loose ends from the different characters.

The main story takes place in present day with a flashback story-line back in 1941 and both being set in Georgia (on an island off the coast with some of the story taking place on the mainland). The High Tide Club is a group formed by two characters that are still living, Josephine and Varina, and two characters that are deceased, Ruth and Millie. Our main plot is Josephine is dying and wants to ensure her island is preserved so she enlists the Brooke (our central character) who is an attorney.

Josephine also instructs Brooke to find and gather the other High Tide Members as they have lost touch over the years. During this search, she discovers that her grandmother was one of the members of the club. As it creates a conflict of interest for the will Josephine wants, Brooke enlists the help of a former colleague.

Brooke is a single mother of a three year old and trying to keep her own law firm afloat. She is very bright and was a very well-written character as she was relatable and compelling. She tries her best to help Josephine as much as she can and works well with the other characters to solve the biggest mystery from the High Tide Club’s past. The mystery from the past is a compelling plot line, but the main theme focuses on the importance of friendship and the bonds you can form, even if you lose touch.

The novel seamlessly ties together the stories from the past by slowly revealing them through reminiscing in present day. Although there is a huge cast of characters, the author does an excellent job of balancing each of their stories and keeping track of each of their quirks. The writing is easy to understand with descriptive detail so when the setting is described, you feel as if you’re there.  Overall, I highly recommend this book and the epilogue is one of the best I’ve read in books of this style.

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