Rules of Summer
Written by: Joanna Philbin
Reviewed by: Amanda Peake
Jonanna Philbin was born in Los Angeles and grew up in New York City. She spent her summers hanging out in The Hamptons. Her last name sounds familiar because her father is the famous Regis Philbin. She has helped her father co write The daughter Series. This is her first time writing solo.
Rules of Summer takes us through a summer in the hamptons. We meet our narrator Rory McShane as she is packing to take a job working in the hamptons for The Rule family as an errand girl. She quickly learns that not all things are as they seem when working for the rich. The Rule family is very kind and sweet except for the youngest daughter Isabel. Isabel spends the summers breaking rules and getting into all kinds of trouble. However after spending a year away from her family she is finding it harder and harder to fit back in her old role. Mr. Rule is away for most of the summer working in the city. He pops in for the weekends to spend time at the Country Club. The two older Rule children are picture perfect sequels to their parents. The oldest son works with his father during the week and golfs with him on the weekend. The oldest girl is going to be an interior designer like all hampton wives are. Connor is the exception to his families rules. He does things to appear to be the perfect son while quietly living his own life. Rory quickly finds out that the demands for her time and attention will also lead her to life long friendships and possibly love. Yet the secrets she keeps aren’t the only ones going on in the Rule house. A quote from the book that sums it up ..”Not every picture is as pretty as it seems.”
The good of this book is it’s a fun easy beach read which is what Joanna Philbin was aiming for. It’s easy to see right from the start that our author knows first hand how the country club scene at The Hamptons works. The settings are perfect right down to the cracks in the pretty polish. The main characters are believable they aren’t always written to be liked which is refreshing. I love the way she takes the house manager almost a parody of what she should be with the fact she watches The Downton Abbey during dinner. The stories within stories of this book are funny to offset the semi serious tone that the major story takes.
The thing that Philbin misses with this novel is story plot. The main story is way too predictable. I knew from twenty pages in what the end was going to be. She gets going strong on the secrets the family keeps. However how the big secret is revealed falls horribly flat and not believable at all.
I am going to say that this novel gets two out of five stars because the characters are interesting enough that I finished the predictable story anyway. I don’t plan on searching out Philbin's next book. However if it pops into my hands for free like this one did I’ll read it anyway.
As always HAPPY READING!!