A long, long time ago Tonya urged me to read The Summer Guest by Justin Cronin, but I just never got around to it. I finally picked it up last week, and now I can't believe I waited so long to read it—it was excellent! I had read Cronin's collection of linked short stories, Mary and O'Neil, years ago, and I remember liking it a lot, so I can't really explain why I didn't read this one sooner.
Anyhow, the book takes place in and around a fishing camp in northwestern Maine, and tells the stories of a handful of people whose lives revolve around the place. (This is one of the books where the setting is such a vital part of the story that it's practically a character.) Mostly it's about Joe and Lucy, who own the camp, and their daughter, Kate; Jordan, a fishing guide; and Harry, the wealthy businessman who has come up to the camp every summer for the last 30 years. The characters are beautifully drawn and fully fleshed out, and the plot, while not exciting, captured my attention from start to finish. Oh, and Cronin writes like a dream. There were many sentences that I had to stop and reread just because they were so beautiful or so well crafted.
Honestly, this one is a real gem, and you shouldn't take as long to get to it as I did!