Book Title and Author: The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews
Publication Date and Publisher: May 08, 2018 by St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Mystery, Southern
Pages: 480 pages
Buy on Amazon.com
Date Read: March 30, 2018 (e-arc)
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.
Mary Kay Andrews always knows how to write the perfect summer/beach read filled with humor and summer charm and after reading (and loving) all of her previous books, I personally think that Andrews just gets better and better with each book!
While I always expect her books to be filled with humor (they are often laugh out loud funny), fantastic female friendships, strong female characters, romance, and a bit of mystery, The High Tide Club takes it a step further by combining all those elements with my other favorite things–history and some suspense! Andrews has never written a book quite like this before since it is more serious, addresses some deeper topics than her earlier books, and really has that added layer of history, which I think is one reason that I loved this book so much!
The story is told in two different timelines, one starting right before WWII and the other during the present day, and both timelines are filled with secrets, deception, grief, murder, drama, family and as always, friendship. In the present, Josephine Bettendorf Warrick is dying, and she not only needs a lawyer to help save Talisa, her family’s 20,000 acre island off the Georgia coast, but she wants to try and right all the terrible wrongs she did to her oldest friends over seventy years ago. To do this, she hires Brooke Trappnell, a young lawyer and single mother to help her.
As Brooke begins to help her client find her long lost friend’s heirs (and discovers she is actually the granddaughter of Josephine’s old friend Millie, which really complicates things!), the plots from the past and current day are cleverly woven together, and the secrets closely guarded by not only Josephine but the other members of “The High Tide Club” are revealed. Besides Josephine, “The High Tide Club” included Ruth, Millie, and Varina and it was a nickname the girls gave themselves when they were young and would skinny dip in the moonlight at Mermaid Beach.
There are many parts of the book that takes place in the past that make the story so intriguing since you really get to know these fascinating women when they were younger, and they are really excellent characters! Also, the scenes in the past give a lot of insight into the history of the time, especially southern culture, and reveal several shocking mysteries and secrets that come to light in the present day! There are so many compelling twists and turns in the book, that it was a definite page-turner!
The present day story is just as compelling as the one in the past and so are the characters! I was on the edge of my seat during some of the book because the suspense went way up! Sometimes The High Tide Club was a heartbreaking read because of some of the subject matter, but it was also authentic and such a captivating read. I found myself laughing and crying while reading it, and I didn’t want it to end! I loved the ladies of The High Tide Club…both old and new, and I look forward to reading the next book by one of my favorite authors!
**Thank you NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, and Mary Kay Andrews for an ARC copy in exchange for my fair and honest review.**
About the Author: Mary Kay Andrews
Mary Kay Andrews is the pen name of American writer Kathy Hogan Trocheck, based in Atlanta, who has authored a number of best-selling books under the Andrews pen name since 2002.
Trochek graduated from the University of Georgia with a journalism degree in 1976. She worked as a reporter at a number of papers, and spent 11 years as a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before leaving to write fiction full-time in 1991. She published ten mystery novels under her own name between 1992 and 2000, and switched to the Andrews pen name in 2002 to author Savannah Blues, which marked a change in her style to more Southern-flavored themes.