22 New Books Set At The Beach To Read When You Can't Be There Yourself
Summer is finally here, and I've got 22 new books set at the beach to read when you can't be there yourself. If your beach vacation can't come quickly enough, or even if it isn't coming at all, the books on the list below will bring the sun, sand, and surf right to your nightstand.
Over the last several years, the term "beach read" has been applied to any book that could reasonably be considered a so-called guilty pleasure. Generally speaking, a beach read is any work of non-literary genre fiction — usually a romance, mystery, or thriller — that can be read quickly and easily while on vacation. Put simply, beach reads are supposed to be fun fare that will enhance the good times you're already having on vacation. But in reality, a beach read can be whatever you want to read at the beach. It is really that simple.
Whether you live too far from the beach to make a seaside vacation feasible, or you've planned your summer retreat for later in the season, the beach-set books on the list below will bring the saltwater and sunshine right to your home. The 22 books I've picked out for you here are all new releases or coming soon in 2019, and they're not all lighthearted, but they will keep you riveted and entertained until the last page:
'The Au Pair' by Emma Rous
The adult survivor of a tragic mystery, Seraphine confronts her family's history in this striking debut. She and her brother Danny were born the day their mother killed herself and the family's au pair disappeared, plunging their family's reputation deep into speculation. When Seraphine returns home to settle their late father's affairs, however, she discovers a photograph, taken the day the twins were born, of her mother holding only one baby.
'Girls of Glass' by Brianna Labuskes
Investigating the disappearance of a young girl leads a detective to relive the trauma of her own daughter's kidnapping in this new book from It Ends With Her author Brianna Labuskes. When the primary suspect in the case reminds Alice of herself in the wake of her daughter's murder, she begins to dig deeper into the other woman's life, hoping to find evidence that will exonerate her.
'The Island of Sea Women' by Lisa See
On the Japanese-occupied Jeju Island, Sun-sil leads and trains the haenyeo, or female divers, who catch seafood to feed their village. Her daughter, Young-sook, will one day inherit her position, and an adopted girl, Mi-ja, proves to be an apt diver herself. As war and politics swirl around them, however, the friendship between Young-sook and Mi-ja will be put to the test in a time filled with tragedy and betrayal.
'Until the Day I Die' by Emily Carpenter
Pushed to her breaking point by the death of her husband and the subsequent success of their business, Erin retreats to a Caribbean spa to relax and recover. The island resort doesn't put her at ease, however, as is turns out to be nothing like she was told. With her paranoia mounting, Erin begins to wonder whether she was sent to the Caribbean to get better, or to disappear forever.
'The Dragonfly Sea' by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
Set on the East African island of Pate, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor's The Dragonfly Sea centers on a tiny family of outcasts. Unmarried and pregnant by an unknown man, Munira left the mainland for Pate to avoid the marriage arranged by her parents. There, she has raised Ayaana, and their household of two increases with the return of Muhidin, the island's native son. As international political matters flow into the island, however, the arrival of a man named Ziriyab forever changes the paths of Munira, Anaaya, Muhidin, and Pate.
'When We Left Cuba' by Chanel Cleeton
A standalone novel set in the same world and following the same family as Next Year in Havana, Chanel Cleeton's When We Left Cuba centers on Beatriz, a young woman whose deep resentment toward Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolutionaries places her in the good graces of the CIA. Working as a spy for the U.S., the Cuban-American refugee wants only one thing: revenge against the man who caused the death of her twin brother.
'The Guest Book' by Sarah Blake
Peering into three generations of an American family, The Guest Book spans several decades, from 1935 to the new millennium, examining the impact of a family tragedy. Crockett's Island, Maine belongs to the Milton family, but, as the family grows and changes over the course of generations, it becomes clear that not everyone is welcome or wanted.
'The Lost Coast' by Amy Rose Capetta
Newly arrived in Tempest, California, teenager Danny finds herself swept up into the fold of the Grays — a group of queer witches her own age. What Danny doesn't know is that her new friends brought her to Tempest with magic, because she is their only hope to find the missing member of the Grays, Imogen.
'The Unhoneymooners' by Christina Lauren
After her twin sister's honeymoon plans are waylaid by post-reception food poisoning, Olive finds herself in possession of an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii. There's just one catch: she has to go with Ethan, her brother-in-law's best man and Olive's sworn enemy, and they have to pretend to be newlyweds in love.
'Don't Date Rosa Santos' by Nina Moreno
Years after the deaths of her male family members, Rosa Santos carries on a familial curse, which dictates that the sea will claim the lives of men she loves. But when Alex Aquino, the son of local marina owners, comes into Rosa's life, she becomes determined to break the curse and find her happily ever after.
'Conviction' by Denise Mina
Ever since her husband took their two children to start a new life with her former best friend, Anna has taken solace only in the magic of a true-crime podcast about a Mediterranean cruise gone awry. After she realizes that she once knew one of the victims, Anna dedicates herself to solving the murder mystery.
'Thin Air' by Lisa Gray
The first book in a new mystery series, Lisa Gray's Thin Air centers on Jessica Shaw, a private investigator hired to solve a 25-year-old missing persons case. There's just one problem — Jessica herself is the girl who went missing a quarter-century before.
'The Price of Paradise' by Susana López Rubio
Set in Havana in the late 1940s, Susana López Rubio's The Price of Paradise follows Patricio as he journeys from Spain to Cuba in search of a better life. Working at the El Encanto department store has its perks, but as Patricio finds himself falling for a mobster's wife, he realizes that the journey across the Atlantic may have changed his life in more ways than he anticipated.
'The Rest of the Story' by Sarah Dessen
Years after the other woman's death, Emma Saylor journeys to the resort town her mom called home. Previously known to Emma only through the stories she was told, North Lake provides a turning point for Emma as she reconnects with her late mother's family and Roo, her childhood best friend, who remembers everything that Emma has forgotten.
'Summer of '69' by Elin Hilderbrand (June 18)
Set in the upheaval of the late 1960s, Summer of '69 finds the Levin family separated for the first time in history. Only 13-year-old Jessie, her mother, and grandmother are there for their annual reunion on Nantucket. The rest of the children are spread out — one pregnant with twins in Boston, another fighting for justice from a job in Martha's Vineyard, and a third shipped off to Vietnam. It's a summer full of drama, both personal and international, in Elin Hilderbrand's new novel.
'The Last House Guest' by Megan Miranda (June 18)
Living in the resort town of Littleport, Maine, Avery looks forward to the return of her best friend, vacationer Sadie, each year. But when Sadie dies, and her death is ruled a suicide, Avery must work hard to clear herself from blame as her community begins to turn against her.
'Girls Like Us' by Cristina Alger (July 2)
When FBI Agent Nell Flynn returns home to settle her late father's affairs, she finds herself plunged into the murder mystery he was trying to solve at the time of his death. The deeper she digs, however, the more convinced she becomes that her father may have been involved in the murders of two young women, and that the other detectives are covering for him.
'The Last Book Party' by Karen Dukess (July 9)
Divided between New York City and Cape Cod, this 1987-set novel centers on Eve Rosen, an aspiring writer who lands a chance gig working as a research assistant to New Yorker scribe Henry Grey. As Grey's famous "book party" — an annual costume ball that invites attendees to dress as literary characters — approaches, however, Eve's starry-eyed wonder begins to dim, as she realizes that not all is as it seems in her new community of heroes.
'One Little Secret' by Cate Holahan (July 9)
Three couples gather at a beach house for a much-needed retreat. Liquor flows, secrets spill out, and one of the wives doesn't wake up the next morning. As local detective Gabby Watkins begins her investigation, it quickly becomes apparent that each of the five survivors had a motive in the woman's death.
'A Stranger on the Beach' by Michele Campbell (July 23)
Everything in Caroline Stark's life appears to be perfect. But within the walls of her beach house, she finds nothing but marital strife. When the couple's drama becomes a matter of public scrutiny, Caroline turns to Aidan, the eponymous stranger on the beach, for support. As the story unfolds, however, its narrative twists will leave readers wondering who is in control and who will lose it all.
'Goodnight Stranger' by Miciah Bay Gault (July 30)
Siblings Lydia and Lucas have lived in isolation on Wolf Island since their mother died, 10 years ago. But when a stranger named Cole arrives on the island via Ferry, Lucas becomes convinced that the man is the reincarnation of their younger brother, who died when the siblings were children. Lydia feels a connection with Cole, but in order to confirm that he is their family, returned, she must leave Lucas alone and step out into the island's wider company.
'The Birthday Girl' by Melissa de la Cruz (August 6)
Ellie's 40th birthday party was also supposed to be a celebration of her seemingly perfect life. As her family and friends gather for drinks and revelry at her Palm Springs home, the dark secrets of Ellie's past begin to come to light, and the Ellie everyone thinks they know will shatter before them.