Turquoise Summer by Mary Beth Lagerborg
Our friend Maureen came to visit recently. She brought with her Turquoise Summer by Mary Beth Lagerborg. Mary Beth is a personal historian who captures clients’ memoirs or family stories in custom-published books. She is already the author of nine non-fiction books, and is co-creator, with Mimi Wilson, of the ultimate do-ahead dinner technique, Once-A-Month Cooking. Apparently, this book has helped thousands of people to strengthen family mealtimes. Once-A-Month Cooking Family Favorites, a later book of entirely different recipes, includes a two-week family menu plan of gluten-free recipes. However, Turquoise Summer is her first fiction novel.
Turquoise Summer is the debut novel of Mary Beth Lagerborg, and is set in Grand Lake, Colorado, in 1947 when grandparents from Kansas, Frank and Jane Hamilton, take their granddaughter, Maggie on holiday with them to Grand Lake. Their maid, Alma, who is a wonderful cook is persuaded to forgo her own vacation to join the family. Frank wants to fly fish. Jane wants to leave her social obligations behind and find a summer passion. Alma will help to look after Maggie.
Maggie believes that in a creaky old cabin with a cranky grandmother she must uncover and solve a mystery to make her vacation complete. When her Uncle Max joins the family, his attempt to win kudos in a sailing competition ends in hilarious disaster. It is a relatively short novel full of gentle humour and excellent character descriptions. This is not a book that I would have picked up, had I seen it. However, I enjoyed Turquoise Summer and am glad I had a chance to read it.