Summer People: A Novel (Paperback)

Summer People: A Novel By Brian Groh Cover Image

Summer People: A Novel (Paperback)


Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days

A tremendously appealing and mordantly funny novel for fans of Richard Russo and Curtis Sittenfeld, about friendship, compassion, and social privilege. 

Summer People tells the story of Nathan Empson, a young college dropout and aspiring graphic novelist who has just accepted the most unusual job of his life.

In exchange for serving as a summer "caretaker" for Ellen Broderick, the eccentric matriarch of Brightonfield Cove, Maine, Nathan will earn a generous salary and gain access to one of the last bastions of old New England wealth—an exclusive coastal community the likes of which he has never known.

It seems at first like easy money: accompanying Ellen to the immaculate Alnombak Golf and Tennis Club, or joining her for an evening of cocktails and conversation at a neighbor's mansion overlooking the anchored yachts of Albans Bay. But not everyone in the community is welcoming—or even civil—to someone they regard as an interloper. So Nathan finds solace in the companionship of a philosophical, ex-punk Episcopalian pastor, and the alluring nanny of the pastor's children, a feisty, dark-eyed beauty named Leah.

Nathan invites Leah for walks and late-night picnics on the beach, yet as his relationship with her deepens, he finds it difficult to ignore his employer's unexpectedly unnerving behavior. With each escalating mishap, a new aspect of Ellen's colorful past comes to light, exposing the secret lives of her old friends, flames, and enemies, as well as the story behind a scandalous incident Nathan must prevent her from repeating—however inept his efforts may be.

In this big-hearted, immensely satisfying debut novel, Nathan must contend with competitors for Leah's affection and with an increasing suspicion that Ellen needs more help than he can provide. But sounding the alarm over Ellen's condition would mean leaving her beachside home, his summer job, and the romance that may well change his life.

Brian Groh grew up in Ohio and has lived in Great Britain, Costa Rica, and Maine. He has written for the New Republic, MTV, and National Geographic Traveler. Summer People is his first novel.

Product Details ISBN: 9780061209970
ISBN-10: 006120997X
Publisher: Ecco
Publication Date: August 28th, 2007
Pages: 320
Language: English
Series: P.S.

“This is an introspective tragicomedy about depression, class and finding a mooring in life.” — People

“There’s a little of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Nick Carraway (of The Great Gatsby)...[and] Thornton Wilder...” — Down East Magazine

“Brian Groh beautifully crafts the coming-of-age story of a young man who is in between everything.” — Chicago Sun-Times

“…a haunting work…” — Cleveland Plain Dealer

“…funny and fast-paced…believable banter is definitely one of Groh’s strengths.” Grade: A — Cincinnati CityBeat

“[Groh] perfectly captures those first weeks of a romance.” — Cincinnati Enquirer LitChick Blog

“Summer People has all the makings of a great summer read.” — BlogCritics Magazine

“…perceptive debut… [A] beguiling tale full of wit and wisdom.” — Kirkus (starred review)

“Groh’s novel is strong…and Nathan’s character, like the lead in [Nick Hornby’s] High Fidelity, ultimately charms.” — Booklist

“SUMMER PEOPLE... [is] filled with characters who still go through my heart-- just a delight to read.” — Elizabeth Strout, bestselling author of AMY AND ISABEL and ABIDE WITH ME

“[A] fine and funny novel... ” — Owen King, author of WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER