Given that I just graduated college, for the past twenty-two years of my life I have been blessed with the blissfully long three-month summer; a time when, regardless of my internship obligations, my biggest worry is whether or not I’ve applied enough SPF to continue baking in the sun. However, I’m a restless person, not one to lie comfortably in the sun all day with my eyes closed; I could never. When summer rolls around, I need books.
One might refer to my annual quest for the perfect summer read as my ‘white whale.’ However, this year I was blissfully spared Ahab’s agony because I found the perfect book just two weeks in. A friend lent me her copy of Brenda Bowen’s Enchanted August and I found it was precisely what I was looking for. Charming but cheeky, eventful but feasible, Enchanted August was an adorable portrait of what summer means – both in Maine (a state I feel a strong sense of allegiance to, as it houses my alma mater) and beyond. Bowen develops the characters’ personalities in a way that, even if you hate them in the beginning, you’ll ultimately come to defend them like friends of your own during the inevitable discussions you’ll have with other friends who have read and loved the book. I’d prefer not to reveal too much of the plot, as the story unfolds magically from beginning to end, but take my word for it – Enchanted August is the holy grail of summer stories.