The Summer Getaway: A Novel
“The Summer Getaway is a reflective and moving tale of family ties.”
Robyn Caldwell, a good and faithful wife to Cord, a charter boat company owner in Naples, Florida, is at a crossroads. But after his flagrant infidelities Robyn's had enough. Her daughter Harlow is now in college, and her son Austin, heading for high school, is old enough to understand his parents' divorce. Robyn gets to stay in the pretentious house Cord purchased years ago—and a house Robyn would never pick—until Austin graduates. Then she must either buy his share of the house or sell the property.
All the years with her husband, Robyn deferred to him, giving up her dreams of a college education to maintain their home and raise their children. She realizes they married too young, but young hormones and the thought of someone loving her swept her away.
Now single, she ponders: "She'd maintained her lifestyle, lunched with her friends, baked for Austin, and mourned her marriage. She's kept her country club membership up to date, had replaced a three-year-old car because, hey, that was what they always did. She'd ignored the ticking clock that was her payments from Cord, and she's wasted four years of income.
"The truth was humiliating and humbling, not to mention a little scary. What was she supposed to do now?"
Austin graduates from high school and now refuses to attend college, making Robyn sad. Twenty-two-year-old Harlow is planning her nuptials against Robyn's wishes. She believes the girl is making a mistake young and doesn't know her fiancé well, but she also understands daughters never listen to their mothers and do what they want.
Harlow and Robyn argue about the wedding, and Harlow tells Robyn she's selfish for selling her childhood home because she always dreamed of being married outside by the pool. However, Robyn's time is up, and she cannot afford to remain living there, let alone buy out Cord's share, and she becomes distressed when Harlow, an entitled and spoiled bridezilla, yells hurtful words at her.
She meets with her friend Mindy hoping for advice when she is thrown for a loop after Mindy says she plans to have an affair with a younger man, thereby ruining her marriage. Robyn also learns Cord is dating Harlow's fiancés twin sister! After all this stress and confusion, Robyn has had enough.
In her nineties, Lillian wills her huge, 40,000-square-foot mansion to her deceased husband's relative, Mason Bishop, and the contents of her home to Robyn. She needs a break and, on impulse, goes to Santa Barbara to visit her great aunt Lillian. Lillian loves Robyn as her own and always offers Robyn advice, solace, and comfort.
Now, at a crossroads in her life, Robyn must decide how to plan her future. Is it too late to go back to college? Can she start her own business? With the treasures in Lillian's mansion, she could easily set up a thriving antiques shop and buy a small condo to cover expenses over the years.
As per Lillian's request, Mason is already in residence with her. An army veteran, he is also an author, and what better place to write his books than at Lillian's overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Robyn is disconcerted to find Mason there and wonders how they can adapt to living under the same roof, even if the roof contains many rooms. But Lillian is thrilled to have them with her and feels more at ease not being alone.
As Robyn settles in, she and Mason become friends, both concerned about Lillian's frailty yet impassioned by her kind and loving ways. Somewhat of a spitfire, Lillian offers words of wisdom, but most of all, her love and compassion. She hopes to talk Robyn into moving to California. After all, what does she have left in Florida? Harlow is to be married, and Austin is now out of high school and planning his future . . . not to mention Robyn's embarrassment about her wayward ex.
Always the center of her family, Robyn is surprised when Austin shows up in California, and before long, Harlow also arrives, ashamed of her behavior and missing her mom. With second thoughts about marriage, she also needs guidance from Robyn and Lillian.
The Summer Getaway is a reflective and moving tale of family ties. The powerful and discerning characters display every emotion between sorrow, joy, hope, and despair, and some sensual scenes are included to add spice—all focused around Robyn. She finds her true worth among those she cherishes the most and looks forward to the next leg of her journey in this thing called life. At the same time, she wonders what her future will hold.