• The Summer Girls

  • The Lowcountry Summer Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Mary Alice Monroe
  • Narrated by: Mary Alice Monroe
  • Length: 11 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (2,176 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Three sisters reunite on Sullivan’s Island off the coast of South Carolina after years of separation in this heartwarming first novel in a new trilogy from a beloved author.

80-year-old Marietta Muir is a dowager of Charleston society who has retired to her historic summer home on Sullivan’s Island. At the onset of summer, Marietta - "Mamaw" - seeks to gather her three granddaughters - Carson, Eudora, and Harper - with the intent to reunite them after years apart.

©2013 Mary Alice Monroe (P)2013 AudioGO

Critic Reviews

"[Anyone who] enjoys such fine Southern voices as Pat Conroy will add the talented Monroe to their list of favorites." ( Booklist)

What listeners say about The Summer Girls

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The summer girls

I did not enjoy this story, it had promise yes, but, it somehow did not leave me satisfied, I kept wanting to hear more about the two other sisters , and the boy in the story, however the true message was about alchoholism, it's effects on families , and the plight of Dolphins.
I think I was hoping for Southern charm, romance and life in the South.

20 people found this helpful

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Ugh

please tell the reader Southern pronounce Mamaw as Mam-maw not Ma-Ma. as someone who had a Mam-maw it is aggravating to hear.

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Good story but poor narration

I loved the storyline and the characters but did not care for Mary Alice Monroe's performance. Her fake southern accent and her inconsistent pronunciation of "Mamaw" really took away from my listening enjoyment.

9 people found this helpful

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Not thrilled

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

someone who needs a sleeping aide

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

There wasn't really an ending, the story lines of characters were left open--almost forcing one to purchase Book 2 for completion.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Mary Alice Monroe?

Anyone - she is a good writer and should stick to writing. Reading was lack luster, comparable to psychology 101 in large college auditorium. Monotone. This past month I have listened to Catherine Tabor and Amy Rubinate either would have made this so much more enjoyable.

What character would you cut from The Summer Girls?

None, the women need to be expanded on and not so predictable. While listening not so much "Carson said" Dora said" etc...

Any additional comments?

Although wondering where the other sisters wonder, not sure I can listen to another book with same narrator.

4 people found this helpful

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Decent story, terrible narration

I just realized the author was the narrator. I've read a couple of her books previously and definitely prefer that to listening to her, which is a shame. Her voice was pleasant, but she did not do a good job differentiating between characters, and at times even repeated herself. It was very distracting, especially when you get used to listening to professional narrators.

Overall, I wouldn't recommend paying for this audiobook. It's a decent beach/bedtime read (to help sleep) if it's free or very cheap, but the story was pretty shallow and the narration was what you might expect from a free listen on YouTube.

2 people found this helpful

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Nice story

The storyline was good, but fairly predictable. I am a true Southerner, having lived in the Southeast most of my life. Loved visiting coastal South Carolina, so I could picture the setting easily. However, the oration was very distracting to me, and didn’t sound true Southern, nor was it consistent throughout the book. “Mawmaw” was mispronounced which was annoying . If one isn’t from the South, then one should at minimum hire a linguist, or even better a true southern orator. Because of this I won’t listen to anymore of this author’s books, but perhaps I’ll buy one to read myself.

2 people found this helpful

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I could not wait for this to end.

I gave this book two stars across the board. The narrator (the author) was hard to listen to. There were several editing problems where she reread a sentence making a correction and then not editing out the original error. The accents she applied were unauthentic and not consistent. The storyline was unimaginative, not well defined and just plain boring. I understand that the first book in a series is the foundation and generally the story blossoms as more books are read; however the author reads the second book and honestly I just can’t listen to her again.

1 person found this helpful

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The story is ok but ruined by the performance

I really wanted to love this book but it was so cringeworthy due to the reading performance. Being a southern girl I just couldn’t finish it. Two things that bothered me most is her pronunciation of mamaw as momma!! No southern person would ever do that. The second thing is she used the phrase “deaf and dumb” really?? Do you know how long it took for people with hearing disabilities to get over that phrase. It was just awful. That shocked me.
The author had a good thing going if she’d just let someone read it that has a real southern accent. It’s awful. I couldn’t finish it.

1 person found this helpful

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This is why you hire a narrator

This story was mediocre for me. I didn’t enjoy the characters.

The whole “let’s stop drinking for a week to make sure we aren’t alcoholics” was annoying for me. As someone who has many alcoholics in her own family, that isn’t how that works.

The narration was poor. The accents were bad, the consistency is character voice was spotty at best. There were multiple places where a sentence was repeated because a mistake was made but it wasn’t deleted out during editing. It was distracting.

I may give this author another try, but I will read the book from the library and not listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Not as the title states

Boring story and a bit all over the place. If I wanted to read a story about saving dolphins this would not be the one.

1 person found this helpful

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  • lillybelle
  • 05-06-22

Good story but

I enjoyed the story. It took a chapter or so to get into it. However there were a few times where a sentence was repeated due to an error in the reading so not edited fully.

1 person found this helpful

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  • nell atkinson
  • 09-27-22

Good book.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book although it took me a little while to get into it. A lovely story with no swearing, see or violence. I have just started 2nd book so hopefully it will be good too.

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  • ann
  • 06-08-22

Loved all the dolphin contribution

A pleasurable, easy listen about the relationship between three sisters, with added interest from all the information about dolphins occurring naturally in the story of the relationship between Carson and Blake. Also a sympathetic portrayal of a child with Asperger's.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-26-22

Three sisters reunited

I did enjoy this especially the first half.
I had thought that each sister would have been given more depth and plot but only one of them was properly ‘fleshed out!’
Some interesting details about a variety of subjects - dolphins, water sports and autism. Not things which are normally combined.
Nice atmosphere in the old family home and small town.
Lovely warm descriptions of beach experiences.
I liked how it had an open ending.

The recording had not been edited very well and there were many places where the narration duplicated sentences. This was irritating.
The narrator had a beautiful soft and gentle voice though, which was a pleasure to listen to.

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  • Lucy locket
  • 05-20-22

A nice listen

If you want something easy to listen to this is the book for you.
It is about a family, not having time for each other, but being brought together by their Grandma.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-15-22

Summer escape book

I was hooked on the story, the characters and the place quickly. I didn’t realise it was a trilogy originally but I’m delighted to have extra to listen too. Perfect summer reading, ups and downs but happy overall.

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  • Littlechic
  • 04-25-22

Delightful

This was just a delightful story. Well read, well written and would recommend to anyone

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • mimi
  • 04-22-22

Body focussed

I was really taken back by the negative comments about plus sized women and the focus on body shape in these days and times

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  • BettyBoopsta
  • 04-16-22

lovely tender novel

such a feel good story about real life problems and issues we have to deal with everyday. loved the southern feel and beautifully narrated with love. it's one of the first self narrated book I have really enjoyed. loved the marine life info included in the novel

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  • TulipGirl
  • 04-12-22

Enjoyable and informative

Great story and true life regarding marine wildlife. Each character was well defined and identifiable. Having seen the dolphins at Tybee Islad,, George,, and being able to follow Sulivan on a map, I could imagine it all. It has certainly .are me think about the dos and don'ts.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-30-22

Too slow

The southern accent put me to sleep and there just was no point to the story

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-12-22

Want more

I feel like this story has more to come, hopefully there will be a follow up👍

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-26-22

A Lovely Read

I enjoyed this book which I picked at random for the 'plus catalogue' option. I found it a refreshing, easy going, story of family and how we work through life.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Lynda
  • 02-14-22

Not my cup of tea

Please remember this review is my opinion only. I didn't like this book much at all. I have given 2 stars - 1 for the book, and 1 for me finishing it. The storyline was shallow and repetitive - like the name of the car or that the lunch board is written in chalk, for example. The author seems to want to impress by smothering in language which was often unnecessary and often out of place. The characters have no continuity. Did Harper stay locked in her room doing the dolphin story towards the end? There was no accountability of the grandmother's participation in the fishing rod saga, but all blame laid on a 9 year old, even by the grandmother. The point that so much of the story focuses around a dolphin, and that Carson seems to think she knows more about dolphins than a biologist who works with them is confusing. If the main character development had gone with trying to work with the autist boy, I might have felt the story more believable. And I found the narration boring I actually have the next book in the series but I'm not going there.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-07-22

Another great Mary Alice Monroe book.

I originally bought this as a soft cover book many years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was an absolute joy to have the author herself narrate this. The undertones of conservation are well developed as are the family ties with their 'warts and all' approach.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • KlaraJ
  • 11-03-21

Boring characters, Boring story, Boring Narration

So glad this was a free book otherwise I would be wanting my money back. Kept hoping it would get better.... it didn't.

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