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  • The High Season

  • A Novel
  • By: Judy Blundell
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 10 hrs and 43 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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The High Season

By: Judy Blundell
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
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Summary

“A mesmerizing, head-spinning - and sometimes madcap-hilarious - take of have and have-nots.” (People, Book of the Week)

Named one of the best books of the year by Real Simple and Kirkus Reviews.

“In the smart, breezy, sweet spot between Meg Wolitzer and Elin Hilderbrand.” (Entertainment Weekly)

No matter what the world throws her way, at least Ruthie Beamish has the house. Located by the sea in a quiet Long Island village, the house is her nest egg - the retirement account shared with her ex-husband, Mike, and the college fund for their teenage daughter, Jem. The catch? To afford the house, Ruthie must let it go during the best part of the year.

It’s Memorial Day weekend and the start of what Jem calls “the summer bummer”: the family’s annual exodus to make way for renters. This year, the Hamptons set has arrived.  

Adeline Clay is elegant and connected - and will never need to worry about money. Before long, she demonstrates an uncanny ability to help herself to Ruthie’s life. Is Adeline just being her fabulous self, or is she out to take what she wants? 

When an eccentric billionaire, his wayward daughter, a coterie of social climbers, and Ruthie’s old flame are thrown into the mix, the entire town finds itself on the verge of tumultuous change. But as Ruthie loses her grasp on her job, her home, and her family, she discovers a new talent for pushing back. By the end of one unhinged, unforgettable summer, nothing will be the same - least of all Ruthie.  

Praise for The High Season:

“Blundell knows the territory.... Her account of Ruthie’s coming to grips with a career, a daughter and a community in flux is as touching as it is convincing.” (The Wall Street Journal)

“A huge page-turner...so compelling...a classic beach read, but very smart, very intelligently written.” (Us Weekly, Emily Giffin’s summer reading recommendations)

“An acid-laced domestic drama set during one golden summer on the moneyed, beachy North Fork of Long Island.” (The New York Times)

“Judy Blundell wields words like an oyster knife in this shimmering story of art, money, and celebrity.” (Helen Simonson, New York Times best-selling author of The Summer Before the War)

“A wry, often hilarious story of a woman trying to keep it together when everything is going so, so wrong.” (Real Simple)

©2018 Judy Blundell (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic reviews

“[A] perfect book for your beach bag - even if you’re not Long Island-bound.” (Vogue

The High Season is packed with quirky characters and charm that will last all summer long.” (Hello Giggles

The High Season goes beyond light summer fare. It’s a bit like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous but with Jane Austen’s type of biting wit and keen eye toward the human heart as an undercurrent.” (Pulse Magazine) 

What listeners say about The High Season

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  • Amie Orton
  • 11-08-20

Not impressed

This story has so many F words that it is distracting. Someone should count! It’s probably 300 times or more. What? Why? Do most 40 and 50 year olds talk like that? Seems to demonstrate a lack of language skills. I couldn’t tell if it was the teens talking or the adults. And I’m a swearer! The subject is relatable I guess. But in such a pretty setting the author could have painted a picture for us so much more. I don’t recommend this book to anyone. I did appreciate the main characters struggle with ethics. Honesty vs. saving her pride and the hurt from her husbands betrayal.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Jenn
  • 16-12-18

Finally a Book That Wasn't Just About Romance

I've read so many books with women at the center. And they normally devolve into will she or won't she date/marry/divorce the man. All the other plots take a back seat to the same narrative. And yes, I enjoy romance but I always wanted more. I wanted a story about a woman on a journey that wasn't all about a man. This book delivered. Great plot, a hint of romance, but the woman took the driver seat. And I was not able to predict the ending. Very good. Enjoyed the narrative.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Karenique
  • 14-04-21

A welcome addictive listen! Wow!

Searching for Julia Whelan on Audible, I was thrilled to have found Judy Blundell’s “The High Season.” Both Whelan and Blundell are a solid pair, to be sure. Blundell invites us to a summer community of eccentric and quirky characters; an abundance of subplots make this a #1 hit. Whelan’s creative narrative is exquisitely performed {{{again, thank you, Julia}}}. I don’t know how she does it. Her vocals are precise and a listening pleasure with each and every character. Blundell creates one helluva wild ride and I will be on the lookout for more. “The High Season” is one of the best in my library! So highly recommended, I want to scream from the rooftop, “Epic, I say. Epic! Epic! Epic!

👏✍🏻🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟✍🏻👏

4 people found this helpful

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  • Scott
  • 20-06-18

Elegant writing

Wonderful story with characters you truly care about. I could not stop listening! Judy Blundell’s story of love and change captivated me. Although billed as a “summer read” the story is really about how life changes and learning to let go as well as understanding what to hold close.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Dana
  • 10-06-18

Great listen

Enjoyed very much but found it a little hard in the beginning to follow characters. Figured it out but tricky at times.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Pauline Bruno
  • 05-02-20

It gave me a headache!

Julia Whalen is my favorite reader. Why she chose to present this book I will never understand. The story is boring, repetitious and I learned nothing from it. I would give it a zero if it was offered. Don’t waste your time or money.

3 people found this helpful

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  • SM
  • 25-05-19

Ehh

It was alright. I kept waiting for it to be about something. Then I thought it would be Ann Tyler-ish...but still nothing.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mamabetz
  • 14-07-18

Better than I expected

I think I expected a typical beach read when I started this book -- a familiar problem, solved in a predictable manner, spiced with romance for the middle-aged woman with a philandering husband, and ending happily as it restores the reader's hope that there are still a few good men out there. The High Season has all the ingredients for this typical summer stew, but nothing ends the way I had imagined. I was delighted with the contrast. It's still a good read for a lazy summer day, but I doubt too many readers will find the ending predictable.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Shelly Dee
  • 09-06-18

Sort of like cotton candy

This mindless book about the next best town to "The Hamptons" rich folk and wannabees was interesting enough to finish while half listening at work, but barely. It didn't help the story that the narrator's male voices were like chalk on a blackboard only worse in so many ways. If you're looking for something light to read, this is your book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Minneapolis listener
  • 02-08-22

Don’t come here for the beach.

This is a cynical story about preposterously rich people, hangers on, dirty tricks, disloyalty and youth worship.

Plus, there are just too many characters.

Narration was great.

1 person found this helpful