The author of Daisy Jones & the Six is back with a new novel about family, surfing and secrets set in ’80s Malibu. Malibu Rising tells the story of the Riva family from multiple perspectives. The book alternates between 1983 and the ’50s and ’60s, when parents June and Mick met, fell in love and broke apart. In 1983 Mick Riva is a star singer known around the world for his golden voice and handsome face. The media has reported on his string of failed marriages. However, few people know the full story of the heartbreak behind the scenes.
Mick’s four children struggled for success on their own since the death of their mother, who Mick abandoned without a dime. As the oldest child, Nina stepped into the role of caretaker. She petitioned for custody of her siblings as soon as she turned 18 and kept the family restaurant going.
Now Nina is a star model, Jay is a champion surfer and Hud is a renowned photographer. Baby sister Kit could be the one to go all the way in surfing if anyone notices her talent.
As the story begins the siblings are preparing for their legendary annual summer party with Hollywood elites. At this party people make connections and reputations, romances bloom and hearts are broken. This year’s bash will be the one to end them all. Each of the four siblings has secrets to hide. By the end of the night the house will be up in flames.
This book was a perfect summer escape I could not put down. It was a pleasure to read but also emotionally complex and memorable. I loved Nina’s character growth and strength, and found myself rooting for all the Riva siblings. While you wait to get your hands on this book, check out these reads about family, surfing and the sea.
Breath by Tim Winton
Travel to the wild coast of Australia in this coming-of-age story about two boys, ages 12 and 13, learning to surf. A skilled surfer named Sando is their guide into the world of an extreme sport. He believes in building strength and courage through taking risks. As the three grow closer and push each other to succeed despite the danger, it becomes clear Sando is hiding something. Winton is an atmospheric writer who immerses readers in the setting and action of his stories. This one is a great escape! Listen to the audiobook with no holds on Hoopla or check out the film adaptation.
The Summer Girls by Mary Alice Monroe
Travel to the beaches of South Carolina in a story of three half-sisters who have not seen each other for years, and the grandmother determined to reunite them. Mamaw is sure once she is gone, her three granddaughters will drift apart for good. She decides to hint that her house and maybe even treasure could be up for grabs if the girls return. Once the three are back on Sullivan’s Island, they’ll face up to their memories, their secrets and their pain to find each other again. This book is first in a series of five. You can check all of them out as audiobooks with no holds on Hoopla.
Summer Sisters by Judy Blume
This is one of my favorites of all time! Summer Sisters is the story of Caitlyn and Victoria (Vix), two girls from different worlds who become best friends in middle school during the late 1970s. The two spend their summers together at Martha’s Vineyard swimming, falling in love and growing up.
Vix focuses on academics and making something of herself. She spends a lot of time helping care for her beloved brother who is wheelchair bound. Summers with Caitlyn are an escape, a chance to be free for just a while.
Caitlyn is from a wealthy family, but her parents are divorced and live apart. She lives with her aloof mother during the school year, and with her father and brother on the Vineyard during the summer. Summers with Vix mean family, adventure and someone to count on.
The bond between the two stays strong through everything, but eventually long-buried secrets strain their friendship. Vix may need to choose between the life she’s planned for so carefully and the friend who refused to plan at all.
Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan
Learn more about what it’s really like to be a surfer with Barbarian Days, a Pulitzer Prize winning biography. Finnegan began surfing as a teen in Hawaii then traveled the world riding the waves. He recounts experiences in Samoa, Fiji, South Africa and Madeira. Finnegan takes us on a tour of dangerous waters, sharks, wipeouts and near drowning in an obsessive quest for thrills and adventure. This coming-of-age story and travelogue combined will bring you as close to the waves as you can get without a board.