BWW Review: THE SUMMER SET by Aimee Agresti is a Fun, Comedic, and Romantic Theatre Read!
It's been over seventy days since I have last stepped inside a theatre and it literally feels like there is a something emotionally and physically missing from me. When I was offered the opportunity to read Aimee Agresti, THE SUMMER SET, I immediately took it. One, I'm avid reader, but two, and most importantly, it was a book about a summer theatre and the people performing in it!
With how much I was missing theatre, how could I not be hooked at this? "With theatres closed in most locations around the country, performing arts lovers need to get their fix somehow, and reading about theatre is a great alternative! Acting is a honed skill, but every performer knows that the best drama happens off stage. Hollywood A-lister Charlie Savoy has singlehandedly ruined her own acting career with collateral damage in tow. Now she's punished with community service at the idyllic summer theater in the Berkshires where she got her start. With her celebrity rival at her throat, and things heating up when her old flame arrives to direct, THE SUMMER SET features an unforgettable cast and sets the stage for an undeniably charming, hilarious, summer read."
Honestly, I'd be happy in any theatre anywhere. I truly just miss theatre down to the depths of my soul. Unfortunately, that isn't possible at the moment and we all have to be safe. Thankfully we have technology to keep us all together and I love seeing what all the artists are doing. Reading THE SUMMER SET was such a nice fix for me during this time where theatre is not in my life consistently. Like I said, I'm an avid reader and while it's nice to always be connected, I find great solace in books. So, THE SUMMER SET was a great fix. Yes, I'm being repetitive, but it's important to me, theatre has always been in my life. Long before I was writing here at BroadwayWorld and even before I went the performing route then decided I like the writing route a lot more, it has always been there. Theatre has always been there - a staple, a support in my life. So, not having been to a theatre in close to three months, hearing friends out of jobs, and seeing shows close has my heart hurting so much that's it very hard to put those feelings into the correct words, but reading this book was a getaway to times when theatre was (and will be again) a happy and joyous, albeit drama-filled, place to be!
THE SUMMER SET was a breath of fresh air and filled me with dreams of summer theatre. It was easy to believe I was in the middle of the drama, love, and rehearsals of summer theatre shows. I had a lot of fun reading it, just as I imagined Aimee Agresti had writing it. I really loved reading this book because it made me remember theatre. Remember when I used to perform in summer theatre myself or remember attending a summer show on warm summer night and then it suddenly getting washed out by rain. It also brought a melancholy feeling over me due to what has happened this year and everything I'm missing out on this summer, yet I know theatre will come back stronger than ever because it is one thing that always survives - even Agresti knows that and wrote that well, which I applaud her for.
I liked the main character, Charlie, a lot. I felt that she is all of us - just trying to find our place in the world, and I really I enjoyed her story. "Charlie Savoy was once Hollywood's hottest A-lister. Now, ten years later, she's pushing forty, exiled from the film world back at the summer Shakespeare theater in the Berkshires that launched her career-and where her first love, Nick, is the artistic director. It's not exactly her first choice. But as parts are cast and rehearsals begin, Charlie is surprised to find herself thriving: bonding with celebrity actors, forging unexpected new friendships, and even reigniting her spark with Nick despite their complicated history. Until Charlie's old rival, Hollywood's current "It Girl," is brought on set, threatening to undo everything she's been working towards. As the drama amps up both on the stage and behind the curtains, Charlie must put on the show of the lifetime to fight for second chance she deserves in career and in love." My only complaint is I would have liked more chapters from Sierra and Ethan's point of view. I love alternating narrations, but I felt they were under used. Yes, it was Charlie's story, and I don't feel I'm giving anything away by saying it is Sierra and Ethan's story as much as Chamberlain's Summer Theater's as well, and they deserved more.
Overall, if you are a theatre lover like me or just looking for an easy read with romance, comedy, and lots and lots of drama, THE SUMMER SET is the book for you. It definitely will be one I'll pick up when I'm in my theatre feels again.
Thanks to Graydon House Books and BookClubbish for my copy!
THE SUMMER SET by Aimee Agresti is currently available everywhere. For more information or to get a copy, you can find the book here: http://aimeeagresti.com/books/the-summer-set/