Novel Approach: 'The Summer Job' is the perfect beachy read for foodies

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” —Oscar Wilde

Who among us hasn’t daydreamed about starting over somewhere else with a new identity? While it might be impractical to actually bust out a fake mustache and pretend to be a MI6 spy, or claim to be a completely different person while chatting someone up at a bar, the concept of sliding into a new persona can have its appeal. Our latest read takes us to Scotland where our protagonist has accidentally reinvented herself as her best friend.

The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent

Lizzy Dent’s debut adult novel, “The Summer Job” is the perfect read for anyone who has ever felt lost within their personal or professional life. Blending the foodie charm of Stephanie Danler’s “Sweetbitter” and Emily Henry’s “Beach Read” laughs, Dent has created a hilarious tale of a summer job gone awry.

When Birdy arrives at her new summer job in Scotland she is woefully unprepared for her task, where she is pretending to be her best friend, a top sommelier at a hotel that is working to rebrand itself as a luxury destination. The problem for Birdy is everyone thinks she’s her best friend, Heather, who is actually on vacation with a scuzzy boyfriend in Italy. (Oh, and Birdy doesn’t know the first thing about wine.)

And, of course, Heather doesn’t know that Birdy has taken the job in her place. Juggling a fake identity, an absent chef, her newfound wine studies and a potential romance forces Birdy to take stock of her life and consider what she wants for her future.

After a lifetime of halfhearted pursuits, Birdy is finally finding herself as she studies the wine and bonds with her new coworkers, but how long can she keep up the ruse?

Readers are sure to enjoy the ups and downs of Birdy’s faux sommelier facade as her humor quickly endears her to the other characters despite her many wine snafus.

Whether you’re sipping a red, white or perhaps a sangria, “The Summer Job” makes for an entrancing beachy read that you won’t be able to put down until the final page.

From the book jacket…

What if you could be someone else? Just for the summer…

Birdy has made a mistake. Everyone imagines running away from their life at some point. But Birdy has actually done it. And the life she’s run into is her best friend Heather’s. The only problem is, she hasn’t told Heather.

The summer job at the highland Scottish hotel that her world class wine-expert friend ditched turns out to be a lot more than Birdy bargained for. Can she survive a summer pretending to be her best friend? And can Birdy stop herself from falling for the first man she’s ever actually liked, but who thinks she’s someone else?

One good friend’s very bad decision is at the heart of this laugh-out-loud love story and unexpected tale of a woman finally finding herself in the strangest of places.

If you enjoy…

Readers looking for additional laughs and a light romance to read while basking in the sun, might also enjoy “The People We Meet on Vacation.” Emily Henry’s latest novel tells the story of two best friends in a “When Harry Met Sally” kind of friendship who get together every year during a summer vacation.

tinamarie.craven@hearstmediact.com