Mary Alice Monroe books in order
Mary Alice Monroe is an American best-selling author of environmental fiction.
Her novels have made it to many lists, including the New York Times, USA Today and SIBA, earning her several awards such as the 2014 SC Book Festival Award for Excellence in Writing, the 2015 SW Florida Book Festival Distinguished Author Award, RT Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2008 South Carolina Center for the Book Award for Writing.
She was also inducted into the Literary Hall of Fame in 2018, with her book The Beach House (2002) also adapted into film in the same year.
Monroe lives with her family on a barrier island outside Charleston, South Carolina.
Genres: Contemporary , Fantasy / SF
- Girl in the Mirror (2004)
- The Secrets We Keep (2006)
- The Four Seasons (2009)
- Time is a River (2009)
- The Long Road Home (2010)
- Last Light Over Carolina (2010)
- Sweetgrass (2010)
- Skyward (2011)
- The Butterfly’s Daughter (2012)
- The Book Club (2013)
- The Summer Guests (2019)
Islanders (Co-authored with Angela May)
- The Islanders (2021)
- Search for Treasure (2022)
- Turtle Summer: A Journal for My Daughter (2007)
- A Butterfly Called Hope (2013)
- Second Star to the Right (2013)
Lowcountry Summer Series
- The Summer Girls (2013)
- The Summer Wind (2014)
- The Summer’s End (2015)
- A Lowcountry Wedding (2016)
- A Lowcountry Christmas (2016)
The Beach House Series
- The Beach House (2002)
- Swimming Lessons (2007)
- Beach House Memories (2012)
- Beach House for Rent (2017)
- Beach House Reunion (2018)
- On Ocean Boulevard (2020)
- The Summer of Lost and Found (2021)
Detailed book overview
For Charlotte Godowski, there was nothing new about the horrified stares she received from strangers. Her facial deformity is something she had learned to accept, until one horrible incident pressured her into having surgery: one that would forever change her life forever.
In the land of Hollywood where immense beauty equates to power, Charlotte Godfrey is unmatched when it comes to her beauty. Now, she has everything she could ever dream of.
Charlotte Godowski and Charlotte Godfrey are two sides of the same woman. When her past however comes back to haunt her, Charlotte learns that love is the only force that can transform a wounded soul.
The Blakely family is broken and scattered.
Matriarch Mary June has completely refused to face the truth about her past and history of tragedy.
Unable to express their real emotions over the years, Mary June and her husband Preston have paid the price.
One of their sons is lost while the other, Morgan, has not visited home for home than ten years.
When Morgan however unexpectedly returns to look after his sick father, the family begins to confront their demons.
It’s only then that Mary June reveals the shattering family secrets that she and her husband have kept under wraps for nearly five decades.
Tragedy brings together Jillian, Beatrice and Rose who gather for the funeral of their younger sister, Meredith.
Her death, and the legacy she leaves behind, sparks a journey across the country in search of a stranger who has the power to heal their wounded lives.
As past emotions are echoed into the present, Jillian, Beatrice and Rose search for the girls they once were, hoping to find the women they were meant to be.
Bound by blood but separated by a disaster, this book is about a bittersweet journey of forgiveness, loss and rediscovery by the Season sisters.
Recovering from breast cancer and still coming to terms with her husband’s affair, Mia Landan leaves her Charleston home for the mountains near Asheville, North Carolina.
There, she stays at an abandoned fishing cabin belonging to Belle Carson, her fly-fishing instructor who inherited it from Kate Watkins—a renowned fly fisher and journalist of the 1920s, and a grandmother she never knew. Everthing came crumbling down for Watkins after she was accused of murdering her lover.
It is while at the cabin that Mia comes across Watkins’ journal; her words inspiring her to emerge from her shell and once again connect with the world around her.
Manhattan socialite Nora MacKenzie is not only devastated by the husband’s suicide, but is also left without a single coin as a result of his dubious Wall Street dealings.
She nonetheless miraculously manages to hold on to their mountainside farm, determined to start afresh.
Although the Vermont locals are skeptical of her stay, Nora’s only ally is the hardworking Charles “C.W.” Walker.
She gradually begins to open her heart again as the two spend more time together.
Will Nora’s fragile heart however survive once she learns the truth about C.W.?
Women in the hot and humid South Carolina Lowcountry are gripped by fear whenever their men set out to sea.
That fear becomes a terrible reality for Carolina Morrison whose husband, a shrimp boat captain by the name Bud Morrison, gets lost somewhere in the extensive fishing grounds of the Atlantic.
Over the course of one frightening day, Carolina reflects back at thirty years of love and loss, hapiness and sadness.
She tells of how she rejected a comfortable upbringing to marry Bud and embrace his extraordinary lifestyle; to the loneliness that engulfed her after he went missing; to how a single mistake may have forever ruined what was once an inseparable bond.
Sweetgrass, a tract of land with a rich history in South Carolina, has been home to the Blakely family for eight generations. Named after the indigenous grass that grows in the area, Sweetgrass is however in a world of trouble.
Taxes are over the roof, bulldozers are destroying the surrounding properties, and the Blakelys are being forced to sell the one thing that had glued together their disintegrating family.
This book by New York Times Bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe tells the story of hope, acceptance and the incredible power of forgiveness.
Ella Majors, an E.R. nurse, has seen misery unspoken. Exhausted and unsure of her next step, she takes up the temporary position of a caregiver to Marion Henderson, a fearful five-year-old suffering from juvenile diabetes.
It doesn’t take long for Ella to realize that there is a lot more misery in the secluded home than the young girl’s illness can account for. Harris Henderson, a single father, would rather rehabilitate wild birds than deal with his own daughter.
The magical beauty of the South Carolina coast will however heal the broken hearts at the sanctuary, until the peace is disrupted by the unexpected return of a troubled mother.
Las mariposas, the monarch butterflies, fly more than two thousand miles on fragile wings every year to return to their winter home in Mexico.
Luz Avila makes the same journey south as a way of fulfilling her vow of return the ashes of Abuela, the beloved grandmother who raised her, to her ancestral village. Equipped with an old VW Bug, Luz departs Milwaukee.
Whilst on her journey, she meets a series of remarkable women.
A reunion with a woman from her past however awaits her in San Antonio, one that brings with it a shocking revelation.
Eve Porter has just lost her husband.
Annie Blake, a sharp attorney, is determined to start a family late in life.
Doris Bridges’s marriage is on the rocks following her husband’s affair.
Gabriella Rivera, the seemingly “perfect” wife and mother, offers support to everyone but fears asking for it herself.
Midge Kirsch is an artist who has always played by her own rules.
It may seem like nothing more than a monthly book club for many, but for these five women from different walks of life, the book club is everything.
This book looks at the power of friendship with tenderness, honesty and understanding.
It’s hurricane season on the Southern coast.
A diverse group of evacuees flee to the farm of their friends, Grace and Charles Phillips, in North Carolina after an unexpected storm threatens the coasts of Florida and South Carolina.
Strangers to everyone else except the Phillips, the evacuees only carry a few treasured possessions.
Over the coming weeks, they will be forced to face the unresolved issues they have with themselves and with each other.
However, as the storm passes, they realizes that it’s not so much what they brought with them to the farm, but rather what they get to take home.
Islanders (Co-authored with Angela May)
Eleven-year-old Jake’s life has just turned upside-down. His father was wounded in Afghanistan, and his mother is going to leave to care for him. That means Jake’s spending the summer on tiny Dewees Island with his grandmother.
The island is a nature sanctuary—no cars or paved roads, no stores or restaurants. To make matters worse, Jake’s grandmother doesn’t believe in cable or the internet. Which means Jake has no cell phone, no video games...and no friends. This is going to be the worst summer ever!
He’s barely on the island before he befriends two other kids—Macon, another “summer kid,” and Lovie, a know-it-all who lives there and shows both Jake and Macon the ropes of life on the island.
All three are struggling with their own family issues and they quickly bond, going on adventures all over Dewees Island. Until one misadventure on an abandoned boat leads to community service. Their punishment? Mandatory duty on the Island Turtle Team.
The kids must do a daily dawn patrol of the beach on the hunt for loggerhead sea turtle tracks. When a turtle nest is threatened by coyotes, the three friends must find a way to protect it.
Can they save the turtle nest from predators? Can Jake’s growing love for the island and its inhabitants (be they two-legged, four-legged, feathered, or finned) help to heal his father?
Jake Potter is back on Dewees Island for another summer with his beloved grandmother, Honey. This time, Jake is excited that his dad will be there as he continues to recover from his injuries sustained in Afghanistan. But Jake also knows they both need get used to a new normal, which isn’t easy.
Jake also discovers that his two best friends, Macon and Lovie, are struggling as well. Macon is adjusting to being a big brother, while Lovie is navigating a new relationship with her dad, who has long been absent in her life. To cheer everyone up, Jake decides that the trio needs a new mission, just like they had the previous summer in saving the turtles.
He discovers that his dad loved spending time in an old tree fort on the island, and there is a special treasure box hidden somewhere nearby. Jake just knows if he can find it, maybe his dad will be happy again—and he knows Macon and Lovie are the perfect fellow treasure hunters!
Their search leads them to discover there might be actual buried treasure somewhere on Dewees, all while they battle some unwelcome guests on the island, of both the two- and four-legged kind! On the three friends’ biggest quest yet, they realize that the treasures they really want in life were with them all along.
This is a companion book to Swimming Lessons, the third book in the nationally bestselling The Beach House Series by Mary Alice Monroe's novel. In the novel, a young mother by the name Toy writes a journal for her daughter, Little Lovie. This children’s book is the journal Toy wrote.
Fitted with original photographs, this scrapbook journal explains the nesting cycle of sea turtles and how life is along the Southeastern coast, inclusive of local shore birds, shells, and the sea turtle hospital.
It has the kind of images and information that both adults and children will enjoy--with or without the novel.
There is a strange-looking creature among the colorful flowers in Mama’s garden.
“What is it? Does it sting, does it bite?”
The young girl and her mother end up caring for the caterpillar in this photographic journey.
Join them as they watch it transform into a chrysalis before turning into a beautiful monarch butterfly.
Can the young girl “claim” the butterfly as her own but still let it go free?
“Sometimes fairy tales do come true…”
Faye O’Neill, a single mother of two, has no room for fairy tales in her life.
She, for one, isn’t even sure if she believes in luck. Sharp, realistic and desperate to run away from her dark past, Faye moves to London to take up a job at a top advertising firm, hoping it will open up a new chapter for her and her children.
In the English capital, she settles for a beautiful two-story flat in a stately old Victorian complete with an old and neglected garden.
Faye however soon learns that not everything in the old home may be as peaceful as it seems.
Lowcountry Summer Series
“Three granddaughters. Three months. One summer house.”
Marietta Muir’s ancestral summer home is set amid ancient live oaks and palmettos, overlooking the water. It’s a place that her granddaughters once loved going to during vacations, although several years have now passed since they last visited.
Mamaw’s biggest fear is that the family bond will completely disintegrate once she is gone.
Nonetheless, Marietta is determined to bring her “summer girls” back to the Lowcountry.
This is a moving story about three half sisters scattered across the country and a grandmother on a mission to help them reignite their family bonds.
Eudora, fondly known as Dora, is staying at Sea Breeze, their ancestral family home on Sullivan’s Island.
For many years, Dora was the perfect wife and mother in a loveless marriage, until her husband filed for divorce.
With her child diagnosed with autism and her house put on the market, Dora is overwhelmed by grief.
Although Mamaw and the girls are there to support her, only Dora has the power to allow herself to heal.
For the women of Sea Breeze, this will be a summer of discovery.
Sea Breeze, the family’s beloved estate on Sullivan’s Island, is on the verge of being sold.
It’s a tough transition for Mamaw and the three sisters who must overcome loss and discover a new place in the world.
When Harper, the youngest sister, arrived at Sea Breeze, she had no plans of staying for more than a weekend. Disagreements with her affluent and influential mother however left her without a plan or a home.
However, with the help of her half sisters, Harper discovers her talents and independent spirit.
Through the story, we’ll learn of how family bonds and true love is as powerful and stable as the tides.
It is wedding season in the romantic Charleston Lowcountry, and nothing is quite as delightful as a summer wedding—or two!
A centuries-old plantation, an avenue of ancient oaks dripping moss, a storied ballroom, a sand dune at sunset…
But when a stranger shows up, a long held family secret threatens to silence the bells ringing for the Muir sisters.
Scandals surface, doubts grow over family bonds, and promises are broken and renewed.
This is the worst Christmas ever according to ten-year-old Miller McClellan.
His father’s shrimp boat is docked, his mother is working two jobs, and with limited finances, Miller is told the family can’t possibly afford the dog he desperately wants. Instead, he is told that his brother’s return from war is the family’s gift.
The holiday cheer is further darkened when Taylor returns from war with PTSD.
On Christmas Eve, Miller takes his father’s axe and Taylor’s service dog, ardent to acquire the tree that his family can’t afford.
When he however gets lost in the wild forest, the splintered family reunites to rediscover their strengths, family bond, and learn the true meaning of Christmas.
The Beach House Series
Just when Caretta Rutledge thought her troubled family and Southern roots were far behind her, an odd request from her mother sends her back to the picturesque Lowcountry of her childhood summers.
Soon enough, the tunes of the island open Cara’s heart in amazing ways as she refurbishes the family beach house, becomes a genuine "turtle lady" and resparks old acquaintances with her mother.
There, she will learn vital lessons of how true love involves sacrifice, family is irreplaceable and that one shouldn't hold onto the mistakes of the past.
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Cast: Minka Kelly, Andie MacDowell, Chad Michael Murray, Makenzie Vega, Donna Biscoe, Donny Boaz, Alyshia Ochse, Selena Anduze, Carrie Anne Hunt, Chase Stokes, Maiyee Apple Tam
To the turtle ladies who watch over loggerhead sea turtle in the tiny coastal South Carolina town, the cycle of life of these magnificent creatures on the Isle of Palms holds significant meaning to them.
With each season comes new life and new challenges, as the turtles make their way back to the ocean.
Challenges aren’t new to Turtle lady Toy Sooner. Having walked out of an abusive relationship to raise her young daughter, the single mother finds purpose working at the aquarium. But Toy is neither sure about opening up a new turtle hospital, nor is she certain about starting a new relationship with her boss, Ethan.
And as the summer progresses, she must face her fears with boldness and courage.
As Olivia “Lovie” Rutledge sits in her beloved Primrose Cottage, she reflects on one special summer…
The year is 1974. Lovie is married to an influential aristocratic businessman named Stratton Rutledge. By her family’s old seaside cottage, she tends to the loggerhead turtles that lay their eggs in the warm night sand before slipping back into the sea—something that earns her the name “Turtle Lady”.
When biologist Russell Bennett visits the area to study the loggerheads, their mutual interest gives rise to an intense and sincere love.
But given how influential her husband is, the affair puts Lovie at the risk of losing her reputation, her riches and even her children.
“Two women. One summer. One very special house.”
Two intergenerational women are brought together by a beloved beach house.
50-year old Cara Rutledge rents her beach house on Isle of Palms to 26-year old Heather Wyatt for the summer.
Anxious to say the least, Heather stays indoors with her caged canaries until the shorebirds, and a man who rescues them, draw her to the beach.
As the summer progresses, Heather warms up to the tune of the island, as Cara struggles to come to terms with an unexpected tragedy.
Through it, the two completely different women will come to learn that the only thing they can ever truly count on is each other.
“Three generations of the Rutledge family come together to muster the courage, love, and commitment to break from destructive family traditions.”
Cara Rutledge returns to her Southern home on the Isle of Palms: a place full of painful memories.
Linnea, a recent college graduate, hasn’t got a clue where life will take her next. Being Cara’s niece, she leaves her historic home in Charleston for to her aunt’s beach house.
Free from the entitlement and expectations of her home, she rejoins the turtle team, learns to surf, and even falls in love on the island.
As she looks back at the vital lessons of her beloved grandmother Lovie, Linnea rediscovers a meaningful purpose to her life.
It’s been sixteen years since Caretta “Cara” Rutledge has returned home to the beautiful shores of Charleston, South Carolina. Over those years, she has weathered the tides of deaths and births, struggles and joys. And now, as Cara prepares for her second wedding, her life is about to change yet again.
Meanwhile, the rest of the storied Rutledge family is also in flux. Cara’s niece Linnea returns to Sullivan’s Island to begin a new career and an unexpected relationship. Linnea’s parents, having survived bankruptcy, pin their hopes and futures on the construction of a new home on Ocean Boulevard. But as excitement over the house and wedding builds, a devastating illness strikes the family and brings plans to a screeching halt.
It is under these trying circumstances that the Rutledge family must come together yet again to discover the enduring strength in love, tradition, and legacy from mother to daughter to granddaughter.
The coming of spring usually means renewal, but for Linnea Rutledge, this spring is a season of challenge. Linnea faces another layoff, this time from the aquarium she adores, and her family’s finances, emotions, and health teeter on the brink. To complicate matters, her new love interest, Gordon, struggles to return to the Isle of Palms from England.
Meanwhile, her old flame, John, turns up from California and is quarantining next door. She tries to ignore him, but when he sends her plaintive notes in the form of paper airplanes, old sparks ignite. When Gordon at last reaches the island, Linnea wonders—is it possible to love two men at the same time?
Love in the time of COVID-19 proves challenging, at times humorous, and ever changing. Relationships are redefined, friendships made and broken, and marriages tested. As the weeks turn to months, and another sea turtle season comes to a close, Linnea learns there are more meaningful lessons during this summer than opportunities lost: that summer is a time of wonder, and that the exotic lives in our own backyards.