‘The Summer Cottage’ is a West Michigan story

A bestselling West Michigan author’s latest book, “The Summer Cottage,” will leave you dreaming of the magic of Saugatuck.
The Summer Cottage partial book cover

A bestselling West Michigan author’s latest book, “The Summer Cottage,” will leave you dreaming of the magic of Saugatuck.

Author Wade Rouse, an award-winning memoirist who lives in Saugatuck and Palm Springs, California, has a new novel coming out published under his grandmother’s name, Viola Shipman, which he has used as a pen name for several books now, including bestsellers “The Charm Bracelet” and “The Recipe Box.”

“The Summer Cottage” is set in the cottage community of Saugatuck, where Rouse is from originally from.

The inspiration for the 384-page novel was Rouse’s grandparents’ cottage in Saugatuck.

Graydon House, an imprint of HarperCollins, is the book’s publisher.

“Wade Rouse has the uncanny ability to write stories that bring forward long-buried memories for readers,” said Lisa Wray, a publicist for HarperCollins.

“It could be said that the author hits on our collective consciousness, especially when it comes to memories of summer cottages, your grandmother’s recipe box or even your family’s cherished charm bracelet.”

From the dust jacket

Adie Lou Kruger’s ex never understood her affection for what her parents called their Creaky Cottage, the charming, ramshackle summer home — complete with its own set of rules for relaxing — that she’s inherited on Lake Michigan. But despite the fact she’s facing a broken marriage and empty nest, and middle age is looming in the distance, memories of happy childhoods on the beach give her reason for hope. She’s determined not to let her husband’s affair with a grad student reduce her to a cliché, or to waste one more minute in a career she doesn’t love, so it becomes clear what Adie Lou must do: rebuild her life and restore her cottage shingle by shingle, on her terms.

But converting the beloved, weather-beaten structure into a bed-and-breakfast isn’t quite the efficient home-reno experience she’s seen on TV. Pushback from Saugatuck’s contentious preservation society, costly surprises and demanding guests were not part of the plan. But as the cottage comes back to life, Adie Lou does, too, finding support in unexpected places and a new love story on the horizon. One cottage rule at a time, Adie Lou reclaims her own strength, history and joy by rediscovering the magic in every sunset and sandcastle.

Local book signings

April 24, 7 p.m.: Grand Rapids Public Library Main Branch, 111 Library St. NE

April 25, 12 p.m.: Kent District Library East Grand Rapids Branch, 746 Lakeside Dr. SE

June 7, 6 p.m.: Cranes Orchard, 6054 124th Ave., Fennville

Where to buy

The book will be available April 23 wherever books are sold, including Schuler Books.

Photo: Part of the cover of “The Summer House.” Courtesy Graydon House.

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