I'm hereby nominating Leaving Rock Harbor as a great summer/ vacation/ beach reading book. It's compelling in a "race through it while lying on a lounge chair" kind of way, but isn't trashy or trite, like so many other beach reads sometimes are.
Rebecca Chace tells the story of Frankie, a girl growing up in a fictional Cape Cod town, and the love triangle that develops between her, a politically active Portuguese factory worker, and wealthy son of a prominent politician and factory owner. It's tempered by the historical setting and social background of the boom of the 1920's and the downturn of the 1930's. The combination of a complex love story with the social commentary of the time period makes for an easy read that doesn't feel frivolous. In fact, to get literary for a minute, I actually thought it echoed some of the George Eliot and Elizabeth Gaskell novels I've read that deal with similar social themes.
Random side note: This is the second book I've read in a row that involves a young woman, an early nineteenth century setting, and a connection to Argentina. Have I stumbled across a new microtrend in fiction?
Random side complaint: Is it just me, or is this cover art kind of lame? Maybe I'm being too critical, but it looks like someone just thew together three images that tie in to the story.