Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Julie's Review: Summer Secrets


Author: Jane Green
Series: None
Publication Date: June 23, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 320
Obtained: Amazon Vine
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction, Women's Fiction
Rating: 3.75/5.0
Bottom Line: Perfect vacation/pool/beach book
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Library
Summary: When a shocking family secret is revealed, twenty-something journalist Cat Coombs finds herself falling into a dark spiral. Wild, glamorous nights out in London and raging hangovers the next day become her norm, leading to a terrible mistake one night while visiting family in America, on the island of Nantucket. It's a mistake for which she can't forgive herself. When she returns home, she confronts the unavoidable reality of her life and knows it's time to grow up. But she doesn't know if she'll ever be able to earn the forgiveness of the people she hurt. As the years pass, Cat grows into her forties, a struggling single mother, coping with a new-found sobriety and determined to finally make amends. Traveling back to her past, to the family she left behind on Nantucket all those years ago, she may be able to earn their forgiveness, but in doing so she may risk losing the very people she loves the most. Told with Jane Green's keen eye for detailing the emotional landscape of the heart, Summer Secrets is at once a compelling drama and a beautifully rendered portrait of relationships, betrayals, and forgiveness; about accepting the things we cannot change, finding the courage to change the things we can, and being strong enough to weather the storms. ~amazon.com  

Review: Summer Secrets is the story of starts, stops and re-starts. It is the story of a woman trying to learn to forgive herself while seeking the forgiveness of others. Cat is a woman who has been an alcoholic most of her adult life and is trying to stay sober for the last 18 months. She's lost her daughter and husband because of her drinking plus the relationship with other family members.

Summer Secrets is told in flashbacks and then the present. While I found that this works for most novels, it left me somewhat confused in the beginning. Not only do we get Cat's flashback to her summer in Nantucket but then we get her mom's flashback to even a further time back to when she met Cat's father. I think that's what I found confusing was that her mom's story didn't add to the flow of the book.

 While I liked Cat I wouldn't say that I could relate to her. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I felt badly for what she had been through and I wanted her to get better, live her life and enjoy her daughter. I wanted her to be able to make amends to those that she has wronged in her past so that she could move on.

I loved how Ms. Green described Nantucket. She almost makes me want to go there if nothing else just for watching the rich and famous. I loved Cat's best friend, Sam. He was a breath of fresh air in otherwise a pretty heavy subject matter.

I wouldn't say this was my favorite Jane Green novel but as always I'm happy to have read it. It really is a great summer book for the beach, pool or car ride.



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