Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Book Review: Summer Secrets

June, 1998: At twenty seven, Catherine Coombs, also known as Cat, is struggling. She lives in London, works as a journalist, and parties hard. Her lunchtimes consist of several glasses of wine at the bar downstairs in the office, her evenings much the same, swigging the free booze and eating the free food at a different launch or party every night. When she discovers the identity of the father she never knew she had, it sends her into a spiral. She makes mistakes that cost her the budding friendship of the only women who have ever welcomed her. And nothing is ever the same after that.

June, 2014: Cat has finally come to the end of herself. She no longer drinks. She wants to make amends to those she has hurt. Her quest takes her to Nantucket, to the gorgeous summer community where the women she once called family still live. Despite her sins, will they welcome her again? What Cat doesn’t realize is that these women, her real father’s daughters, have secrets of their own. As the past collides with the present, Cat must confront the darkest things in her own life and uncover the depths of someone’s need for revenge. (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

Amy Bromberg:

If you’re a fan of Jane Green like I am, then you will thoroughly enjoy Summer Secrets. If there wasn’t this thing called “work,” I would have devoured it in no time. In the beginning I just wanted to strangle Cat. To say her behavior was immature is an understatement. However, this is what happens when you're an addict….it takes over your life. At the same time though, it was heartbreaking reading about her time struggling with her addiction. I enjoyed following Cat’s story with how she kicked alcoholism, learned to face and beat temptation, and get her life back on track. Half of the book takes place on Nantucket. As I mention every summer, I love reading a story in Nantucket. (As you may know, all of Elin Hilderbrand’s novels take place on this island and John Searles, who was on the Today Show, called both her and Jane "the reigning queens of the summer beach read.") I’ve always wanted to go there, but it’s a VERY expensive place to vacation. It’s definitely on my bucket list though.

I admire Jane for writing about a sensitive and deep topic with such grace.

Summer Secrets is a fantastic, deep summer read. It’s a story about learning to accept the things we cannot change, finding the courage to change the things we can, and going deep down inside in search of the wisdom to know the difference.

Melissa Amster:

The first thing I liked about Summer Secrets was that it carried the feel of some of Jane Green's older books. It felt like a mix between Family Pictures and The Beach House for me. While it was easy to get frustrated with Cat for a while, she was still an very sympathetic character. I felt like I knew her so well and wanted her to stay on the wagon. I was rooting for her whenever she seemed to be getting better.

As always, with a Jane Green novel, Summer Secrets is full of beautiful visualizations from characters, to locations, to food. The characters were very interesting and I enjoyed reading about Cat's interactions and relationships with them. I especially loved Cat's friend Sam. He was a lot of fun.

Overall, I enjoyed Summer Secrets and have been recommending it all over the place. I was pleased to know that it struck a chord with some friends to whom I've already recommended it. Jane Green is an incredible author and I eagerly anticipate reading her next novel.

As usual, some casting ideas, should Hollywood come knocking.
Cat: Saffron Burrows
Young Cat/Julia: Olivia Thirlby
Young Ellie: Emmy Rossum
Ellie: Neve Campbell
Julia: Jacinda Barrett
Sam: Ioan Gruffudd
Jason: Timothy Olyphant

Thanks to St. Martin's Press for the book in exchange for an honest review. Don't miss out on a lovely reunion with Jemima J, as seen through the eyes of Cat.

More by Jane Green:

1 comment:

Janine said...

This is my favorite book so far this summer.