Monday, June 14, 2021

Book Review: A Summer to Remember

By Sara Steven

For thirty-year-old Frankie Simon, selling movie memorabilia in the shop she opened with her late mother on Hollywood Boulevard is more than just her livelihood--it's an enduring connection to the only family she has ever known. But when a mysterious package arrives containing a photograph of her mother and famous movie stars Glory Cartwright and her husband at a coastal film festival the year before Frankie's birth, her life begins to unravel in ways unimaginable.

What begins is a journey along a path revealing buried family secrets, betrayals between lovers, bonds between friends. And for Frankie, as the past unlocks the present, the chance to learn that memories define who we are, and that they can show us the meaning of home and the magic of true love. (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

A Summer to Remember combines two of my favorite elements within a story: mystery, and silver screen Hollywood. Told from two different perspectives, that of Frankie’s as well as Louise, a former friend of Glory’s, pieces of the mysterious puzzle begin to take shape and click into place, particularly for Frankie, in discovering where she comes from.

For most of her life, Frankie’s mother had kept much of her past in secret. It isn’t until the photograph of her mother and Glory Cartwright, that Frankie makes it her mission to travel to Cape Cod, as a means of seeing if she can pick up on clues or find more information that will lead to answers. I really loved how the storyline kept me guessing, right up until the very end. Who was Frankie’s mother, and who was Glory? And how does Louise and her own life play into all of it? It felt like the backstories of all involved were perfectly weaved together, leading into eventual answers for Frankie, for better or for worse.

Glory reflected the perfect screen star from the 70s. The flashbacks Louise provides helped to round out the story even more, and it was neat to see the progression of the types of social lives and norms that were considered acceptable for that era, to the present, when Frankie learns how so many of the rules on how a woman should behave or the goals and dreams she should want for her life had been pushed beyond the limits, even then. She’s searching for answers, trying to find more of a family lifeline, but there were undercurrents of girl power, too. 

As the synopsis indicates, Frankie also finds herself in a potential love situation with Glory’s son, Gabe. But Gabe has a lot of trust issues, and so does Frankie, so seeing how that all played out was interesting, too. The whole experience with A Summer to Remember was unique and touching, a much-deserved five-star experience.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press for the book in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment:

penney said...

Sounds good thank you for the review