Monday, February 15, 2016

Review: Summer Secrets by Jane Green

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.

Received for review

Jane Green is the beach novel writer extraordinaire so I was excited to receive this to read since I was sure it would be a pleasant read, and I was not disappointed.

I gather we're supposed to like, or at the very least sympathize with, Cat but I just couldn't. She was was a spoiled, self indulgent poor little rich girl and I found it really rather wearying. I frankly wanted bad things to happen to her. Did I care that she was "struggling" with sobriety? No, simply because she was such an obnoxious human being with approximately zero redeeming qualities. However, that is really a testament to the writing that I could read an entire book about such a heinous person and still find the book enjoyable. So, while I couldn't care less about Cat and her "struggles" the story surrounding her and her family secrets was intriguing enough to keep me reading.

Overall, while the main character is on par with Miranda Priestley from The Devil Wears Prada on the bitch scale the story itself is wonderfully written and quite compelling. I found myself wanting to know what would happen and was ultimately quite surprised and satisfied by the resolution of the book. Fans and not-yet-fans of Jane Green alike should find this incredibly enjoyable and I certainly recommend it.

★★★☆☆ = Liked It

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