Summer Secrets by Jane Green
ISBN: 9781250047342 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 9781466847743 (ebook)
ASIN: B00QQWJ0E8 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: June 23, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Jane Green delivers her second blockbuster novel of 2015, a story of one woman struggling to right the wrongs of her past, with even more complications in the present.
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.
It's the late 1990s and Catherine "Cat" Coombs is no different from all of the other twenty-somethings, or so she thinks. It's perfectly normal, in her mind, to spend her afternoons and evenings with lots of liquid libation. It's perfectly normal to black-out after imbibing a bit much. It's perfect normal to wake up in bed with your newly discovered half-sister's boyfriend. Wait . . . what?! This isn't normal behavior, but Cat talks herself into believing that her drinking binges are well within the range of normal until she wakes up naked with her sister's boyfriend in bed beside her.
Flash forward sixteen years and Cat has finally become sober. She knows that she's a recovering alcoholic and that she'll always be a recovering alcoholic. Rock bottom for her was when her husband, the love of her life, left her and took their daughter with him. Cat knows that she has to take it one day at a time, and she has taken great strides in doing the program, or AA. Her last major hurdle is making amends with her half-sisters across the pond. Is it possible for someone to forgive the unforgivable or is Cat setting simply setting herself up for disaster?
I'm sure the big question you're asking is did I enjoy reading Summer Secrets? The answer is a resounding YES! I know I've said it before, but this book pulled me in from the beginning and I read it in one sitting over one afternoon. Okay, I took a small break to talk to my mother on the phone for a few minutes, but that was the only interruption I allowed (it was my elderly mother people; I couldn't ignore her phone call). Ms. Green has the amazing ability to create characters and situations that are incredibly realistic and wholly believable. I may not be a recovering alcoholic, but I could empathize with Cat and her problems. I don't have any sisters and have never slept (drunk or otherwise) with anyone else's significant other, but I could relate to the horror of the situation. Younger Cat romanticized her life and the situations around her; older Cat may have periodic romantic daydreams but deals with reality, no matter how much it hurts. Summer Secrets is an amazing story about self-discovery, recovery, and forgiveness. This story incorporates personal recovery with family drama, teen drama, family secrets, and much more set in scenic Nantucket, Massachusetts and London, England. I've used the term "hopeful-ever-after" about other books and Summer Secrets is just that . . . a story about hope for a better tomorrow while dealing with today. If you haven't read any books by Ms. Green, then grab a copy of Summer Secrets soon, as this is the perfect story for a lazy summer afternoon. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future, and something tells me I'll probably be rereading Summer Secrets soon (yes, it was that good!).
Listen to an audiobook excerpt of Summer Secrets here.
Disclaimer: I purchased a digital copy of this book for review purposes. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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