Review: The Summer that Made Us





Synopsis:

Mothers and daughters, sisters and cousins, they lived for summers at the lake house until a tragic accident changed everything. The Summer That Made Us is an unforgettable story about a family learning to accept the past, to forgive and to love each other again. 


That was then… 

For the Hempsteads, summers were idyllic. Two sisters who married two brothers and had three daughters each, the women would escape the city the moment school was out to gather at the family house on Lake Waseka. The lake was a magical place, a haven where they were happy and carefree. All of their problems drifted away as the days passed in sun-dappled contentment. 

Until the summer that changed everything. 


This is now… 

After an accidental drowning turned the lake house into a site of tragedy and grief, it was closed up. For good. Torn apart, none of the Hempstead women speak of what happened that summer, and relationships between them are uneasy at best, hurtful at worst. But in the face of new challenges, one woman is determined to draw her family together again, and the only way that can happen is to return to the lake and face the truth. 

Robyn Carr has crafted a beautifully woven story about the complexities of family dynamics and the value of strong female relationships.

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

The Summer that Made Us by Robyn Carr is a great read. At its center, lies a family struggling with their lives. Each one feels stressed. A past event has kept them torn apart. Now, in the present they go back to the place where all went wrong. Some want to forget it, while others want to remember the good that was there. Hope, fear, anger, and a sadness lingers on every page. I was taken into each character’s feelings. They felt hesitant about the future. Loss, death, and managing relationships both personal and in the family is a hard thing to juggle. I understood the characters’ actions. However, I didn’t feel as close to them as I have with other characters. Robyn Carr is phenomenal writer. Her stories have always inspired me. This book, is inspiring in many ways but the emotional entertaining connection wasn’t really there for me. I didn’t really want to dig deep in this tale. But I continued. The themes and points were on target. Just didn’t feel as engaging as Robyn Carr’s previous novels. The Summer that Made Us fits perfectly with the pages’ content. I do recommend this book. It drags some but it’s still worth reading. 

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Review: The Summer House  

Synopsis:

When Flossy Merrill summons her children to the beloved family beach house to celebrate their father’s eightieth birthday, both cherished memories and long-kept secrets come to light in this charming and lyrical novel from the author of The Lake Season and Mystic Summer.
Flossy Merrill has managed to—somewhat begrudgingly—gather her three ungrateful grown children from their dysfunctional lives for a summer reunion at the family’s Rhode Island beach house. Clementine, her youngest child and a young mother of two small children, has caused Flossy the most worry after enduring a tragically life-altering year. But Samuel and his partner Evan are not far behind in their ability to alarm: their prospective adoption search has just taken a heart-wrenching turn. Only Paige, the eldest of the headstrong Merrill clan, is her usual self: arriving precisely on time with her well-adapted teens. Little does her family know that she, too, is facing personal struggles of her own.
No matter. With her family finally congregated under one seaside roof, Flossy is determined to steer her family back on course even as she prepares to reveal the fate of the summer house that everyone has thus far taken for granted: she’s selling it. The Merrill children are both shocked and outraged and each returns to memories of their childhoods at their once beloved summer house—the house where they have not only grown up, but from which they have grown away. With each lost in their respective heartaches, Clementine, Samuel, and Paige will be forced to reconsider what really matters before they all say goodbye to a house that not only defined their summers, but, ultimately, the ways in which they define themselves. 
Featuring McKinnon’s “sharp and evocative” (Kirkus Reviews) voice, this warm-hearted novel is perfect for fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Mary Alice Monroe.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Summer House by Hannah McKinnon is a superb summer read. A story about a family dealing with a lot of issues. The mother forces her kids back to the summer house. There she hopes to help them deal with their issues and maybe, find some peace. A worried mother over grown children. The mother herself has something to share with her children. She plans to sell their summer house. A place full of childhood memories for the children who are now, grown adults. The journey is rocky at first but smooths over as the pages are turned. Emotional, stunning, and heartfelt. 

Hannah McKinnon writes well. Her characters are believable. Each one adds to the plot. A different issue like the lost of a husband. Readers will easily relate to the them. I was able to understand and love the characters. The mother was the centerfold of this family. Strong, dependent, and clever. She loves her family. Caring, loving, and sweet. I couldn’t put this book down…The Summer House lured me from my seat and deep onto its pages. A deep entertaining read. One that pulled at my heart strings all the way. Overall, I recommend this novel to readers worldwide. Loss, love, and healing. 

Review: The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach





Synopsis:

A gorgeous summer read to escape with this summer!

Three women throw caution to the wind and move from England to run a B&B on a Greek island.

They’ve all reached a point in their lives when they need a change – one divorced, one empty nester, one made redundant from the job she’s held since leaving school many moons ago.
The move tests their friendship to the limits, brings errant husbands running, and offers new opportunities for love. Each of the women go through their own metamorphosis, but will they choose to stay in Greece when the holiday season winds down?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach by Kat French is a lovely summer read. Full of humor, romance, and real life issues. It was hard not to connect with the women friends featured inside…

Failed marriage, loss jobs, and a cheating husband makes the three friends at point where they take what they get. A bed and breakfast place on the beach is now owned by the three of them. It was quite interesting to watch each take on the challenges of their new lives. Romance is also in the air. 

Kat French provided a refreshing piece of fiction for her fans. I haven’t read previous novels by this writer, but I did enjoy this one. Friendships, romantic entanglements, and adventure of a lifetime are filled on these pages. I was excited. Hooked. Overall, I recommend this hilarious and heartfelt tale to readers everywhere. 

Review: In Robin’s Nest

IN ROBIN'S NEST by [Elizabeth Sumner Wafler]

 

Synopsis:

What if your daughter spotted you in a rock video perched on the shoulders of the father she never met?

“Robin Hamilton, New York attorney, is poised to reveal a three-decades-old family secret that will at once alter the course of three lives.

One winter evening, Robin and her adult daughter Lark are watching a television documentary when Lark unexpectedly spots her mother in a rock concert crowd, twenty-one, luminous, and perched on the shoulders of a handsome young man. That man is Lark’s father, Dean Falconer, though neither of them knows the truth. Robin decides it’s time to come clean.

Flashback to 1977. Robin Hamilton meets Dean Falconer at a concert in Washington, D.C. The two fall in love over the course of a single transcendent weekend.

But now Robin hasn’t spoken to Dean in thirty-five years. While Lark is enthusiastic about meeting her father, Robin must deal with what could have been after three decades of loneliness and broken dreams.

A spring full of revelations, and one extraordinary summer in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia will teach these three people the ultimate measure of honesty, passion and devotion.

In Robin’s Nest is a richly detailed story of love and loss; secrecy and truth; and ultimately redemption, resplendent in poignancy and charm. It’s about embracing your choices, the ties that make a family, and finding that it’s never too late.”

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

In Robin’s Nest by Elizabeth Sumner Wafler is an amazing read. Readers will instantly be dragged into a family’s deepest secrets and must live courageously to face what lies ahead. The truth needed to be released. After many years, a mother has decided to let it out of the bag. Memories from the characters’ past swept me off my feet and into a whirlwind of love, honesty, and fate. Image a father having never known he had a daughter and a daughter never knowing her father…this is one secret that will haunt and terrify a mother who tried to what was best.  The future holds a lot of hope, love, and new beginnings. I enjoyed following the characters as they grew as a family. A family that finally found everything they ever wanted. Beautifully written, inspiring, and realistic. A mother, a father, and their daughter all experience a journey. One that will stun readers with joy and above all hope. This was the first novel I have read by Elizabeth Sumner Wafler. I highly recommend it to all.

 

Review: All Summer Long

 

Synopsis:

All Summer Long follows one charming New York couple – prominent interior designer Olivia Ritchie and her husband Nicholas Seymour, an English professor and true southern gentleman.  They are seemingly polar opposites, yet magnetically drawn together and in love for more than fourteen years.

As they prepare to relocate to Charleston, S.C., Olivia, the ultimate New Yorker, has reservations about the promise she made to retire in the Lowcountry, where Nick wants to return home and lead a more peaceful life.  They are moving north to south, fast pace versus slow pace and downsizing.  Nick is ecstatic.  Olivia is not.   She can’t let Nick know that their finances are not what he thought.   Her client list is evaporating, their monetary reserves are dwindling and maybe that house she picked out on Sullivans Island needs too much work.  Thank God, for her assistant, Roni Larini, her right (and sometimes left) hand.

As they find themselves pondering the next step of their lives, Olivia and Nick travel with her billionaire clients and their friends and are swept up into the world of the ultra-rich and explore the globe with a cast of zany eccentrics over one tumultuous, hot summer. All as Olivia grapples with what lies ahead for her and Nick.

This is a story of how plans evolve and lives change in unexpected ways, how even those who have everything are still looking for something more.  Even the most successful people can often struggle to keep things together.  All Summer Long asks the ultimate question: can money buy happiness?  From Sullivans Island to Necker Island to Nantucket to the beaches of Southern Spain, we’ll come to recognize the many faces of true love, love that deepens and endures but only because one woman makes a tremendous leap of faith. And that leap changes everything.

Rating: 4 stars

Review:

All Summer Long by Dorothea Benton Frank is a truly a thoughtful novel. One that takes readers on a journey of finding what they really want and need in life. Marriage is not easy but it takes courage, sacrifices, and love. A woman and her husband get to take a vacation and it’s on this vacation she gets to think about everything. Maybe her marriage is okay and will survive no matter what is happening with her work and career. Marriage, after all, is for better or worse, rich or poor. All Summer Long is an exploration and deep thinking that leaves readers wondering what will happen next. Dorothea Benton Frank portrays the life of a wife and husband beautifully in this tale. I found the beginning a bit slow for my taste but once I moved past that…the plot was steady. Overall, I enjoyed the sneak peek into these characters lives and recommend it to all.

 

Review: The Rumor

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Synopsis:

A friendship is tested in this irresistible page-turner from New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand.

Nantucket writer Madeline King couldn’t have picked a worse time to have writer’s block. Her deadline is looming, her bills are piling up, and inspiration is in short supply. Madeline’s best friend Grace, is hard at work transforming her garden into the envy of the island with the help of a ruggedly handsome landscape architect. Before she realizes it, Grace is on the verge of a decision that will irrevocably change her life. Could Grace’s crisis be Madeline’s salvation? As the gossip escalates, and the summer’s explosive events come to a head, Grace and Madeline try desperately to set the record straight–but the truth might be even worse than rumor has it.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

WOW! There isn’t quite a novel like The Rumor…Readers will be on the edge of their seats with suspense and excitement as the buzzing plot spins them further into drama, rumors, and trouble. Elin Hilderbrand has wowed me with her intriguing plotlines and realistic characters. Just as in real life…things go way out off control before we recognize what it is we have done. This was my first novel that I have by this talented writer. Humor on every page…enticing me further into this marvelous read. Besides who can turn down an excellent read about an author who takes what her friend says and turns life inside out…so many what ifs and what will come of it…readers won’t be able to turn away from this book once they open it.

The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand now has me waiting for the summer and all that comes with it. Friendship that has lasted 20 years is now hanging by the threads…it’s amazing what a little fact inside of fiction about real people can do…the damage is something readers must read on to find out…A highly entertaining yet brilliantly well-written novel that will instantly grab readers. I couldn’t stop reading. This novel is indeed the most interesting one I have read in a long while. Juicy, funny, and magnificent story is waiting for readers inside of The Rumor.

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Summer’s Love-poem

As I turn the small door knob made of brass,
I look out into the open field of tall grass,
There far, far in the center is a young lass.
Her golden hair swaying in the summers gentle breeze.
Her skin like porceiln glowing brightly in the morning’s sun.
I try with all my might to shake my mind loose of the thoughts of her and I having fun.
Only if she would look at me,
but then again what shall that do, 
if she to leave soon.
Halfway to me and she starts running as fast as those tall slender legs of hers would take her.
Soon we meet up, but before either one of us can speak, she clings to me tightly ands starts
sobbing upon my sleeve.
Meanwhile, all I can do is hold her tightly to me.
Just when I thought she has stooped crying, she gazes up at me with those pierceing blue eyes,
and says to me, “Im not leaving.” 
Upon hearing those words coming forth from her, every vein in my body is pounding with joy and happiness with a profound new energy racing thro me like never before.
I just stand there as tho frozen in time.
My ears not wanting to believe what was just said.
she clings to me to me even closer, and says in a loud whisper,” I love you”.
Hearing that from her sent my whole mind buzzing with new ideas. 
stuff we could do together for the summer.
sensing her so close to me, mad my arms wrap around her tighter yet.
then very slowly, I brushed my lips upon her forehead, then to the top of her nose, and gently but hestistantly to her soft , lips. the sweetness making my mind buzz even more than ever. 
hastily i kiss her, all over again. hearing her sigh deeply and feeling her whole body relaxing in my grasp.
I casually make my way down to her cheeks, her lips and her jaw. the texture of her silky hair , sends ripples of pleasure up and down my spine.
thy other hand tightly, tightly around her waist keeping her as close as possible. 
neither one of us cared if it was scorching hot out or the tiny mosqittoes bitiing into our flesh.
Soon, the sun would be seting and casting bright colors into the sky.
Finally after several long moments we take each others hand and depart back to the hotel. Leaving behind us the beauty of nature.

Summer’s Love- written by me

As I turn the small door knob made of brass,
I look out into the open field of tall grass,
There far, far in the center is a young lass.
Her golden hair swaying in the summers gentle breeze.
Her skin like porceiln glowing brightly in the morning’s sun.
I try with all my might to shake my mind loose of the thoughts of her and I having fun.
Only if she would look at me,
but then again what shall that do, 
if she to leave soon.
Halfway to me and she starts running as fast as those tall slender legs of hers would take her.
Soon we meet up, but before either one of us can speak, she clings to me tightly ands starts
sobbing upon my sleeve.
Meanwhile, all I can do is hold her tightly to me.
Just when I thought she has stooped crying, she gazes up at me with those pierceing blue eyes,
and says to me, “I’m not leaving.” 
Upon hearing those words coming forth from her, every vein in my body is pounding with joy and happiness with a profound new energy racing through me like never before.
I just stand there as tho frozen in time.
My ears not wanting to believe what was just said.
she clings to me to me even closer, and says in a loud whisper,” I love you”.
Hearing that from her sent my whole mind buzzing with new ideas. 
stuff we could do together for the summer.
sensing her so close to me, mad my arms wrap around her tighter yet.
then very slowly, I brushed my lips upon her forehead, then to the top of her nose, and gently but hestistantly to her soft , lips. the sweetness making my mind buzz even more than ever. 
hastily i kiss her, all over again. hearing her sigh deeply and feeling her whole body relaxing in my grasp.
I casually make my way down to her cheeks, her lips and her jaw. the texture of her silky hair , sends ripples of pleasure up and down my spine.
thy other hand tightly, tightly around her waist keeping her as close as possible. 
neither one of us cared if it was scorching hot out or the tiny mosquitoes biting into our flesh.
Soon, the sun would be setting and casting bright colors into the sky.
Finally after several long moments we take each others hand and depart back to the hotel. Leaving behind us the beauty of nature.