Today I have a review of the contemporary romance The Summer That Made Us by Robyn Carr.
I was graciously contacted by the Little Bird Publicity Team and a copy of this book was provided to me for free in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review. All thoughts, opinions, and feels are my own.
Release Date: September 2017
Mothers and daughters, sisters and cousins–they lived for summers at the lake house until a tragic accident changed everything. This is the unforgettable story about a family learning to accept the past, to forgive and to love each other again. But that was then. For the Hempsteads, two sisters who married two brothers and had three daughters each, summers were idyllic. 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. 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 to 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.
About the Author:
Robyn Carr is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of almost fifty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River novels.
She was a young mother of two in the mid-1970s when she started writing fiction. As an Air Force wife, educated as a nurse, her husband’s frequent assignment changes made it difficult for her to work in her profession. Little did the aspiring novelist know then, as she wrote with babies on her lap, that she would become one of the world’s most popular authors of romance and women’s fiction.
Robyn and her now-retired husband enjoy traveling, often taking research trips together. Their children are grown—her son is an Army surgeon; her daughter, a police detective/hostage negotiator. Robyn says that, in addition to reading her novels and making snide remarks about how she’s used family scenarios to her advantage, they have made her a happy grandmother.
You can find her on:
I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.
After reading Any Day Now, which I had really enjoyed as my first encounter with Robyn Carr’s work, I began reading this book with high expectations. Ultimately, however, the idea of this story was definitely better than its execution.
I’m quite sure that devoted readers of Robyn Carr will thoroughly enjoy this book and I can understand why that is; however, this one really missed the mark with me. The story is overwhelmingly told in dialogue between characters, which ultimately repeats itself over and over again as they meet and interact with one another. And there are so many characters, meaning this happens quite a lot and it begins to come across as more of a way to dump information at the reader rather than believable casual conversation. Additionally, with this large cast of characters, I couldn’t really become invested in the story as a whole, and honestly felt that the main premise, Meg’s decision to reunite the family as her dying wish, became lost. Most of the individual characters were very well developed with engaging story lines, but again, because they are all in a sense competing with each other for page time, I wasn’t invested in any of them. Following so many plot lines, time lines, and points of view that would then repeat itself because another new character came into play began to become tedious. Putting that aside, it was interesting to read each character’s perspective on how past events shaped them and created such a dysfunctional family dynamic. I just wasn’t a fan of the path I had to take as a reader to get through all the layers.
Spanning generations, I enjoyed how this book examined the devastation secrets and miscommunication can wreck on a family, but through hope, forgiveness, and second chances these fragile relationships and bonds can be rebuilt. Although much too late for Meg, she shows us how fleeting time is and how we owe it to ourselves and those important to us to make the most out of it. Personal preferences aside, I still liked this heartfelt story and will continue to read more of Robyn Carr’s books.
Thanks again to Little Bird Publicity. It was a pleasure providing a review.