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The Book of Summer

The Book of Summer Book Cover The Book of Summer
Michelle Gable
Thomas Dunne Books
May 9, 2017

Physician Bess Codman has returned to her family's Nantucket compound, Cliff House, for the first time in four years. Her great-grandparents built Cliff House almost a century before, but due to erosion, the once-grand home will soon fall into the sea. Though she s purposefully avoided the island, Bess must now pack up the house and deal with her mother, a notorious town rabble-rouser, who refuses to leave.

The Book of Summer unravels the power and secrets of Cliff House as told through the voices of Ruby Packard, a bright-eyed and idealistic newlywed on the eve of WWII, the home's definitive guestbook, and Bess herself. Bess's grandmother always said it was a house of women, and by the very last day of the very last summer at Cliff House, Bess will understand the truth of her grandmother s words in ways she never contemplated.

My review:

3.5 stars

First off I would be remiss if I didn't comment on this gorgeous cover! Simple, yet beautiful. As for the inner contents of the book, I generally enjoyed it. I was much more invested in the current time story of Bess trying to get her mother to move out of their 99 year old Nantucket cottage before it plummets into the sea. Since I visit the beaches in SC frequently, I am well aware of the effects of beach erosion. It's a real thing all along the eastern coastline, and I was fascinated with the geo-tube idea. I thought the character of Cissy was very well written, and I enjoyed her drama of saving her house. And her whopper of a secret comes out of nowhere, and is quite surprising! The relationship between mother and daughter was very typical, and I totally got on board with Bess' frustrations. Along with dealing with her mother's woes, Bess herself is at a crossroads in her life, with an old beau showing up to complicate things. Some of the story also revolves around journal type entries into a "Book of Summer" that has been at the Cliff House residence for the entirety of its existence. From here we are taken back to the stories of the past, and learn about some of the secrets the old house has kept. What I wasn't as enamored of were the chapters taking us back to Cissy's mother during and after WWII. It may have been that I've read several books lately having WWII as a subject, so I'm possibly just a bit burned out. The story was interesting, I just found myself wanting to get back to the fate of the house on the dunes.

A totally satisfying read that will make a perfect beach book. Wonderful mother-daughter story with a peek back at Nantucket life in the 1940's, and some romance thrown in to sweeten the read.

This book has been chosen by the She Reads blog network as one of its summer reads. Check the link for more info on She Reads. Thank you to St. Martin's Press for a copy of this book. As always, my opinions are my own.

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