Summer’s Child read like a soap opera without all the sex. We’ve got our hero and heroine, a foundling child searching for her birth parents, a mysterious woman, and a whole lot of secrets. Unfortunately, it also had very little romance, and the author revealed the secrets at a pace that nearly drove me insane.
Daria Cato found a baby on the beach when she was eleven. Her family adopted the baby, Shelly, and Daria was her sister and surrogate mom as she grew up. Rory Taylor was Daria’s childhood crush. He now lives in California and hosts a TV show called True Life Stories. Shelly writes to Rory that she wants him to solve the mystery of her birth parents, so he returns to the small town of Kill Devil Hills with his son for the summer.
The word that keeps coming to mind for Daria is competent. The locals called her Supergirl after she resuced Shelly, and the name sticks as she grows up. She takes care of Shelly, almost to the point of overprotection. As a result of a birth injury, Shelly suffered some brain damage. Daria worked as an EMT but stopped after a particularly bad accident that also caused a break up with her fiance. I think there’s a secret there.
Rory Taylor is a divorced, ex-pro football player with a 15 year old son who thinks his dad is lame. Rory hopes that the summer will bring him and his son closer together. He also has an overprotective streak when it comes to women, which is why he fell for his ex-wife and why he falls for Grace Martin, a mysterious, vulnerable stranger to the small town. I think she has a secret, too.
This book features one of my reading pet peeves: too many secrets and too little communication. The reader remains in the dark for a long time without getting clued in to any of the secrets. And, it seems as though some of the secrets are unnecessary to the story. In addition to Daria, who has at least two secrets, Shelly, Grace, Chloe (Daria’s other sister who is a nun), and Father Macy, the local priest, all have at least one secret each, sometimes more. The author can’t give much away, or there would be no mystery, but readers might feel more involved in the characters if they were at least privy to some of them.
For a while I wasn’t sure if Daria and Rory were going to get their happy ending, but everything works out okay in the end. Shelly’s birth parents are finally revealed, and they were definitely surprising. If you can stand a whole lot of secrets, you might enjoy this book more than I did, but if too little talk and too little information bother you, give this one a pass.