1. Apple Blossom –promise. Read a reunion book where the promise of love is originally broken and then rediscovered. Or a book that involves a promise or vow in some way. The Summer That Made Us Robyn Carr
It was hard to give this book a rating because it was extremely uneven.
Once upon a time theirs had been a happy family. Two sisters, Lou and Jo, had married two brothers, and the couples each had three daughters. The cousins – Charlie, Hope, Meg, Krista, Beverly and Bunny – had been close. Lou and Jo took their daughters every summer to the family lake house where they swam and ate and tanned and played. Until the year Bunny died. The lake house was closed, never to be opened again. The sister’s fought and never spoke again. The cousins drifted apart and never gathered together again. Until Meg changes everything.
Coming off a recent bout of chemo and facing her own mortality, Meg determines to spend one last summer at the lake house. Fortunately for her, her sister Charley has recently lost her job as a talk show host and is bound and determined to do whatever it takes to make Meg happy. Charley spends the spring – and some of her hard earned money – refurbishing the lake house and when summer rolls around, takes her sister to the lake. Unbeknownst to her, Meg has invited the WHOLE family to enjoy the summer there.
First to show up is Krista, recently released from prison. In the manner of all women’s fiction/romance Krista isn’t a hardened criminal but a wise, sweet sage who just needs a second chance. She finds a job waitressing, reunites with her mother and begins to ask questions of her family in hopes of writing a memoir. She also discovers love but of course, this love has a secret of their own.
Jo, her mom, comes out to the lake house to appease Krista but quickly realizes she needs closure as much as anyone. Then Hope, her second daughter, shows up and problems long hid under the rugs become obvious and the family finally learns the awful truth of the last summer they were together.
I loved the concept of this novel and kept reading, in spite of its shabby prose and piss poor characterization, because I wanted to find out what had really happened that summer. Turned out, stupid and crazy had happened. The pay off wasn’t what I had hoped for and the ending left me with more questions than answers. Why did people seem so calm about Bunny’s death? Why not use the internet to answer all the questions they had regarding certain missing characters? Why was no one concerned about the crazy gene that clearly ran in the family?
Ultimately, the book is intriguing but deeply flawed with a pay off that is more half-pay than the windfall of information one would hope for.
The Floral Challenge – sixteen down, one to go.
Cocktail Challenge – complete!
Letter Q Challenge – complete!