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The Book of Summer: A Novel
By: Michelle Gable
List Price: $25.99
Your Price: $14.15
(as of: 12/14/17)
Manufacturer: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1250070627
Publication Date: 2017-05-09
Release Date 2017-05-09
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours


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Secrets in Summer: A Novel
By: Nancy Thayer
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Product Description:

New York Times Bestselling Author of A Paris Apartment

The ocean, the wild roses on the dunes and the stunning Cliff House, perched atop a bluff in Sconset, Nantucket. Inside the faded pages of the Cliff House guest book live the spellbinding stories of its female inhabitants: from Ruby, a bright-eyed newlywed on the eve of World War II to her granddaughter Bess, who returns to the beautiful summer estate.

For the first time in four years, physician Bess Codman visits the compound her great-grandparents built almost a century before, but due to erosion, the once-grand home will soon fall into the sea. Bess must now put aside her complicated memories in order to pack up the house and deal with her mother, a notorious town rabble-rouser, who refuses to leave. It’s not just memories of her family home Bess must face though, but also an old love that might hold new possibilities.

In the midst of packing Bess rediscovers the forgotten family guest book. Bess’s grandmother and primary keeper of the book, Ruby, always said Cliff House 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 imagined.



Four generations of the Young family have called the majestic and aptly-named “Cliff House” home for the summer. The rambling old house may not survive to observe its centennial, however, as the Atlantic Ocean is rapidly claiming the land that Cliff House stands upon. Four generations of women have fought to preserve the old homestead through good times and bad, wartime and peace, and now Bess has arrived home to help her mother, Cissy, pack up and move before the house itself tumbles into the sea.

Cissy has other plans, however, and Bess finds herself trying to convince her mother that the only option is to leave before the situation becomes any more dangerous. Cissy is determined that there must be some way to preserve the eroding beachhead, or perhaps it’s the house itself that should be moved. Bess has left one rough situation behind at her home in California only to land smack in the middle of another emotionally draining mess, and Cissy’s dogged determination is not helping things whatsoever.

What does help is the sense of history that Cissy and Bess both possess, and that common ground helps the women move forward with their relationships with each other, with their partners, and above all with the house that they both love.

Told in a series of flashbacks and present-day, The Book of Summer is a timely elegy to many of the stately old homes along the Atlantic seashore, particularly on Cape Cod and Nantucket, where this story is set. The family history and associated drama plays out with the accompaniment of the attempted preservation of Cliff House, and no individual or structure is guaranteed a happy ending. While the transition from “then” to “now” occasionally hits a few road bumps, especially in terms of the dual narrative, The Book of Summer is quite charming. It’s a contemporary story that shows great reverence for the past, bridging the idyllic summers of wealthy twentieth century industrialists with the reality that nature does as nature wants. Put this one on your summer reading list!

 
By: Joyce Greenfield, ReaderToReader.com


 
     
 
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