"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

22 August 2016

2016 Book Review #53: Summer Secrets

I read this book while on vacation last week in the mountains.  It was a good read....actually quite a good story.....read on to find out why I can't give this a 10, though!!


The story opens up in London, England in 2014. The voice is that of main character Cat Coombs, a single mom of one teenage daughter, Annie. Cat is a journalist and her best friend is a gay guy named Sam.

 The plot line quickly goes back in time to 1998, London, when Cat is 29 years old and finally realizing she is an alcoholic.  She has had many wild and glamorous  evenings out, attending social events in London. But after every evening out, she wakes up with a horrible hangover and sometimes in someone's bed whom she doesn't even know! Also, her mother, newly widowed, confesses to Cat that the man whom Cat has called Father her entire life, is not really her biological dad!!  Her biological dad is in the United States.  She decides, with her boyfriend Jason's blessing, to go to America and meet her dad.  Everything is magical until one night, on the island of Nantucket, when she makes a terrible, tragic mistake.  It is her first time in America and probably her last.  Or so she thinks.

She cannot forgive her self and when she returns to England, she has to confront the reality of her life...she IS an alcoholic and it is time to grow up.  The one thing she doesn't know is if she can ever redeem her self to her extended family members.

The years pass by and now that Cat is in her early 40s, she finds that being a struggling single mom, and trying to cope with a newfound sobriety, is hard work.  However, she is determined to go back to her past and try to make amends with certain family members. 

 Traveling back to Nantucket, this time with her teenage daughter Annie, and her best friend, Sam, she hopes to earn her family's forgiveness.  But this makes the risk of losing everyone she loves, a real possibility.

Will her half sisters forgive her??  Will she stay sober?


This book deals with alcoholism and has excellent setting descriptions as well as very good character development.  I really liked the mother, Audrey...she was probably my favorite character besides the best friend, Sam.

One thing that really annoyed me though was the use of the "F" word throughout the book.  It was mainly the main character, Cat.  I find it extremely low-class.  This character did NOT have to be portrayed that way.  The author had already done an excellent job of describing Cat and her personality without needing to add such gutter talk. 

This book reads like a good drama but also has some light, funny moments which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Sam has some great lines and her friendship with him shows deep compassion and understanding.

The book shows that the "serenity prayer" really can be present in our lives...no matter what our challenges are.  We can learn to accept the things we can't change, we can find courage to change the things we need to change, and we can have strength to get through the various trials of our lives.

This author was new to me and because I liked the story so much, as well as the themes that support it, I will probably look into taking more of her books out of the library.

The story was a bit predictable in the end but it was sweet without being sappy.

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 17 and older (due to content).

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest I rate this an 8.  It would get a 10 if now for all the F words.  It made a great story a bit low class. (my opinion!!).


Susanne said...

Thanks for mentioning that. I'll give it a pass.

Melanie Lopata said...

Ugh yeah I've read some good books lately but the F word AND the use of G-D and J C really got on my nerves :(

Jerralea said...

I'm always interested in books like this, but as you say, using F-bombs ruins it. I have so limited reading time, I'm not going to waste it reading those words!