Published by St. Martin's Press on June 23rd 2015
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction
Also by this author: Saving Grace
Hardcover provided by BookSparks
Jane Green delivers her second blockbuster novel of 2015, a story of one woman struggling to right the wrongs of her past, with even more complications in the present.
June, 1998: At twenty seven, Catherine Coombs, also known as Cat, is struggling. She lives in London, works as a journalist, and parties hard. Her lunchtimes consist of several glasses of wine at the bar downstairs in the office, her evenings much the same, swigging the free booze and eating the free food at a different launch or party every night. When she discovers the identity of the father she never knew she had, it sends her into a spiral. She makes mistakes that cost her the budding friendship of the only women who have ever welcomed her. And nothing is ever the same after that.
June, 2014: Cat has finally come to the end of herself. She no longer drinks. She wants to make amends to those she has hurt. Her quest takes her to Nantucket, to the gorgeous summer community where the women she once called family still live. Despite her sins, will they welcome her again? What Cat doesn’t realize is that these women, her real father’s daughters, have secrets of their own. As the past collides with the present, Cat must confront the darkest things in her own life and uncover the depths of someone’s need for revenge.
This is the perfect summer read. Summer Secrets hits every aspect I love about women’s fictions and even managed to shed light on the damage an alcoholic can do. This story captures the best and worst of it.
Cat comes from a dark childhood. Growing up, she never felt love from her father, and her mother struggled with depression. Cat started drinking when she was only fourteen years old. She didn’t stop after her Father died and her mother seemed to come out of her shell. She drank even after she met the man of her dreams, who was also in recovery. She drank after meeting her biological father and his two daughters. She didn’t stop after she woke up naked next to her new sister’s boyfriend. She didn’t stop until she had lost everything including the man of her dreams and custody of her daughter. Cat is now years sober and needs to make amends with her two sisters, as a final step in her recovery. She plans a trip to their island home in Nantucket on a job assignment, determined to say sorry face-to-face. She hasn’t talked to her sister’s in over ten years, this is going to be an uncomfortable meet-up.
The location for this story really made me so glad to live in New England. The author goes into details about the feel and style of Nantucket. It a gorgeous place to make some really bad decisions. Cat’s alcoholism is really a product of genetics, bad choices, and lack of will power. Her alcoholism is the catalyst for this summer’s reunion, but this story really focuses on family drama. I think most readers will be able to relate to the sister’s. Even if you don’t like to admit it, there is always a family member that is never wrong and looks down on everyone else. There is usually also one keeps screwing up. Cat is that person in this story. Cat has every right to think she won’t get the forgiveness she seeks.
There really wasn’t anything about this story that I didn’t like. It was well written in Cat’s POV, and very character driven. I loved seeing how much Cat character grew throughout the story. I liked the relationship she had with her mother after her father’s death. She wasn’t pushy, but she said everything that needed to be said. I would have liked to get to know Brooks, her biological father, a bit more. There was a bit of romance in this story, but it isn’t the main focus of the story. I think self acceptance/love is the real focus of this story, and that is exactly what I loved most about this book.
I think any fan of Jane Green is going to love this read. It is everything a women’s fiction fan could ask for.