Margin Notes: Summer Secrets

Summer Secrets by Jane Green

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.

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was an easy summer read--it combined Nantucket and London, family drama, overcoming difficult situations, etc. There were family secrets and alcoholism, long-lost family members, and a fashionable gay best friend. It was an easy breezy book to get through with my toes in the sand over the weekend.

I thought the main character was developed well, though I didn't like her and didn't have much compassion for her. The characters and plot that I was interested in (the actual drama between the sisters, the American mom, the relationship between the girls, the relationship with the ex-husband, the main character's friend poppy) seemed slightly glossed over and definitely rushed as we trip through time--past, not-too-long-ago-past, and present. The reconciliations seemed too shallow to matter, and I wish the story went more in depth in the relationships--the drama was what interested me. Maybe that would have happened if we remained in the moment for longer so I could get a better sense of relationships.

Overall, I liked the story but have read better by Jane Green.

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