Monday, May 22, 2017
Review: The Book of Summer
Title: The Book of Summer
Author: Michelle Gable
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Published: May 9th 2017
How I got this book: I got this as an arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
My rating: 4 stars
Physician Bess Codman has returned to her family's Nantucket compound, Cliff House, for the first time in four years. Her great-grandparents built Cliff House almost a century before, but due to erosion, the once-grand home will soon fall into the sea.Though she's purposefully avoided the island, Bess must now pack up the house and deal with her mother, a notorious town rabble-rouser, who refuses to leave.
The Book of Summer unravels the power and secrets of Cliff house as told through the voices of Ruby Packard, a bright-eyed and idealistic newlywed on the eve of WWII, the home's definitive guestbook, and Bess herself. Bess's grandmother always said it 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 contemplated.
This is the second book from Gable that I've read, and I really enjoyed this one as well, perhaps a bit more than I'll See You In Paris (review here).
We follow to perspectives in this book, Bess and Ruby, who are granddaughter and grandmother. Bess' narrative follows her and her journey in Nantucket in 2013, and Ruby's story follows her at the same place in 1940's, during World War II. We also meet Bess' mother during the book, and we learn that this is a really interesting family, with different problems. Cliff House is what matter's most to the family, having been around for almost 100 years, and it has a lot of family history.
Reading about the relationships between the different members of the family was really heartwarming. They don't always get along, but it is clear that they all love each other dearly. The characters are different, and no one is perfect, which makes me connect with them even more. Because of the dual perspective we learn more about both Bess and Ruby as the book goes on, and we see some similarities in their stories. They both endure hard times, and go through some of the same experiences.
After I finished this book I read that Gable has used real events in this book, with how the bluff in Sconset is disappearing, and even having the weather as accurately as possible.
The ending of this book is unsurprising, but it is sweet and nice, so I didn't really mind. There are mysteries that are unraveled towards the end, but nothing out of the blue. This book is perfect for summer, and reading on the beach. It gives you a warm feeling inside, makes you happy and is easy to get into, perfect for the beach.
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