The Summer That Made Us - Robyn Carr

Review :

Originally posted on The Book Nympho

Charlene (Charley) Hempstead is suddenly facing big changes in her life after her successful, long-running national talk show is canceled. Her younger sister, Megan (Meg) is fighting a tough battle with breast cancer and wants to return to their family's lake house at Lake Waseba, Minnesota for the summer. She's also inviting her cousins and their mothers, who haven't spoken to each other in years. They all used to spend every summer at the lake until a tragic event fractured the family 27 years ago. Will they show up and if they do, can this highly dysfunctional family overcome their differences to restore the closeness they once shared

This was a fascinating story with every level of conflict represented. Charley is at sea now that her self-defining career is stalled and the man she's lived with for over 20 years suddenly proposes. And, she's barely on speaking terms with her prickly mother. Her cousins, sisters Krista, Hope and Beverly, haven't spoken to each other in years. Their mother, Jo, hasn't had a real relationship with her sister and Charley's mother, Lou, since that last trip to the lake. I won't spoil the story by giving you more details but suffice it to say this was one strange brew. There are so many layers to the story, the characters and the events that happened at the last lake visit. There's a LOT going on but Carr effectively weaves them together to create a compelling narrative using many voices.

I loved this story and wished we could see more of this family. But, deep down, I'm very satisfied to end where it did. This was one I had a tough time putting down and is contemporary fiction at its finest as family dynamics are explored in such a relevant way.

(I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)


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