Summer Secrets by Jane Green

Title - Summer Secrets
Author - Jane Green
Publication Date - July 1st 2015
Publisher - Macmillan
Format - Paperback (Provided via publisher)
Pages - 416

June, 1998.

At twenty-seven, Cat Coombs is struggling. She lives in London, works as a journalist, and parties hard. 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's life has come full circle. She wants to make amends to those she has hurt. Her quest takes her to Nantucket, the gorgeous New England island where the women she once called family still live. What Cat doesn't realise 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.

Firstly, I'd like to say a massive, huge, very grateful thank you to the fantastic author of Summer Secrets Jane Green, and to her publishers Macmillan, for providing me with a gorgeous proof copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I guess I should mention first of all that Summer Secrets is my first ever 'Jane Green' novel. A lot of bloggers have asked me, aghast I might add, how I've never read one of her books previously and, after losing myself to the brilliance of Summer Secrets, I find I'm asking myself the very same question because honestly, I have no idea how on earth Jane Green has managed to pass me by before now because this was such a beautifully sculpted story and I can't believe so many have passed me by. Still, I feel strangely comforted by the fact that, until Jane releases her next novel, I can have a little browse through her previous books and lose myself to one of those while I wait, because I can assure you that I will be waiting for Green's next novel, with baited breath, if Summer Secrets is anything to go by.

I've read tons of books, but I always find that the ones which switch back and forth between the past and the present are the ones that truly captivate me, and that is how Jane Green chooses to tell Cat's story within Summer Secrets. It was utterly compelling and reeled me right in, and by the time I'd finished reading this book, I felt like I'd lived through the entire story stood right beside the characters. Not only does the author switch between then and now, but she also allows us small insights into the secondary characters' past and present lives too, ensuring that I, as a reader, felt wholly involved in the story that unfolded.

Jane Green deals with some sensitive topics within Summer Secrets, the main one being alcohol dependency. I don't think I've ever read a book that allowed me such an understanding into the subject before, but Jane achieved that completely. It was incredible how she managed to thread this topic right the way through the novel, even through different family members, and I was absolutely hooked as the novel progressed. From the past to the present, Jane took me on one hell of a ride, one that I shed a tear or two at the end of, because I felt so affected by what the characters had lived through. It was stunning, raw yet tender, ultimately moving, and incredibly thought-provoking too. A novel that will remain with me for a very long time, I'm certain of it.

There were locations within Summer Secrets that felt so real to me, Nantucket being the main one that caught my attention. It wasn't long until I found my way onto Google images and fell completely head over heels in love with the setting of Nantucket, a place, would you believe, that I'd never even heard of before reading Summer Secrets. It was so incredibly easy, and enjoyable, to scroll through the images and imagine the story that I was reading taking place right there before my very eyes. I also realised, while looking at these images, that Jane had described them herself perfectly and they were spot-on. I became completely lost to Nantucket, imagining Cat's story, as well as her mother's, unfolding there in the years gone by, and became captivated by it. The author had my attention right the way through the telling of this story, and she truly couldn't have held me any closer to her characters' hearts if she had tried.

Overall, I'm delighted that I've managed to find my way towards a Jane Green novel, and I'm now kicking myself over never read any of them before. It has now become a mission to invest in a few of her previous releases, because I think I'm a little bit in love with this author's style of storytelling. A truly tremendous novel, that affected me in every single way possible. Tears, smiles, laughter and regret. One hell of a concoction, but one that will leave a mark on you, I'm sure.

Becca's Books is awarding Summer Secrets by Jane Green with FIVE DELICIOUS CUPCAKES. A beautiful novel, from start to finish.

1 comment :

  1. Wow, what a review...Jane Green and her publisher were smart to put this book in your hands! Alcohol dependency is such a tricky issue, and can be so, so ugly. I'm torn between wondering if this would be interesting and touching or just painful if it depicts something that honestly hits so close to home for me. I think with any sort of story that touches on addiction, past and present switch backs in the narrative can be extremely powerful because you see how much changes before/after/during addiction in a person.