9 June 2017

Review #615: The Forever Summer by Jamie Brenner



My rating: 4 of 5 stars


“The thing about families was that there was always some question nobody wanted to answer for you, and it was like a stray thread pulling loose in a sweater. You could tug at it all you wanted, but in the end, all you'd have was a pile of twisted yarn.”

----Sarah Sullivan


Jamie Brenner, an American author, has penned a compelling family drama in her new contemporary fiction, The Forever Summer that centers around three generations of women, all tied up together in a web of long buried family secrets, that unravel this summer to bring them closer to the summer house in order to reunite and find one another about their past and the untold secrets and stories, the two half sisters and the mother and the grandfather, all connected with one single link, so read this book to find out now.


Synopsis:

Named one of Coastal Living's 50 Best Books for the Beach, one of Fort Worth Magazine's 10 Must-Read Beach Books, and one of 11 Summer Reads for "maximum vacation enjoyment" by Bustle.com.

When a DNA test reveals long-buried secrets, three generations of women reunite on Cape Cod for the homecoming of a lifetime.

Marin Bishop has always played by the rules, and it's paid off: at twenty-eight she has a handsome fiancé, a prestigious Manhattan legal career, and the hard-won admiration of her father. But one moment of weakness leaves Marin unemployed and alone, all in a single day. Then a woman claiming to be Marin's half-sister shows up, and it's all Marin can do not to break down completely. Seeking escape, Marin agrees to a road trip to meet the grandmother she never knew she had. As the summer unfolds at her grandmother's quaint beach-side B&B, it becomes clear that the truth of her half-sister is just the beginning of revelations that will change Marin's life forever. THE FOREVER SUMMER is a delicious page-turner and a provocative exploration of what happens when our notions of love, truth, and family are put to the ultimate test.



Marin has a perfect life with a fiance as well as with a blooming career, but this summer, she decides to end her engagement as she had been secretly cheating upon her fiance with her boss from her firm where she works. And upon breaking this news to her loving and ideal parents, they feel sad, although her parents, Blythe and Kip too were ready with a similar devastating news to be shared with their daughter, Marin. And that is, Kip and Blythe are getting a divorce because of Kip who has infideled away his marriage with some other woman and that has taken a heavy toll of Blythe, thereby making her feel ignorant of the gravity of the whole situation. Little did Marin had any idea that her summer would turn so appalling when a random DNA test result's email would tell her about the existence of a half sister named Rachel, who too found out about the sperm donor's identity and that led her to the sperm donor's mother, Amelia's beach-side house in Provincetown.

So Marin, who after losing her job at the firm, that discovered about Marin and her boss's affair decides to sack them, decides to pack away her belongings for the summer and zoom off to this little seaside town where there is a possibility of unraveling her family secrets and also a chance to reconnect with them, along with her mother. But is Marin, Rachel, Blythe and Amelia ready to embrace the hard truth that is either going to shatter them or leave them feel happy about their choices?

This is a beautiful depiction of the charm and the feel of actual summer and family secrets that often doesn't harm or destroy the affectionate bonds formed over the ages. This is a happy story and after reading it I actually felt quite summery and blissful about it. Yes a light read that is a must have in your bag when you're planning for a summer vacation. A story to touch hearts and a story that will inspire one to forgive and to accept those lemons that are unfortunately thrown upon our path. Not only the story is infused with emotional family drama, but lots of unpredictable plot twists, that definitely kept me glued till the very end. So chick-lit aficionados, don't miss this apple-pie and slightly ginger cookie flavored summery cocktail of family secrets and romantic drama with a dash of mystery.

The backdrop of Provincetown is well depicted with its tiny little details starting from its folks to its food to its architecture to its golden beach to the customs that bond the people of this town. The vivid portrayal of a beach-side town, especially with the impression of the weather that flows freely through the course of the story line only makes the tale full of its flair and charm. Hence the readers will actually be able to feel the warm breeze and the salty taste in the wind with a smell of the sea while reading this book.

The author's writing style is excellent and articulate enough to make the readers contemplate with the story line. And with a steady dramatic flow of the dialogues, the author has made sure that the narratives hit the readers right at the center of their hearts. Although the emotions aren't that intense or has that kind of depth, yet somehow, keeping it light-hearted will resonate with the readers looking out for a perfect summer read. The pacing is fast, as the story is layered with unforeseeable twists and edgy turns, that give a provocative boost to the story line.

Not that diverse set cast of characters, but this small cast is enough to make the story entertaining and absorbing with their honest and realistic demeanor. From Marin's inquisitive nature to Blythe's sympathetic self to Rachel's excitement to Amelia's grief, everyone's emotions are well tuned and that is penned so strikingly that the readers will find it easy to comprehend with the main characters' plights. Even the secondary characters like Kip, Kelly and many more, are well portrayed that will peak the readers' interest for them.

In a nutshell, even though there is enough drama to keep the readers on their edges, yet the story is going to make the readers extremely reminiscent for one's own family and its values.

Verdict: A perfect beach book that only promises to delight its readers.

Courtesy: Thanks to the publishers from Hachette India for giving me an opportunity to read and review this book.
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Author Info:
Jamie Brenner is the author of THE FOREVER SUMMER coming in April from Little, Brown. Her previous novels include THE WEDDING SISTERS (St. Martin's Press). She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.
Visit her here



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