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Friday, June 7, 2013

That Certain Summer...Review

About the book:
Karen and Val are family-yet they’re anything but close. Karen has carried the burden of responsibility for her aging mother ever since her gorgeous sister left town years ago to pursue a career in theater. But Val had darker reasons for leaving town-as well as a secret to keep-and coming home has never been an option . . . until their mother suffers a stroke.

Reunited in their hometown, Karen and Val must grapple with their past mistakes, their relationship with each other, and their issues with a mother who is far from ideal. When a physical therapist raising his daughter alone and a handsome but hurting musician enter the picture, the summer takes on a whole new dimension. As their lives intersect and entwine, can each learn how to forgive, how to let go, and how to move on? And strengthened by the healing power of faith, might they also find the courage to love?

With her trademark compelling characters and heartwarming hope, fan favorite Irene Hannon offers her readers an inspiring true-to-life tale of complex family relationships, transgressions revealed and forgiven, and the complicated process of finding love.

I have enjoyed everything I've read by Irene Hannon.  Her way with suspense is fantastic.  Her newest story however, isn't suspenseful.  Instead, it's a thoughtful, family-themed romance novel.  I loved these characters, I loved seeing them grow and change.  Being one of 4 daughters in my family, I can relate to Karen and Val in many ways.  Some of us aren't as close as we are with the others and we've had our share of sibling conflicts, but we love each other.  Fortunately we don't have a mother like Margaret who was cold and withdrawn and pitted one daughter against the other.  Margaret never redeemed herself to me, even when I learned her history, but she certainly softened a bit toward her daughters which was nice.

The story is richest with Karen and Val's interactions and I loved how their relationship changed and how they came to understand one another.  There really is nothing like a sister to talk to and confide in and I loved the sisters' relationship.

Irene touches on themes of divorce, infidelity and abortion and does so in a remarkably sensitive manner.  The Christian elements are strong and there is much talk of faith and forgiveness.  Everything wraps up neatly but in a heart-warming way that just makes you smile.

Available June 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Thanks to Donna at Baker Publishing for the opportunity to review this novel.  You can learn more about Irene Hannon here. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 6/13

* * * *
4 Stars

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