Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Review: Home For Summer by Holly Chamberlin

In bestselling author Holly Chamberlin s poignant new novel, a mother and daughter escape to a beautiful coastal town in Maine to find healing in the wake of heartbreaking loss.
The journey to Yorktide, Maine, was always a happy one for Frieda and Aaron Braithwaite and their two daughters. Frieda loves her mother s old farmhouse, and the girls have grown closer there, sharing a bedroom and spinning stories into the night. But that was before when tragedy was something that happened to other families.
Since the car crash that claimed the lives of her husband, and their younger daughter, Frieda has struggled emotionally and financially. Bella, now seventeen, is withdrawn and wary, and Frieda fears losing her too.
At her mother s urging, Frieda decides to return to Yorktide with Bella for the summer. Bella gets a job in a local shop, and little by little edges her way back into the world. But it s the unexpected connections they make with a former schoolmate, a troubled teenage girl, and Frieda s estranged father that will spur them to find healing amid bittersweet memories, and discover if their bond is strong enough to guide them back to hope once more.

Expected publication: June 27th 2017 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!  This story was just released.

Full Disclosure:  Life got in the way between the time that I finished this story and now when I am finally sitting down to write my thoughts.  As I had many swirling around in my head when I completed it, some of those thoughts may now be lost with the passage of time.  I apologize in advance if my words are not eloquent or if all of my thoughts do not make it to "paper as I had planned them.  Hopefully I will not do any disservice as a result.

I am going to try not to rehash the plot of the book.  The synopsis captures it well and the rest can be discovered by reading the story for yourself.

My first thought upon completion of this story is that this would make a great book club read.  The reason?  It covers many topics which there are a wide variety of views and differing opinions on.  I can just visualize the heated debates that could take place from some of the themes touched on.

First, how long is appropriate to grieve the death of a spouse before beginning a new relationship?  I myself have not opinion on the matter however I can see how there could be two distinctive camps on this one.  The ones that think Frieda moved on too soon while the others who think that love should be captured whenever it is presented to itself.

The second would be Frieda's relationship with her father, and I say the word father very loosely.  As you can tell, I do have a strong opinion on this one.  I felt that he did not deserve any acknowledgement from Frieda.  I can argue this one until I am blue in the face.  I don't care about the good memories that occurred up until he left when Frieda was eleven (hopefully I remembered the age correctly, as mentioned I finished the book a few days ago).  The fact that her left without contact until she was an adult is unforgiveable in my books.  I know the story angles it as a story of forgiveness and unconventional family dynamics however it would never fly in my world.  I would have that door shut, locked with a deadbolt, and the key thrown away.  AND....when he did call, I would have reamed him a new one, told him where to go and how he can get there.  Family is not about DNA but about those who love and support you through their actions.  As mentioned, book clubs could have a field day with this one.

Another topic would be how Bella was dealing with her grief and the dysfunctional friendship she struck up while spending the summer with her grandmother.  Talk about a friendship that has train wreck written all over it from the start.

So, if I were to recommend something, it would be to read this story however have at least one ther person you know also read it.  Trust me, you are going to want to discuss it with someone.  While it is not necessarily a fast moving story and its main focus is on dealing with the grief after the loss of a loved one (in this case loved ones), it is a story that will make you think.

About the Author

      Holly Chamberlin is a native New Yorker, but she now lives in Portland, Maine - the aftermath of stumbling across Mr. Right at the one moment she wasn't watching the terrain. She's been writing and editing - poetry, children's fantasies, a romance novel or two, among many other genres and projects - her entire life. She has two cats, Betty and Cyrus, and when she's not writing her hobbies include reading, shopping, and cocktails at six.

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