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The Book of Summer: A Novel

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Book of Summer: A Novel.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Michelle Gable(Author)

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New York Times Bestselling Author of A Paris Apartment

The ocean, the wild roses on the dunes and the stunning Cliff House, perched atop a bluff in Sconset, Nantucket. Inside the faded pages of the Cliff House guest book live the spellbinding stories of its female inhabitants: from Ruby, a bright-eyed newlywed on the eve of World War II to her granddaughter Bess, who returns to the beautiful summer estate.

For the first time in four years, physician Bess Codman visits the compound her great-grandparents built almost a century before, but due to erosion, the once-grand home will soon fall into the sea. Bess must now put aside her complicated memories in order to pack up the house and deal with her mother, a notorious town rabble-rouser, who refuses to leave. It’s not just memories of her family home Bess must face though, but also an old love that might hold new possibilities.

In the midst of packing Bess rediscovers the forgotten family guest book. Bess’s grandmother and primary keeper of the book, Ruby, always said Cliff House was a house of women, and by the very last day of the very last summer at Cliff House, Bess will understand the truth of her grandmother’s words in ways she never imagined.

New York Times bestselling author of A Paris Apartment, I'll See You in Paris, and The Book of Summer, MICHELLE GABLE graduated from The College of William & Mary. After a twenty-year career in finance, she now writes full time. Michelle lives in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California, with her husband, two daughters, one lazy cat, and a very feisty rabbit.

2.5 (5268)
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Book details

  • PDF | 416 pages
  • Michelle Gable(Author)
  • St. Martin's Press (May 9, 2017)
  • English
  • 3
  • Literature & Fiction

Read online or download a free book: The Book of Summer: A Novel

 

Review Text

  • By Kris Anderson - The Avid Reader on May 12, 2017

    The Book of Summer by Michelle Gable takes us to Cliff House in Siasconset on Nantucket. Dr. Bess Codman receives a call from her father asking for her assistance. Cliff House, the family home, is slowly falling over the bluffs into the ocean. Thanks to erosion, they have already lost the tennis courts, pool, dressing rooms, and part of the veranda. It is just a matter of time before the house disappears, but Cissy Codman (her mother) refuses to leave the house. Bess’ father wants her to fly home from California and get her mother out of the house. Cissy is a force of nature. She is still trying to save her family home and is waiting for a Board of Selectman vote on Sankaty Bluff Preservation Fund (Damage Prevention Project). Bess arrives and begins packing up the house. She discovers the families The Book of Summer. A guest book started in 1911 when Cissy’s ancestors, Sarah and Philip Young moved into the newly built home. Guests and family were asked to write an anecdote or story into The Book of Summer. Bess would like to become the new caretaker of the book. Bess’ grandmother, Ruby was responsible for it until her death. Going through the book and the house will bring old stories and secrets to light. Bess will discover things she never knew about the women in her family. We journey back to the days of Ruby Young and relive her time in Cliff House. The past has a way of influencing our present lives. Will Cissy be able to save the family home? How will the family history affect Bess and her future?The Book of Summer is a novel that takes readers back in time to relive the Young family history. We are taken back to 1939 to relive Ruby Young’s life at Cliff House. There are several storylines in the book. One of them is how gay men were treated by the military during World War II. Another is Bess getting a divorce and the reason why. The writing is nice and there are some beautiful descriptions of Nantucket. The book does have a sweet ending. However, I found the pace of the novel to be slow, and I felt it needed some editing. The book was just too long. There is an extreme amount of foul language in the story and it was completely unnecessary (I found it offensive). My main problem with the book was Cissy Codman. She was an over-the-top eccentric who quickly got on my nerves (who picks up a person at the airport on a bicycle). Cissy is the most unique character in The Book of Summer, but not the only one. I believe it was supposed to come across as humorous, but I was not laughing. I give The Book of Summer 3 out of 5 stars. I just found The Book of Summer to be rather bland and unsurprising. I was never drawn into the story and did not connect with the characters. I was curious about The Book of Summer (the guest book belonging to the Young family). What a great concept. It is the type of item I would love to sit down and read through. While I did not enjoy The Book of Summer, I do recommend Michelle Gable’s A Paris Apartment and I’ll See You in Paris.

  • By Ami / luvtoread on May 9, 2017

    When I first picked up The Book of Summer, I was hoping to read something lighthearted and cute, without any mention or reference to WWII, as I’d been reading a lot of WWII books lately. Unfortunately, this book definitely was none of these things. Well, parts of it were lighthearted and cute, but there was a definite WWII story here, that somehow I missed noticing on the synopsis. Whoops! So this book was not what I was looking to read when I read it, and I think this factored into my feelings about the book.The book is told from the point of view of Bess, an ER doc in San Francisco, who travels home to Nantucket to help move her mother, Cissy Codman, out of the historic Cliff House, which is teetering on the edge of falling into the Atlantic. Besides Bess, we also go back in time to WWII era, and hear from Ruby, who happens to be Bess’s grandmother (and Cissy’s mother).The time shifts are handled well, and I preferred the plot of Bess and Cissy and trying to save Cliff House from erosion rather than the WWII plotline. I think this may be just because I’ve been reading so much WWII lately, that I’m a bit weary of this time frame right now.Bess’s mother, Cissy, really irritated me at first. For example, Bess arrives at the airport, and Cissy goes to pick her up at the airport. On a bike. This didn’t endear me to Cissy at all; I was just irritated by her. But by the end of the book I liked Cissy and had warmed to her larger-than-life personality. Besides Cissy, we’ve got what is perhaps the best-named character I’ve read in quite some time: Chappy Mayhew. He’s the cranky man who lives across the street, who has a feud with Cissy, and oh yeah, Chappy’s son, Evan, just happens to be an ex-love of Bess’s.Bess is going through a divorce, from a nasty man named Brandon, and is at somewhat of a crossroads in her life. You can sense the predictability here with these plotlines, and while it was fine, it was predictable.Back in WWII time, the plot is a bit more original, and shines a light on how the US military treated gay men. I can’t recall reading a book that spotlights this issue, so this issue and the saving homes from erosion issue in the modern sections felt fresh and interesting to me. The characters in the WWII time were fine. Ruby was a bit too naïve for me, and Hattie, a new friend from Europe was intriguing, but I don’t think enough was done with her character.There are two small parts of the book that were exceedingly odd to me. There’s one scene between Bess and her soon-to-be-ex-husband with verbal abuse, which was so disturbing and frankly bizarre, and another scene back in 1941 time where Ruby sees something she shouldn’t, that was just kind of odd. Without spoilers, I will say that I thought both of these scenes could’ve been edited down, and the reader would still understand what was happening.There was a lot of language in this book, which surprised me. I wasn’t expecting the swearing, so that jarred me out of the narrative whenever a character would swear.I couldn’t quite connect to any of the characters. They are all wealthy, and live on a fancy island back east, and I just couldn’t connect to their mindset and their way of life, or anything about them. It’s not that I didn’t like them; I just didn’t connect on any level. I’m not exactly sure why. But by the end of the book I wanted Bess to have her happy ending, and I wanted Cissy to be able to find a way to stay in Cliff House.I think some people will really like this book. It’s got an interesting setting, on Nantucket, and I could see the fancy houses and the smell the sea as I read, but I just failed to connect to the story and the characters.Bottom Line: A bit lackluster and predictable. I couldn’t connect to the characters.I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book. This review first posted on my blog, luvtoread.


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