Thursday, June 27, 2019

Home for the Summer (Holly Chamberlin)

Holly Chamberlin's Home for the Summer begins with an unfathomable tragedy while a family is on vacation. The rest of the book is about how to go on in the wake of an event like this, ending with breakthroughs and hope.

Frieda and Aaron Braithwaite and their two daughters, Bella and Ariel, are having the time of their lives in Jamaica. When a car crash claims the lives of Aaron and Ariel, Frieda and Bella escape to Yorktide, Maine. They stay with Frieda's mother, where they have had happy memories in the past, but of course, they are still profoundly grieving. As they begin to pick up the pieces of their lives, they come to realize that they are not over. Both of them can have happiness and love again.

While the story itself is very moving, there are a few issues with Home for the Summer. The first is that almost every single interaction is long, lengthy, and introspective. This comes across as unnatural. So if you are looking for a book with lots of action, this probably isn't the one for you. It's extremely character driven.

All of the dialogue makes the book seem very long. There are no surprises at the end, so it probably could have been cut by a few chapters and it wouldn't have made a difference. However, all of this doesn't mean that Home for the Summer isn't a worthwhile read. Just know what you're getting into before you start it.