Title: The Book of Summer
Author: Michelle Gable
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: May 9, 2017
Bess Codman has returned to her family’s summer home in Nantucket. Her father asked her to go there to help her mom move out of their house. The cliff that the house is built on has been eroding away and the house is in danger of being destroyed. However, her mother, Cissy, refuses to leave. Instead, Cissy keeps asking the city council for help in building barriers between the ocean and the house so it can be saved. Bess was planning on going back to her family’s home for her cousin’s wedding. Bess is divorcing her husband, but she hasn’t told her mom the real reason why.
Bess’s narrative is interspersed with excerpts from the Book of Summer. The Book of Summer is a guest book that her grandmother started for people to write about their experiences at Cliff House every summer. The narrative returns to Bess’s grandmother Ruby’s young adulthood during World War II. Bess’s and Ruby’s lives are parallel in many ways as they get married and mature.
This is a great summer read, since the story follows multiple summers at Cliff House over a span of about seventy years. The multiple narratives are great and each chapter has a cliffhanger, which made me want to read more. There are also some newsletters from the town in it too, giving the town’s perspective of Cissy’s dilemma.
Though it mostly shows the summers that these family members spent at Cliff House, it gives a full picture of their lives. Some of the most pivotal moments in their lives happened at Cliff House, including marriages and deaths.
I really liked the drama in this book. There were lots of unpredictable plot twists that were really exciting. It’s a perfect read for this upcoming summer!