Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Review: The Summer that Made Us by Robyn Carr (audio)

Title: The Summer That Made Us
Author: Robyn Carr
Narrator: Therese Plummer
Published: September 2017, Recorded Books / Mira Books
Length: 10 hours 21 minutes / 336 pages
Source: Audio - Personal copy via Audible / Print - ARC Paperback via Little Bird Publicity
Mothers and daughters, sisters and cousins--they lived for summers at the lake house until a tragic accident changed everything. The Summer That Made Us is an unforgettable story about a family learning to accept the past, to forgive and to love each other again.  

That was then... For the Hempsteads, two sisters who married two brothers and had three daughters each, summers were idyllic. The women would escape the city the moment school was out to gather at the family house on Lake Waseka. The lake was a magical place, a haven where they were happy and carefree. All of their problems drifted away as the days passed in sun-dappled contentment. Until the summer that changed everything.  

This is now... After an accidental drowning turned the lake house into a site of tragedy and grief, it was closed up. For good. Torn apart, none of the Hempstead women speak of what happened that summer, and relationships between them are uneasy at best to hurtful at worst. But in the face of new challenges, one woman is determined to draw her family together again, and the only way that can happen is to return to the lake and face the truth. 

Robyn Carr has crafted a beautifully woven story about the complexities of family dynamics and the value of strong female relationships.

My thoughts:  I have been a fan of Robyn Carr's books for a while now - both for her series and her stand alones - so of course I jumped at the opportunity to read and review her latest book. This one, a stand alone, is poignant and inspiring yet has it's moments of humor interspersed throughout. 

I think what truly stands out about this book is just how emotional it ended up being. Yes, it had it's funny moments, but at the end of the day, it really has some big highs and some big lows - equally balanced, but still - it has all the feels! This is what women's fiction is. And more importantly, it will have you questioning the relationships you have in your life and if there are any you need to work on.

This book is all about second chances. The Hempstead family is dysfunctional to say the least. There was a tradegy that could be the impetus for some of this dysfunction, but why the grudges have carried on for so long is anyone's guess. Now, almost 30 years later and fighting the fight of her life, Megan has decided enough is enough and her family needs to come together one more time. Can the past be let go off? Is there room in everyone's hearts for forgiveness?

I loved getting to know the characters in this book. As each of the women return to the lake and share their stories, I felt as if I was there, living at the lake with them. The story really comes to life as the stories are told. It's not always a happy tale, as the secrets start coming out, and heartache and grief are brought to the surface, but through tears and sadness, these women find a way to become a family again, especially as they are needed now more than ever. 

This was a great read and this is why I continue to pick up Robyn Carr's books. They are filled with substance rather than just fluff. This one in particular is as heartwarming as it is emotional.

Audio thoughts: I am never disappointed when I see Therese Plummer as a narrator, especially when I see that she's narrating a Robyn Carr book. These two just seem to go together - really well! The characters really come to life in this narration and Therese really does a great job giving each character their own unique voice. Her pacing and tone are spot on and she infused just the right amount of emotion into her voice as needed. This really was a great audio.



  1. This book is on my TBR list for the near future--glad to see you enjoyed it! I'm a fan of her books as well!

  2. Thirty years is a long time to go carrying a grudge!


Thank you so much for leaving a comment! I love interacting with other book lovers and appreciate any thoughts or feedback! If you read a book after seeing my review, please let me know. Come back and leave me a link to your review so I can read it. Thank you!!!

Blogger Template Created by pipdig