EXCERPT: The distinct sound of a key in the front door caused Bonnie to turn from the table of photographs. It was probably Nicola, Bonnie thought, though her niece usually knocked before entering when she saw her aunt’s car in the drive.
‘Hello!’ Bonnie called out as she made her way to the door. She felt a smile come to her face. She always felt like smiling when Nicola was around.
The door creaked loudly as it opened inward and a woman’s figure stepped inside. The dustcloth Bonnie had been holding fell to the floor. She felt her stomach drop along with it. Her right hand went to her heart.
‘What are you doing here?’ she gasped.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: It came as no surprise to anyone in Yorktide when glamorous Carol Ascher fled the little Maine town for New York City. While Carol found success as an interior designer, her younger sister, Bonnie, stayed behind, embracing marriage and motherhood. She even agreed to take in Carol’s teenage daughter during a tumultuous patch. Now both their girls are grown and Bonnie, recently widowed, is anticipating the day she’ll retire to Ferndean House, the nineteenth-century family home on the rocky Maine coast.
But forty-five years after leaving Yorktide, Carol suddenly announces that she’s moving back—into Ferndean. Bonnie is indignant. She’s the one who kept the homestead in order and tended to their dying mother. Now Carol expects to simply buy her out? As far as Bonnie is concerned, Ferndean is part of their heritage—not just another of Carol’s improvement projects, to be torn apart and remade according to her whim.
The entire Ascher family is in flux, uncovering secrets that upend their relationships. Carol’s longing to be welcomed home is fueled by a painful truth she’s carried for years. It will take an extraordinary
summer—in a remarkable place—to lead these women back to each other, buoyed by the tides of friendship and forgiveness.
MY THOUGHTS: If you are looking for an uplifting read, it isn’t All Our Summers by Holly Chamberlain, despite the beautiful cover. I usually love this author’s books, but All Our Summers is full of bitterness, envy and despair. I could feel my insides curdling in places as I read. It is a downright depressing read. Even the ending wasn’t enough to redeem this in my eyes. Had it not been such a quick read, I may well have abandoned it.
There is not one likeable nor interesting character amongst them, except for Judith whose role it seems is to restore some semblance of family ties to this resentful bunch. Bonnie and Carol are sisters in their sixties, Bonnie a widow, Carol retired, who are squabbling over the family home. Personally, I couldn’t understand Bonnie’s desire to leave her lovely cottage, full of memories of her happy times with husband Ken, to live in a rambling, old homestead, hard to heat (this is Maine!), and requiring a lot of maintenance. Now, before I am shot down in flames, I love old homes and have owned and lived in a number of them and, unless you have unlimited funds, they are not the sort of place you want to spend your final years in, particularly when on your own. Now, there are some obvious solutions to this problem, but none that either sister is prepared to consider.
No one in this family is speaking to everyone else, or if they are, it ain’t nice. Bonnie and Carol don’t have a nice word to say to one another; Bonnie’s daughter Julie isn’t speaking to her husband; their teenage daughter Sophie is fed up with the antics of both her parents; Carol’s daughter Nicole wants nothing to do with her mother. Really? This was like watching the Jeremy Kyle show 🤷♀️ Exit stage left in high dudgeon to the sound of a slamming door.
And that enticingly beautiful cover had nothing to do with anything.
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.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Kensington Books via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of All Our Summers by Holly Chamberlain for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
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