When the weather is warm and the drinks are flowing, it’s all too easy to behave in a somewhat questionable manner, not considering the consequences that might occur. In the idyllic town of Nantucket, a mother and a daughter both make decisions that alter their lives in Jane Green’s Summer Secrets.
Relatively new to her more lasting sobriety, thirty-something Cat, a Londonite mother of a teen girl, is working through her Alcoholics Anonymous program steps and stuck on making amends to those she’s hurt in the past–namely her half-sisters. But Cat didn’t even know that her typically English father wasn’t really her father, but rather an American artist who lived next door to her great aunt in Nantucket. When Cat’s mother reveals the truth about Cat’s father and a genetic reason behind her drinking problem during Cat’s twenties, Cat loses no time in getting to know her American family…even though it ends badly after a black-out drunken night. The actions Cat took on that fateful night have had a lasting effect on the rest of her life, but will making her amends be enough to set her life on a happy path?
The writing of the text was decent and pleasant to read. The format of time jumping tangents and vignettes to construct the narrative worked rather well in the manner in which they were woven. I found that even though I was reading from an ARC, there were lots of grammatical and typographical issues, particularly surrounding character dialogue–hopefully it will all be squeaky-clean come release date. As a cautionary tale about addiction, there were powerful portions to accompany the cheesier parts. But ultimately, the story became extremely cliche, with a rather predictable story trajectory toward a mushy, gushy, Hollywood ending for Cat.
Overall, I’d give it a 3 out of 5 stars.