Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Summer's List by Anita Higman

About the book:
After breaking her engagement with a rising politician, Summer Snow is adrift in life and love. Again. Summer's wise grandmother – hoping to help her granddaughter – offers her a list of goals and adventures to fulfill, telling her that she must carry out the list with her long-lost childhood friend, Martin Langtree, someone she hasn't seen since he moved away in their early teens.

Martin is happy to help Summer with the list, but his two younger brothers are addicted to their lavish lifestyle. They will do anything to keep Martin from following through with the list and falling in love with Summer.

My review:
This is a delightful book. The plot is touching. Summer's parents had been in an accident and were seriously hurt as she was ready to go to college. She cared for them during their dying days rather then pursue college. Then, when her grandmother decided to retire from running her children's bookstore, Summer took over. Now, her grandmother's congestive heart failure means perhaps only months to live. Giving Summer the list may be the last way she can influence her granddaughter.

I especially liked Martin as a character. He is a nerdy science whiz but is practically at a loss in relationships. This will give you an idea of his thinking, after he gave Summer a compliment. “Compliments are an unknown quantity. … Too many variables. Not like a formula I can control.” I liked the way his character was portrayed and developed. A quirky, lovable, and honest man. Not so the brothers. Martin was adopted and the brothers hold some resentment. They are men with an attitude.

That is just part of the complicated family of which Martin is a part. The parents divorced and totally abandoned the boys when the youngest turned eighteen. While sufficient financial support was provided, the mystery of their suddenly absent parents had plagued the boys for over a decade.

In addition to quirky characters and a complicated family, there is a little romance. Both Martin and Summer had come to a stagnant point in their lives and their reunion opens up great possibilities. It was fun to read how both of them grew over the course of the novel.

The writing style was a bit unusual. It seemed that the characters spoke in very controlled dialogs. Martin's brothers are developmentally challenged and it seems as if the book was written in a manner similar to their characters. I have read another book by Higman and do not recall such simplified writing so I trust it was purposeful for this novel.

I liked the spiritual lessons in the novel. Summer's grandmother is a real spiritual inspiration. There are lessons in forgiveness and restoration as even Granny admits she doesn't get it right all the time. We see the importance of prayer too.

I would not say this is Higman's best novel but it was a delightful one to read.

I am taking part in a blog tour of this book and you can read other reviews here.

Anita Higman is a best-selling and award-winning author with forty published books (some co-authored). She has a BA in the combined fields of speech communication, psychology, and art. You can find out more at http://www.anitahigman.com/index.html.

River North, 288 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Litfuse for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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