Victoria Cooke comes to the blog today with a lovely story of second chances and coming to terms with grief in
A Summer to Remember
Sam had everything worked out: a job she liked, a wonderful husband and frequent visits with her parents. Until the day Kev had an accident with his motorbike and was killed instantly. Aside from the grief at all she had lost, Sam was also feeling guilty about the night before Kev’s accident – they had been up all night planning their future, and the possibility of a baby. In the past eight years, Sam has done little but build a shrine to Kev in her thoughts: relocating from her small Cotswolds village to London, pushing forward in her career, making new friends but wholly discounting and dismissing any suggestions of finding a new relationship. Her focus has been the 3 month ‘job exchange’ where a team from the UK is sent to Boston to work on a project. She’s wanted this ‘getaway’ and opportunity for years, and with it finally a reality, she’s ready to take on a new challenge at work and spend some time in the US.
But all is not simple: she’s discounted and dismissed at work, sent for coffee and donuts and not heard when her input has merit. Frustrated and sick to death of the 3 colleagues she’s traveled with from London, not to mention the new team leader, she’s decided to head off to the beach for the weekend: and the ferry from Boston to Provincetown catches her eye. Arriving in Provincetown, she’s charmed by the weather, the views and a lovely couple that are body painting on the boardwalk. Harry and Barney take to her instantly and fold her into the social whirl they’ve built for themselves, with a few suggestions for her to try.
This was a lovely story: from Sam and Ethan first meeting in Boston while he was having one of the worst days, to their undeniable attraction and the continued push-pull of her friendship with Barney and Harry. But through it all, Sam is still clinging to “how she wants” things to be rather than how they are, and her determination to not forget Kev and her love for him is actually stunting her enjoyment and life. When she learns that Ethan has experienced a similar loss, and her feelings for him get ‘confusing’ and more scary, she pushes everyone away, until her very unique perspective on a major client’s project becomes “the” go to option, and Sam has to face both her shame at hurting and running from Harry, Barney and Ethan, but the choice of giving up her life in England to move to Boston for a career-changing opportunity. Lovely descriptions, a clear emotional punch from both Sam and Ethan’s stories, and her circuitous and often challenging path to working through her grief all felt plausible and honest, and is sure to strike a chord with many. It’s a chick lit with surprising depth and emotion, that has light, summery and romantic overtones that bring the story full circle.
Title: A Summer to Remember
Author: Victoria Cooke
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Friendship, Grief, Humor elements, Romantic Elements, Second Chance, Setting: American
Published by: HQ Digital
Published on: 5 July, 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Google ♦Direct from Publisher
Sam lives by the mantra that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
After the tragic loss of her husband, Sam built a new life around friends, her cat Coco and a career she loves. Fending off frequent set-ups and well-meaning advice to ‘move on’, Sam is resolutely happy being single.
But when Sam gets seconded to her firm’s Boston office for the summer, it is more than her career that is in for a shake-up. A spur of the moment decision to visit the idyllic beaches of Cape Cod could end up changing her life forever.
One thing is for sure, Sam won’t finish the summer the same woman who started it…
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.