Release date - 5th September 2017
Book length - 336 pages
Publisher - Mira Books
Book Depository - www.bookdepository.com
Amazon UK - www.amazon.co.uk
Amazon US - www.amazon.com
ABOUT THE BOOK
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.
THE SUMMER THAT MADE US by Robyn Carr is a layered tale of family relationships, tragedy, and heartbreak underpinned by deep connections and memories that remind the characters of better days.
Two sisters who married two brothers, and had three daughters apiece, used to spend idyllic summers together on the lake where they were as close and as happy as any family could be. But when tragedy struck, it tore them apart where bitterness and jealousy made sure that they would never reconnect again. Until now.
The daughters are all grown up now, living their own lives and making their own mistakes, but when one daughter receives some shocking news, she is determined to bring her family back together so that they can finally heal the heartbreak from the past and face the future together. But life is never that simple and with plenty of emotions, anger, and problems of their own, it may not be as easy as she hoped...
This book is about a family reuniting after years apart, and as each character has their own issues and lives to contend with, they must also confront that awful summer from all those years ago, and the underlying tension and jealousies that always existed between them. While many believe that you cannot fix the unfixable, this story shows that there is always hope - hope that you can find peace with the past and move forward together. Full of family drama and interesting characters, THE SUMMER THAT MADE US by Robyn Carr, is a story of loss, heartache, and hope, and ultimately the importance of family in all of its forms. While this wouldn't be my favourite book of Robyn Carr's it is definitely well worth reading, and I highly recommend it.
Robyn Carr is an award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River and Thunder Point series, as well as highly praised women’s fiction titles such as Four Friends, What We Find, and The Life She Wants.
Robyn has won a RITA Award from the Romance Writers of America, and in 2016 she was awarded RWA’s Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to the genre. Her novels have been translated into 19 languages in 30 countries.
Originally from Minnesota, Robyn now resides in Henderson, Nevada, with her aviator husband; they have two grown children. When she isn’t writing, Robyn puts her energy into community service: she has mentored a seniors’ memoir-writing group, attends book club chats in and out of state whenever possible, and is working with her local library on the Carr Chat Series, a program centered on fundraising and visiting author events that bring writers, their books, and the community together.
For more information:
Website - www.robyncarr.com
Twitter - twitter.com/RCarrWriter
Facebook - www.facebook.com/RobynCarrWriter/
Instagram - www.instagram.com/robyncarrwriter/
READ ON FOR A FABULOUS Q&A WITH THE WONDERFUL ROBYN CARR...
Q&A w/ Robyn Carr — THE SUMMER THAT MADE US
Q: I heard through the grapevine that you wrote most of this book over 20 years ago, put it away, and then “discovered” it in a drawer. This is the stuff that writers—and let’s be honest, editors and publishers—dream of! What made you put the book away and pull it out again after all that time?
A: I wrote the first half of the book about 18 years ago and had a sketchy outline for the rest, but my editor didn’t like it. Several years later I pulled it out, freshened it up, tried it again with a new editor. Again, no go. I tried it a third time and my agent and editor (at the time) still didn’t like it. They said it was “dark” and I found nothing dark about it. Then last year my editor (a relatively new editor, same publisher) made a comment about whether I had anything written that I hadn’t shown her or told her about and I think she was joking, but I said, “I do. A book I love. A book a couple of my trusted readers also loved. But my earlier editors didn’t like it.” I described the story and she asked me how soon I could send it. It has quickly become everyone’s favorite. And no, I can’t really explain why it wasn’t loved before and then became greatly loved years later. It’s not the first book that’s happened with. Sometimes it’s timing or the mood of the readers.
Q: Louise and Jo are the two matriarchs of the family, sisters who married brothers and each had three daughters. Although once very close, Louise and Jo are also quite different from each other, and their lives have taken separate courses. Can you tell us a little about where the idea for these characters came from and what you hoped to illustrate about motherhood and sisterhood through these women?
A: As a novelist the first thing you have to find is the conflict. Louise and Josephine, one year apart in age, grow up as close as two sisters can be, though they’re opposite in many ways. They love and envy each other. Jo envies Lou’s strength and Lou envies Jo's beauty and softness. But of course over time we realize the other characteristics of these two – Jo is stronger than she’s given credit for and Louise is more sensitive than she allows herself to show. As the mothers of these six little girls, the balance is perfect: there is always someone who helps you make Barbie clothes or someone to coach you in swimming all the way across the lake; always someone to snuggle you after a bee sting, someone to take charge of games and diving competitions. They seem to do this effortlessly, but of course just beneath the surface there is competitiveness typical of siblings – Jo has the handsome, sexy but shiftless husband while Lou has the somewhat dull but steady husband who makes a good living.
Q: What makes female bonds—familial or otherwise—such a rich topic of exploration in a novel? What was the most rewarding part of developing and digging into these powerful and often complex relationships?
A: A million years ago when men went off to slay the woolly mammoth, the women were left behind to tend the home fires and, subsequently, took charge of the relationships. Women bond with each other on a deep and complex level. It’s not that they bond on a deeper level than men do (a military band of brothers comes instantly to mind), but they bond differently because women are natural nurturers and because they have always minded the survival of the family and the children and each other, and they have an innate sensitivity and vulnerability to emotions. And because women have such a wide range of personalities and skills, they also have a wide range of dealing with emotional issues. The canvas is very large! A writer of women’s fiction can write as many different female characters as there are females in the world! Finding a new set of characteristics that are not identical to a character already written is the biggest headache and the fiercest joy.
Q: Which character was the most fun for you to write? Which was the most challenging?
A: The most fun was definitely Krista. She’s a hard-ass. A sarcastic and rough-around-the-edges tough broad. But in her new freedom, in her new world, reunited with her best friends, each day brings her new and beautiful discoveries. Luxuries the rest of us take for granted. New, whiter-than-white soft underwear, scented soap, sunrise and sunset, air that doesn’t smell like cement and urine, a boyfriend. Watching her discover these things was such a joy; writing her quips and comebacks was too much fun.
The hardest one of all to write was Louise, Charley and Meg’s mother, the meanest and most controlling woman of all, the woman who shut down the lake house when her 12-year-old daughter accidentally drowned. I knew in my heart that Louise wasn’t all bad; I knew that her loneliness only made her meaner and more intolerable. Saving her was a huge challenge. She is exactly the kind of woman we enjoy never forgiving! She was a lot of work, that Louise. At the end of the day I might not have adored her, but I definitely appreciated her. I think she rose to the top.
Q: I have to ask, what’s next for you? What are you working on right now, and what can readers look forward to next?
A: I’m writing the next book in the Sullivan’s Crossing series – we don’t have a title yet, but we’re close. I’m writing about Dakota Jones, formerly a major in the Army, and let me tell you, he is a good book boyfriend. Yes, he’s at the crossing, with his siblings Cal and Sierra, and he’s stirring up lots of interest. And a little trouble.
*I want to thank Claire from littlebirdpublicity.com, and the wonderful Robyn Carr, for the opportunity to review this book, take part in this blog tour, and for such an interesting Q&A. Happy reading everyone!
Hi fellow bookworms. My name is Linda and I'm a reviewer & blogger, wife & mother who loves all things books!
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