Book Review : Summer’s Child

On July 18, 2010 by Aimee

I’ve spent the last few weeks (only slow because I only got about 1/2 hour a day to read) reading Diane Chamberlain’s Summer’s Child.

i’ve wanted to read one of her stories because she’s a North Carolina author and her settings are places that I know … sometimes really well. This story, set in Kill Devil Hills, I do know. Hubby and I flew into KDH in a four-seater airplane together one day for an outing together and ended up spending time at the Wright Brother’s Memorial and to a couple other places even.

The story is about a child found on the beach by a young girl. The child is raised by said young girls’ family and after the first chapter, the story is present day with the baby as a 22 year old and the young girl all grown up herself.

As a romance, I expected more romance… not necessarily steamy stuff, but between the two main players. It wasn’t until 90% of the story was over and one with that he finally figured out what he wanted and honestly, I didn’t really buy into it. It sounded forced … like an ‘aha’ moment that took 35 years to figure out.

The story repeated a lot, too. Meaning, we’d see a scene, the next would be similar/the same with different characters. The reason was that Rory (main guy) was looking into the matter of the baby found on the beach 22 years before, so sure, it had to show the progression of him finding stuff out. From Rory’s perspective I got that.

From Daria’s, her hesitation in letting Rory go on and on without saying something to him irked me. She’s this strong, caring, not overly sensitive woman. She lives on her own, cares for her “younger” sister, worked as an EMT, but is (during the story) not doing so due to some issues. So she is conflicted and conflicting in the story. It makes me wonder if people really do hold back their feelings this much of if we, as the writer of the story, make them do that? Why not just put them together, then insert problems? The non-admittance of so many romances just get to me.

Daria is a strong woman. She reminds me a number of friends of mine who I know could live independently if ever they had to. She’s tough, willing, industrious. She’s a teacher, a friend and full of character. She’s definitely the best part of the story, outside of the younger sister. I only wish there was more to the relationship she had with Rory because I would have like to have read the romance between the two, rather than all the investigation into the appearance of the baby.

The flip side — Grace’s story arc — was fantastic. It was a great parallel storyline, but the Grace-Rory almost relationship remained until nearly 80% of the story was done.

Sure, Daria and Rory knew each other as kids, but to jump into a relationship without more of the time to build it between then? I wish there was more… so much more.

But that’s me. I love a good story, but I also want the relationships to build … to survive problems, for the characters to conquer their problems together and apart … there just wasn’t a ‘together’ until the end.

The twist with the parentage in this one was one I didn’t expect. :) That was great because I’m good at seeing what’s coming and sometimes in books it’s so obvious I stop reading. Not here. Did not see that one coming. So, major kudos on that one.

Would I recommend it? Absolutely. It’s less suspenseful than books I normally read, but it was a good sweet story and as its set on the beach … so a week at the beach with this book in hand? Oh yeah. The perfect combination. :)

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