Summer Secrets
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Summer Secrets

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by Jane Green
     
 

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“GRIPPING AND POWERFUL.” –Emily Giffin

When a shocking family secret is revealed, twentysomething journalist Cat Coombs finds herself falling into a dark spiral. Wild, glamorous nights out in London and raging hangovers the next day become her norm, leading to a terrible mistake one night while visiting family in America, on the island of

Overview

“GRIPPING AND POWERFUL.” –Emily Giffin

When a shocking family secret is revealed, twentysomething journalist Cat Coombs finds herself falling into a dark spiral. Wild, glamorous nights out in London and raging hangovers the next day become her norm, leading to a terrible mistake one night while visiting family in America, on the island of Nantucket. It’s a mistake for which she can’t forgive herself. When she returns home, she confronts the unavoidable reality of her life and knows it’s time to grow up. But she doesn’t know if she’ll ever be able to earn the forgiveness of the people she hurt.

As the years pass, Cat grows into her forties, a struggling single mother, coping with a newfound sobriety, and determined to finally make amends. Traveling back to her past, to the family she left behind on Nantucket all those years ago, she may be able to earn their forgiveness, but in doing so she may risk losing the very people she loves the most.

Told with Jane Green’s keen eye for detailing the emotional landscape of the heart, Summer Secrets is at once a compelling drama and a beautifully rendered portrait of relationships, betrayals, and forgiveness, about accepting the things we cannot change, finding the courage to change the things we can, and being strong enough to weather to storms.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for Jane Green

“A gripping and powerful novel about finding the courage to make the life you want. This is Jane Green at her absolute best.” —Emily Giffin, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The One and Only on Summer Secrets

“Warm, witty, sharp and insightful. Jane Green writes with such honesty and zing.” —Sophie Kinsella, New York Times bestselling author of Shopaholic to the Stars on Summer Secrets

“Summer Secrets is the perfect summer read. Once you dive into this story about a recovering alcoholic who must finally face her own dark past and make amends, you'll be hooked.” —Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale on Summer Secrets

"Green strikes gold yet again in this captivating novel...readers will be drawn in and taken for an emotional ride up until the edge-of-your-seat ending." -RT Book Reviews (4 1/2 stars) on Summer Secrets

"Compelling...Green's latest will bring in droves of readers." -Booklist on Summer Secrets

"Green handles grim issues with a sure hand, balancing light romance with tense family drama." -Kirkus Reviews on Summer Secrets

"The story line and flawed characters will give readers something to think about when they bring Green's latest to the beach." -Library Journal on Summer Secrets

"This harrowing novel offers hard-earned redemption and healing." -Publishers Weekly on Summer Secrets

“Both intelligent and feelingful…Compelling characters, plotting that is not show-offy but clever enough to keep you surprised. There are, one is reminded, a lot of ways to write a good book, and a lot of ways for a book to hold and reward your attention.” –George Ernsberger for About Books, on Saving Grace

“Jane Green proves yet again that she is one of the most dependably compelling writers of women’s fiction around. Her characters are flawed but likable, her stories intriguing but believable…Green consistently delivers compassionate, relatable stories about the issues facing contemporary women. Grace is a vintage Green character: all-too-human and stronger than she thinks.” –BookPage on Saving Grace


"A Scarlet Letter for the twenty-first century." –Kirkus Reviews on Tempting Fate

"Her compelling tale reflects an understanding of contemporary women that’s acute and compassionate, served up with style." –People magazine on Tempting Fate

Family Pictures left me feeling envious of the friends to whom I recommended the book, because they had the prospect of an engrossing story to gobble up in the near future. Green's novels consistently deliver believable, accessible, heartfelt, often heartwarming stories about real people, problems, and feelings.” —Redbook on Family Pictures

“A warm bath of a novel that draws you in…Green’s sympathetic portrayals of Andi and Emily resonate.” —USA Today on Another Piece of My Heart

“Green paints a clear-eyed portrait of the challenges of step-parenting while offering hope that in even the most damaged relationships, dreams can come true.” —People magazine on Another Piece of My Heart

New York Times bestselling author of The One and O Emily Giffin

A gripping and powerful novel about finding the courage to make the life you want. This is Jane Green at her absolute best.
bestselling author of Shopaholic to the Stars on S Sophie Kinsella

Warm, witty, sharp and insightful. Jane Green writes with such honesty and zing.
Library Journal
05/01/2015
Even though her life as a journalist in London includes fancy parties and plenty of imbibing, Cat has never quite felt like she belonged. When she finds out that her mother had an affair and that her father is an American she's never met, she thinks she's finally found the missing puzzle piece. But when she goes to Nantucket, MA, to meet her new family, her visit quickly sours when she drinks too much and betrays her half sister. Despite Cat's destructive behavior, she marries the love of her life, a recovering alcoholic himself, who she believes will help her change. Ultimately, it takes hitting rock bottom and losing all she holds dear to begin healing—and the final stop on her road to recovery is Nantucket, where she will to try to make amends. VERDICT Although Green's (Tempting Fate; Jemima J; Family Pictures) latest has the requisite shopping, gay best friend, and kissing scenes, the theme of alcoholism running throughout lends it a more serious tone. The story line and flawed characters will give readers something to think about when they bring Green's latest to the beach. [See Prepub Alert, 11/24/14.]—Anika Fajardo, St. Paul, MN
Kirkus Reviews
2015-04-02
Before sobriety, Catherine "Cat" Coombs had it all: fun friends, an exciting job, and a love affair with alcohol. Until she blacked out one more time and woke up in a stranger's bed. By that time, "having it all" had already devolved into hiding the extent of her drinking from everyone she cared about, including herself. Luckily for Cat, the stranger turned out to be Jason Halliwell, a rather delicious television director marking three years, eight months, and 69 days of sobriety. Inspired by Jason—or rather, inspired by the prospect of a romantic relationship with this handsome hunk—Cat joins him at AA meetings and embarks on her own journey toward clarity. But sobriety won't work until Cat commits to it for herself. Their relationship is tumultuous, as Cat falls off the wagon time and again. Along the way, Cat discovers that the cold man she grew up endlessly failing to please was not her real father, and with his death, her mother's secret escapes. So she heads for Nantucket, where she meets her drunken dad and two half sisters—one boisterously welcoming and the other sulkily suspicious—and where she commits an unforgivable blunder. Years later, despairing of her persistent relapses, Jason has left Cat, taking their daughter with him. Finally, painfully, Cat gets clean. Green (Saving Grace, 2014, etc.) handles grim issues with a sure hand, balancing light romance with tense family drama. She unflinchingly documents Cat's humiliations under the influence and then traces her commitment to sobriety. Simultaneously masking the motivations of those surrounding our heroine, Green sets up a surprising karmic lesson. As she seeks to repair bridges, Cat awakens anger and treachery in the hearts of those she once betrayed. Making amends, like addiction, may endanger her future.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781250047403
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
05/24/2016
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
36,772
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt

Summer Secrets

A Novel


By Jane Green

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2015 Jane Green
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-4774-3


CHAPTER 1

London, 1998


For as long as I can remember, I have always had the feeling of not quite fitting in, not being the same as everyone else.

I'm certain that is why I became a writer. Even as a toddler, at nursery school, junior school, I was friendly with everyone, without ever being part of the group. Standing on the outside, watching. Always watching. I noticed everything: how a sideways glance with narrowed eyes could say so much more than words ever could; how a whisper behind a delicate hand had the ability to destroy you for the week; how an outstretched hand from the right girl, at the right time, would see your heart soar for hours, sometimes days.

I knew I was different. The older I grew, the more that difference felt like inadequacy; I wasn't pretty enough, or thin enough, or simply enough. I couldn't have put words to it, certainly not when I was very young, other than looking at those tiny, perfect, popular girls and wanting, so desperately, to be on the inside, to be the girl that was always picked first for sports teams, rather than the one left until last.

When adolescence hit, I became the friend the boys all wanted to talk to, to confide in, to find out how they could possibly make my best friend, Olivia, interested in them.

I was such a good friend, even though I fell head over heels for every last one of them. Adam Barrett afforded me two months' worth of daydreams about how he would realize, as we were sitting on the floor in my bedroom, the Police playing on my record player in the background, that Olivia was not the answer to his dreams after all; he would suddenly notice the silkiness of my hair (always far silkier in my daydreams), the green of my eyes, the fullness of my mouth, as he woke up to the fact that I was so spectacularly beautiful (which I wasn't), how had he not noticed that before?

After Adam Barrett it was Danny Curran, then Rob Palliser, and of course, Ian Owens. None of my daydreams came true, and at fourteen I finally discovered a great way of easing the pain of all those unfulfilled dreams, those unfulfilled longings, those misplaced hopes.

Gary Scott was having a party at his house. It was a sleepover, the boys sleeping on one side of the giant loft, the girls on the other. Everyone was ridiculously excited, this being the first mixed sleepover. Looking back, I can't quite believe the parents allowed it, given the raging hormones of fourteen- and fifteen-year-old teenagers, but I suppose they thought we were good kids, or that they had it under control.

The parents were there, of course. They were having a small gathering of their own; the laughter of the grown-ups and the clinking of their glasses made its way over to us, at the back of the garden with a record player and a trestle table stocked with popcorn, plastic cups, and lemonade.

Ian Owens was my crush at the time. He had become my very good friend, naturally, in a bid to get close to Olivia, who was, on that night, standing under the tree with Paul Johnson, her head cocked to one side, her sheaf of newly highlighted blond hair hanging like a curtain of gold over her right shoulder, looking up at Paul with those spectacular blue eyes. Everyone in that garden knew it was only a matter of time before he kissed her.

Ian was devastated. I was sitting on the grass talking to him quietly, reassuring him, praying that I might be second choice, praying that he might lean his head toward mine, might brush my lips gently with his, spend the rest of the night holding me tightly in his arms.

"I took this," he said, gesturing to his side, where a bottle of vodka was nestling under his thigh.

"What? What do you mean, you took it? From where?"

"I found it in the garage. Don't worry, there's tons more. No one will notice. Want to?" He nodded his head in the shade of the trees, to a private corner where we wouldn't be seen.

Of course I wanted to. I would have done anything to keep Ian Owens by my side a little longer, to give him more time to change his mind about Olivia and fall in love with me.

I got up, brushing the pine needles from my jeans, aware that there was a damp patch from the grass. I was in my new 501s. Olivia and I bought them together and went back to her house to shrink them in the bath. Hers were tiny, and looked amazing when we were done, drainpiping down her legs. Mine flapped around my ankles like sails in the wind. I had a small waist but great big thighs, so I had to get a big size to fit, which meant they had to be clinched in at the waist with a tight belt and were huge all the way down.

I never looked the way I wanted to look in clothes. I had a new plaid shirt from Camden Market that I really liked, and had smudged black kohl underneath my eyes. Peering from beneath my new fringe — I had cut it two days ago — my eyes looked smoky and sultry, the green sparkling through the kohl. I liked the way I looked, which wasn't something that happened often.

Maybe tonight was going to be a first for me. Maybe Ian would like the way I looked too.

I followed him into the small copse of trees at the end of the garden, as he brought the bottle out and took the first swig, grimacing as he sputtered, then spat it all out.

"Christ, that's disgusting." He passed the bottle to me.

Of course I didn't want to do it. Watching the look on his face, how could I ever have wanted to taste something so vile, but how could I back down? I gingerly took the bottle, swigged it back, felt the burning going down my throat, then swigged it back twice more.

"Wow!" Impressed, he took the bottle back, this time managing to swallow.

Within minutes, I felt like a different person. Gone was the shy, awkward, ungainly adolescent, and in her place a sexy siren. Suddenly the curves I had always hated so much became sexiness personified, my new fringe a sultry curtain from behind which I could peer with bedroom eyes.

The warmth in my body spread out to my fingers and toes, a delicious tingling as I lost my inhibitions and flirted with Ian, stunned that he responded, that we moved from awkwardly standing next to each other to lying on the ground, heads resting on our elbows, my hair dropped over one shoulder in what I hoped was a pretty good imitation of Olivia, both of us giggling as we passed the bottle back and forth.

"You're really pretty," he said suddenly, the smile sliding off his face, the bottle sliding to the ground as he leaned his head forward, his lips inching closer to mine, his eyes starting to close, my own eyes closing in tandem. And there we were, kissing, as my heart threatened to explode.

It was everything I had dreamed of, his hands snaking through my hair, my own wrapped around his back, unable to believe I had been given license to touch this boy I had loved for so long, license to hold him, to slip my tongue in his mouth, listen to him sigh with pleasure. He pushed me onto my back, lay on top of me, kissing my neck as I looked at the stars, knowing that if I were to die tonight, I would finally die happy. I would have done anything in my power to make that moment last all night.

We heard a noise, someone coming, and he jumped off me as if stung by an electric shock, refusing to even look at me, pretending we had just been out there drinking, nothing more. The disappointment was like a dagger, which twisted and turned as the evening progressed and he didn't come near me again.

What could I do other than pretend I was having a great time, and how could I not have a great time with my new best friend, vodka, when vodka had made me feel so good? Maybe vodka would take away this searing pain, make me feel beautiful again.

For a while, it worked. I danced, and laughed, and attempted to flirt with other boys to try to make Ian jealous. I remember laughing hysterically at something, then all of a sudden the laughter turned into wracking sobs. I don't remember anything after that.

It was my first introduction to booze, blackouts, and the transformative effect alcohol would have on my life.

Alcohol made me beautiful in a way I never felt the rest of the time. It filled me with a confidence that had always been missing. Alcohol made me fit in. And if the night ended with a period of time that I could never remember in the morning, well, so what. I never seemed to make too egregious a mistake, nor do anything so terrible I was ostracized forever. If anything, it cemented my reputation, not as a shy, lonely girl who was always standing on the outside, but as the center of the party. In fact, it wasn't long before everyone knew that a party didn't get started until Cat arrived.

* * *

The drinking became a little more of a problem when I went to university. My parents had never been particularly present while I was growing up, so one might presume if I was going to go off the rails, why not do it at home, but I saved it for when I went away.

I was enough of a disappointment to my father. I didn't need to give him yet another excuse to help me understand I was not the daughter he wanted.

My mother had left her native America when she fell in love with my dad while working for a year as an au pair in Gerrards Cross. She seemed happy when I was very young, then spent most of my teenage years in what I have always thought must have been a deep, albeit undiagnosed, and possibly clinical, depression.

I can understand why.

What I couldn't understand is how she ever ended up with my father in the first place. He was handsome, and I suppose he must have been charming when they were young, but he was so damned difficult, I used to think, even when I was young, that we'd all be much happier if they got a divorce.

I would sit with friends who would be in floods of tears because their mother had just found out their father had been having an affair, or their parents had decided they hated each other, or whatever myriad reasons drive people apart. And these friends would be crying at the terrible fear of their families breaking up, and all I could think was: I wish my parents would get divorced.

It seemed to me that if ever there were two people on the planet who should not have been together, it was my parents. My mother is laid-back, funny, kind. She's comfortable in her skin and has the easy laugh you expect from all Americans. She was brought up in New York, but her parents died very young, after which she went to live with her Aunt Judith. I never knew Aunt Judith, but everything about those days sounds idyllic, especially her summers in Nantucket. You look at pictures of my mum from those days and she was in flowing, hippie-ish clothes, always smiling. She had long, silky hair, and looked happy and free.

In sharp contrast to the pictures of her with my dad, even in those early days, when they were newlyweds, supposedly the happiest time of a relationship. He insisted she wear buttoned-up suits, or twinsets and pearls. Her hair was elaborately coiffed. I remember the heated rollers she kept in the bathroom, twisting her hair up every morning, spraying it into tight submission, slicking lipstick on her lips, her feet sliding into Roger Vivier pumps.

If my father was away, she left her hair long and loose, wrapping a scarf around her head. She'd wear long gypsy skirts with espadrilles or sandals. I loved her like that most of all. I used to think it was her clothing that changed her personality, that in the gypsy skirts she'd be young and fun, dancing around the kitchen with me, singing the Carole King songs she loved at the top of her voice. But of course it wasn't the clothes, it was my father's absence. When he was away, she could be herself, not having to worry about pleasing anyone.

I like to think that my mother had no idea what she was letting herself in for when she married my father. We never talked about it until after he died. My mother prizes loyalty above all else. I didn't know that, of course, during all those childhood years I spent praying for their divorce, but now I realize she would never have left him, however unhappy she might have been, however many days the depression was so dark, so debilitating, she didn't get out of bed.

There was nothing I loved more than going to a friend's house, because their mothers were around. I loved my mother more than anything, but the house would be empty and quiet when I got home. I would help myself to something from the fridge before traipsing up the stairs to my parents' master bedroom, pushing the door open to find my mother lying propped up on pillows. On a really bad day, the curtains would be drawn, the room in darkness. Often she'd be asleep, and I'd pad over to her side of the bed and stroke her arm. She'd rouse, giving me a sleepy smile, pulling me down for a kiss and a hug, wanting to hear all about my day, her only access to the outside world. I couldn't stay long, though. She didn't have the capacity for too much stimulation, and on those days, the bad days, I always saw the relief in her eyes when I said I had to go back downstairs to do homework.

Still, even during the darkest of times, I never doubted her love for me.

On a good day the sunlight would be streaming in through the window and she might be reading magazines, or a book, sipping a glass of iced tea. On those days I could stay for hours, or at least until my father got home. We both always knew, half an hour before he was due to arrive (and thank God he was always punctual), we had to maintain the status quo: The curtains had to be drawn again, the TV turned off. My father would go in to kiss her, and the metaphorical shades over her eyes would be drawn again. I saw it happen over and over, and I knew, even then, that it wasn't glandular fever, or mono, as she said, but something else.

And I knew, even then, that my father was, if not the cause, a major contributing factor.

My father could be fun, but it always felt like an act. However light-hearted he might have seemed, it was entirely eclipsed by his need to control everything around him.

There were times when I felt loved by him, but only when everything in his environment, including me, was absolutely perfect. When my hair had been blown out and rolled into soft curls, held back by a pretty ribbon; when I was in a ruffled, feminine dress, patent Mary Janes, and lace-trimmed ankle socks; when I was quiet, well behaved, respectful.

The other Cat: the wild, tearing-round-the-garden-with-her-friend, disheveled, ample-thighed, growing into surly adolescent Cat? That Cat he hated. Perhaps hated is too strong a word for it, but from the moment I turned thirteen, I don't remember ever feeling loved by him.

He would look me up and down, with little attempt to hide the sneer. "You're going out in that?" he'd say, and I, who had looked at my new Doc Martens in the mirror with such pride, such excitement that I could show them off to my friends, would feel instant shame. "You look ri-di-culous." He'd shake his head to himself and mutter, as my cheeks would turn scarlet, and I would want a hole in the ground to open up so I could disappear.

"You're never going to get a boyfriend," he'd say, behind his paper. "Wearing those ri-di-culous clothes. Can I remind you that you are, in fact, a girl?" And I would want to claw his eyes out in rage.

I hated him for how he treated me, and I hated him for how he treated my mother. He did exactly the same to her, telling her what to wear, berating her for saying or doing the wrong thing, so she made herself disappear in the best way she could, by going to bed. For years.

And me? How did I deal with it? With my friend vodka. And a whole host of other new friends if vodka wasn't available. There was gin, with whom I had a brief but intense relationship while I was at university. Gin and tonics seemed the height of sophistication, but consuming the best part of an entire bottle of gin on its own was not. Even now, at twenty-nine, I can't touch gin. The very smell of it makes me think of the hours and hours of deadly bedspins, the hours and hours of throwing up the next day. If not gin, there were many, many happy times with tequila, including, yes, the infamous worm on a beach in Mykonos one summer.

There was always wine, and beer, although somehow beer didn't seem to count. My tipple of choice was hard: I would always choose a bottle of Jack over a bottle of champagne.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Summer Secrets by Jane Green. Copyright © 2015 Jane Green. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author


JANE GREEN is the author of more than a dozen bestsellers, including Jemima J, Mr. Maybe, and The Beach House. Originally from London, she now lives in Westport, Connecticut, with her husband, children, and a menagerie of animals.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Westport, Connecticut
Date of Birth:
May 31, 1968
Place of Birth:
London, England
Education:
"Managed to drop out of Fine Art Degree at University."
Website:
http://www.janegreen.com

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Summer Secrets 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
feather_lashes More than 1 year ago
I once heard a quote about addiction that said something like: The best soil to grow something new is at the bottom. So hitting bottom, while extremely painful, is also the sowing ground. In Summer Secrets, author Jane Green provides an insightful example of this by showing the main character, Cat, at both her worse and her best in her struggle for sobriety. Through Cat’s perspective, the reader journeys through every stage in the cycle of addiction, making this novel relatable, informative, and possibly perspective-altering for those who have not been personally impacted. Ms. Green's storytelling celebrates the impact Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) can have in laying the groundwork for a strong foundation in recovery, and it promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible. But mostly, it stresses the importance of making changes for no one else but yourself. Sure, those in your life can be your motivation, but ultimately if you don't really want it for you, it's just not going to last no matter what kind of support system you have access to.  While the main theme of Summer Secrets is Cat’s alcoholism, the overall story features family drama issues that will likely resonate with many fans of women’s fiction. I could appreciate every character in this book, even when their behavior wasn't pretty...and it's not just Cat I'm talking about! Witnessing how alcoholism can impact families and is often passed around through generations like a hand-me-down was heartbreaking, and the overwhelming shame for those struggling was written in a way that creates palpable emotions. "I used to have such shame in admitting I am an alcoholic, at anyone knowing I was an alcoholic, at my child, of all people, knowing that not only was I not perfect, but I was as flawed as this. As if she didn't already know." I would recommend Summer Secrets to followers of Jane Green's writing and fans of the women's fiction genre in general, despite any personal exposure to the subject of addiction. I thought Ms. Green delivered a well-written and engaging novel that educates those who have not been exposed to the subject and also pays tribute to those who may be all too familiar. At times, the story was both ugly and beautiful, and I even teared up a time or two. But no matter what was going on, I found myself on Cat's side every step of the way, cheering her on!  Note: The timeframes jump back and forth periodically through the decades in an effort to reflect on past family issues and Cat's overall journey. There were a few chapters devoted to Cat's mother: Audrey before Cat's birth, and I DID NOT WANT THEM TO END. I understand why those chapters were temporary but I was so invested in Audrey's personal circumstances that I found myself a little irritated that more wasn't written. So a note to the author: If you write more of Audrey's story, even as a novella, I would be SO happy and wouldn't be surprised if others feel the same way. I would read a whole book written just for Audrey! Just consider it...pretty please?? My favorite quote: "Secrets have a habit of rising to the surface, like milk gone sour." Thank you to St. Martin’s Press Marketing for generously mailing me a free advance readers' edition of Jane Green's Summer Secrets. In exchange, I agreed to share my thoughts on goodreads and my other favorite social media sites.
TheAvidReader_KA More than 1 year ago
I just finished Summer Secrets by Jane Green. This book bounces between 1998 and 2014 to tell the story. Catherine “Cat” Coombs has been drinking since she discovered vodka at age fourteen. Her father was nasty, distant (cold), controlling, and a bully. Her mother, Audrey hid from her husband by staying in bed during much of Cat’s adolescence. Alcohol made Cat feel better about herself and life. Fast forward to 1998 and Cat is still drinking every night. Once Cat starts drinking she does not stop. She usually passes out sometime during the night. One morning she wakes up in an apartment with a stranger. Cat is very lucky that Jason is a nice stranger. Jason is a recovering alcoholic. Jason and Cat’s mother convince her to quit drinking. Cat is doing well until she goes to America to meet her biological father, Brooks Mayhew. Cat meets Brooks and his two daughters in Nantucket. Brooks and his younger daughter, Julia drink all the time and Cat joins in. The summer comes to an abrupt halt when Cat wakes up one morning with Julia’s boyfriend naked in her bed. Cat returns home and gets sober for a while. She even gets married and has a daughter. Cat does not stay sober for long. It is a constant battle for her. Cat will have to lose everything she holds dear before she decides to get help. Then comes the ninth step. Amends is the ninth step. Cat will have to go see her long lost sisters in America to make amends. Will Cat be able to get forgiveness for past sins while staying sober? I give Summer Secrets 3 out of 5 stars. I found Summer Secrets very depressing. This book left me feeling sad when I had finished reading it. The basic story was good as well as the writing, but I felt it was something that had been done before. It is not the type of book I would want to read on summer vacation (or if I was feeling down). I received a complimentary copy of Summer Secrets in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey we have the same name but you spell it diffrentaly than me whont to chat ps iam a girl 14
Laura_at_125Pages More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars - Original review @ 125Pages.com I went into Summer Secrets with so much hope. Jane Green is one of my auto buy authors, so I look forward to her books. This one especially peaked my interest as Green released a super short story Cat and Jemima J a few months before publication to spur interest. My interest was peaked as the short ends on a cliffhanger about Jemima’s current life. Jemima J is one of my all time favorite comfort reads so the thought of her popping up in this book had me super excited. Sadly, that never happened, I kept reading and reading waiting for her story to intersect and it never did. My other main issue with this book was that I don’t care for adultery/cheating storylines. If they are the impetus of a story, fine, but as a major plot point I just don’t care for it. Green’s writing was on point as usual, she does have a lyrical quality to her writing and I always like her turn of phrase. The world building was solid and I enjoyed the pacing. The story alternates between Cat at twenty-eight and at forty and I liked how the glimpses of the past gave an insight to the mindset of the characters in the future. The character development was a little flat to me. I was not super invested in the characters and some more fleshing out would have helped. I did like the addiction storyline; it was the main focus I enjoyed. Showing someone working their way back from rock bottom is a story arc I always enjoy. While Summer Secrets was a decent read I have come to expect more from Green, and this one fell a little flat. Favorite lines – Secrets have a habit of rising to the surface, like milk gone sour.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wassup i love this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bumblebee23 More than 1 year ago
Predictable in parts but the story intrigued me. I didn't want to put it down, especially the last 100 pages! The book looks at Cat's life when she was younger, and then in present day. Alcohol has a horrible effect on her life and at times I felt bad for her, and others I was so angry at her for making such poor decisions! I haven't read a Jane Green book in quite some time, but this definitely makes me want to start reading all of her books again! I felt like I got to know Cat, even though I wanted to shake her at times for her choices, and I felt for her and the disease of Alcoholism that she struggles with.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whiny and too preachy to be enjoyable. Liked Mr. Maybe and thought I would enjoy another Jane Green read. I was mistaken with this choice. $12.99 down the toilet.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Cat Coombs is the main character, but the reader gets to get to know her at different moments in her life. One story line take place in her late 20s and she is not in the best place in life. She is struggling with alcoholism, but won't admit it which is the first step you must take to recover. The other main storyline is "current" and she has been divorced for a few years and now sober for a few years and is realizing the destruction that she left behind in her drinking days. I love that this is almost two small novels in one and the reader gets the full story of what happened in the past and what she must do to regain trust with her family and friends. As much as this story is about alcoholism, I really took the redemption story to heart in this book and no matter what you do to your loved ones, a good apology is the only way to start repairing a damaged relationship.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good portrayal of an alcoholic women. Wanted a bit more light reading however!
CatmomJD More than 1 year ago
A must read book. An emotional story of a recovering alcoholic, Cat has lived a life that she doesn’t often remember when she is drinking. Cat and all of her friends used to enjoy going out after work for drinks. But Cat can’t stop at just one drink. Often this lead to nights spent with different men and mornings filled with regret and hangovers. When Cat’s mother drops the bomb on her about her biological father, she sets off from London to the island of Nantucket to meet her father and sisters. Things don’t go as planned. Her father is great, but he also drinks too much. She gets along with one sister, but the other doesn’t want anything to do with her. Things really change when Cat gets drunk one night. She is sent home and not to return. When Cat meets Jason, he is the one to convince her to get help. She stays sober until her daughter Annie is born. When the drinking begins again, Cat spirals out of control and this time it’s worse than ever. When Cat finally seeks help again, she wants to go back to Nantucket to make amends with her sisters. Will they accept her apology or has the damage already been done? I really loved this book. There are so many parts that I could totally relate too which kept me reading late into the. It is a wonderful story of family relationships and love and loss with the beautiful island of Nantucket thrown in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
19355929 More than 1 year ago
As Mark Twain said, "The secret of getting ahead is getting started" and once you get started with this book you won't want to stop. Can I first say how much I love this cover. I don't know if it's the blue that stands out or the big letters but I absolutely love it. There are so many emotions involved in this book with each of the characters we encounter. The story tells of Cat, an alcoholic, discovers she has a family she never knew about. She meets them and things are never the same again. The author did a good job of bringing addiction to the reader and made you realize that whatever the addiction, food, sex, drugs, alcohol, you may have that destructive moment, but without forgiving yourself and facing the results of your action, you can never move on. The book had some funny parts ("the poison dwarf"), I laughed every time I read that line, there were some instances where you knew what was going to happen before it happened and for me there was that one moment of OMG! No she did not! How could she? That little......then you think back at how it all started and say ahhhhhh.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story. Enjoyed the characters and their different lives. Sad book about how families are dysfunctional and can not connect with each other.
AnnieMcDonnell More than 1 year ago
Jane Green will never let me down. Ever! This review is difficult for me to write, because it was such a fabulous story. I feel that most of us could relate to at least some of this story. We are taken from England to Nantucket and back. Both places are so magical to me, so that made it extra “delicious” for me to read. Jane Green loves that word, Delicious! We meet Cat, who will quickly grab hold of a special place in your heart. Not because she is perfect, but because she is likable even though she isn’t. But, who is perfect? Cat is an alcoholic in serious denial, even stating that a “party didn’t get started” until she showed up. She is very content with her drinking; believing that she really does not have a problem. Until she meets Jason and thinks she can easily stop drinking to be with him. Let’s just say it was not easy. Her addiction was a lot harder to beat than she could have imagined, and watching the wake she left in her path was so devastating. “Summer Secrets” was a great name for this book, because it was one secret after the next. I found myself gasping often while reading this story, literally loving the twists and turns that this story took. Jane Green is wonderful at weaving a story together, through many years and many secrets. Cat’s addiction took away so many years of her life. Watching it unfold almost makes you want to cry for her. This is a remarkable story of redemption, family and love. How far Cat falls before realizing she needs help, is terribly sad. Jane Green delivers a wonderful message of hope.
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Anonymous 10 months ago
I still vote yes. XD
Anonymous 11 months ago
Res 1: Backstory<p> Res 2: Map<p> Res 3: Central Camp<p> Res 4: Training arena<p> Res 5: Assessment Arena<p> Res 6: Biographies<p> Res 7: Leader's Cabin<p> Res 8 and below: Cabins<p> ~Zygarde
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
THIS BOOK IS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO STUPID AND ANNOYING
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*sigh* again this is boring:( ;( :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do you went to chart on friday nigjt do you have a nook do you went to be nook friends
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have never read it but it seems great