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That Camden Summer

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Overview

LaVyrle Spencer, known for her "heartrending slices of Americana" writes of how love can be more special the second time around...

It is 1916 and Roberta Jewett is surprised that her hometown of Camden, Maine, considers a divorced woman little more than a prostitute. She nonetheless perseveres in her struggle to forge a new and better life for her daughters there. Behaving like no "respectable" woman would, she gets a job as a county nurse, ...

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That Camden Summer

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Overview

LaVyrle Spencer, known for her "heartrending slices of Americana" writes of how love can be more special the second time around...

It is 1916 and Roberta Jewett is surprised that her hometown of Camden, Maine, considers a divorced woman little more than a prostitute. She nonetheless perseveres in her struggle to forge a new and better life for her daughters there. Behaving like no "respectable" woman would, she gets a job as a county nurse, learns to drive, and buys her very own Model T.

Embittered by her painful marriage to an unfaithful husband, she has no intention of being any man's victim again. So Roberta is taken aback to find the widowed carpenter Gabriel Farley has somehow found his way into her heart. And in the ultimate test of will and devotion, she must depend on the man she has grown to love-and summon the courage to stand up to an entire town.

Following such major New York Times bestsellers as Home Song and Family Blessings, one of America's most adored storytellers outdoes herself with this compelling story of a pair of lovers who must battle a town's hypocrisy--a triumphant paean to the power of love.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A resilient divorce returns with her three daughters to her childhood hometown; a lonely widower makes the rough journey out of the shell of his own isolated soul; and the perennially bestselling Spencer (Home Song) doesn't miss a beat as she expertly gives them a second chance at love. First, however, they have to suffer. It's the summer of 1916 when Roberta Jewett returns to Camden, Maine, after 18 years. As a divorce, she finds herself a social outcast and even her mother thinks she's a tramp (besides which she wants to work, of all things, and own a car). What makes her really mad, however, are men. She doesn't like them, having learned, she thinks, all there is to know from her disastrous marriage. But it turns out that the brutes can be both worse and better than she has ever dreamed. On the one hand, there's Elfred, her lecherous brother-in-law, who can hardly keep his mitts off her; on the other hand, there's Gabriel Farley, the widowed carpenter, and she can hardly keep her mind off him. From the very start, Gabe and Roberta are bickering (``Don't you laugh at me, Mr. Farley!.... I shall own a motorcar, come hell or high water.''). Then, little by little, without really trying, they become friends (as do their children). Her hatred of men wanes, his obsession with his dead wife becomes muted and their attraction heats up with the summer. But when Roberta is brutally raped, all her hopes are threatened. Will she be able to pick up the pieces? Can she face family secrets and challenge the town's benighted hypocrisy? Will Gabe do the right thing? Spencer, famous for her heart-rending slices of Americana, delivers the goods again. First serial to Readers Digest; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selections. (Jan.)
Library Journal
At the turn of the century in New England, an independent divorce, progressive before her time, returns to her provincial hometown of Camden, Maine, in order to build a new life for herself and her three daughters. Braving adversaries such as her lecherous brother-in-law, condemning mother, and a community that considers a divorced woman little better than a prostitute, Roberta Jewett behaves "scandalously," securing a job as a county nurse to support her children, learning to drive, and buying a "Model-T car." Roberta is embittered by her humiliating marriage to an outrageous philanderer, but not surprisingly she "finds love" with Gabriel Farley, the gruff yet inwardly sensitive widowered carpenter retained to renovate her home. Although predictable and somewhat belabored, Spencer's latest novel is overall an enjoyable read. Recommended for most libraries, particularly where historical fiction is popular.-Marcie S. Zwaik, "Library Journal"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425233214
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/5/2010
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 480,146
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

LaVyrle Spencer, is the New York Times bestselling author of Morning Glory and many other titles.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 33 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 2, 2011

    Wonderful storytelling!

    Loving, beautiful writing. This is a book I feel I will be reading again and again. Well worth the cost.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2013

    My favorite

    I first read this book in high school over ten years ago. I read it a few more times before I graduated. I have now lost track of how many times I have read this book. It now feels like going home to visit good friends and is a comfort to my soul when I need a reminder to stay strong or seek out creativity. I adore the characters and have learned a lot from them about life and love and the value of being true to self.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2012

    Loved it!

    A lovely story. The main characters are both very likable. Roberta is a divorced mother who returns home to raise her children. She is disappointed to have no family support, but is determined she can make it on her own. After a rocky start she makes a friend in Gabe. Both characters have flaws, which makes them real and easy to love. Roberta is reminiscent of Jo March. Gabe is both strong and sensitive. Their daughters are delightful.

    I can't wait to read my next novel by LaVyrle Spencer!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2011

    great read!

    When I was looking for a maine romance i found this and read it right away. Scince I've been to Camden before, the characters name some sights that are real,buy it now!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2008

    A real old fashioned love story

    I was told to pick up a copy of this book. I am glad I did. What a terrific story one to remember for a long time. The charcters were amazing and they all had something special to bring to this story. I would recommend this book to everyone. It was worth reading from start to finish. Didn't want it to end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2004

    What an Awesome Book!!

    I could not put this book down.. and will be buying and reading more of her books .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2004

    A REAL PAGE TURNER!!!!!!!!!!!

    At first I wasn't sure about this book. But after the second page I was hooked. It is a fast read and I couldn't put it down. This is the first book I read by this author and it will definately not be the last. Signed a mom always with a book in hand.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2004

    The hardest book to put down .

    This is the best book I ever read. On a recent trip to MAine I made my husband take me to Camden. The characters were really easy to get invloved with. I didn't want the story to end.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2002

    One of her best

    This is my favorite book of hers. I love it! I just checked it out again from the library and her characters are so engaging and full of life. I felt like moving to Maine! Her descriptions are wonderful and the characters seem like real people. If this is your first time reading LaVyrle Spencer, you picked a good one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2001

    Gentleness

    This is the first of Ms Spencer's books I ever read. She has a very soothing touch to her writing; her characters have a sense of integrity. It's been several months since I read this particular story. As I remember, it's about a woman who, for her day and age, was in a rather unusual position - she was divorced. Divorce was a scandalous thing in those days, so her position in society was very tenuous. But she meets a man who does not judge her according to that criterion. He looks past that scandalous aspect to see her true character and a real relationship blossoms. Spencer's main characters strive to maintain moral fiber and, more or less, their actions are guided by that. I was struck by that quality in this, to me, first introduction to LaVyrle Spencer's work. If this is a typical example of Spencer's writing, I would say her stories take a gentle, yet passionate, approach to romance.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2000

    excellent, i read it 3 times, then bought it!

    this is truely a great book. it has an incredably strong heroine many people wish they themselves could be, and a true gentleman who, like the review said, is a prince. It's a moving and entertaining book that i've read several times, some in one sitting, and coming from a 16 yr old, that's gotta be impressive. :o)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2000

    A book to keep me from housework!

    A real inspiration reading about a womens struggle for things we now take for granted. One of those books you wish wouldn't end. Makes you want to join in on the fun, help in times of danger and just relax and enjoy. This was my first LaVyrle Spencer book and I will now pick up some more of her books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2000

    A GREAT lazy day read!

    This was my first LaVyrle Spencer book and no doubt my favorite by far! It's one of those books that you can devour in one sitting. The plot is fast and no doubt you'll be wishing it wasn't over at the end like I did! If you have a lazy or rainy day to spare, I suggest you pick up this book! :)

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    Posted November 22, 2008

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    Posted March 9, 2009

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    Posted July 27, 2010

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    Posted May 11, 2009

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    Posted August 23, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2011

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews

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