Summer Harbor

Summer Harbor

by Susan Wilson
4.6 9

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Summer Harbor by Susan Wilson

In the tradition of Kristin Hannah and Luanne Rice, Susan Wilson creates a poignant, absorbing novel of first love lost and found again, of family and friendship, and of secrets and ghosts laid to rest.

After nearly twenty years, Kiley Harris has returned to the small New England town of Hawke's Cove. As a child, Kiley eagerly anticipated every summer spent at the old family beach house, where she'd be reunited with her two best friends, Grainger Egan and Mack MacKenzie. For years, they were an unshakable trio: sailing and swimming every day, playing cards on the porch at night, and sharing their dreams. But everything changed the summer after their high school graduations, when the boys' friendship turned to rivalry over Kiley -- with tragic results.

For nearly two decades, Kiley has been in self-imposed exile from the place she loved so much. But now her parents have asked her to ready the old beach house for sale, to finance her son Will's college education. Losing the family house will mean losing Hawke's Cove forever -- so Kiley brings Will along to give him this connection to the past he's long wished for. Yet she also fears that in Hawke's Cove, Will inevitably will meet Grainger -- who might, unknowingly, be Will's father. And Kiley doesn't know if this is disastrous timing...or the gift of a second chance.

Rich in the complexities of love, insightful in the mysteries of the heart, and generous in the forgiveness of human frailties, Summer Harbor is a moving exploration of the pains of the past, uncertainties of the present, and hopes for the future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743442336
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: 08/01/2004
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 4.40(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

From the time I was a little girl, the word "writer" held a special significance to me. I loved the word. I loved the idea of making up stories. When I was about twelve, I bought a used Olivetti manual typewriter from a little hole in the wall office machine place in Middletown, CT called Peter's Typewriters. It weighed about twenty pounds and was probably thirty years old. I pounded out the worst kind of adolescent drivel, imposing my imaginary self on television heroes of the time: Bonanza, Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Star Trek.

Those are my earliest memories of my secret life of writing. For reasons I cannot really fathom, I never pursued writing as a vocation. Although I majored in English, I didn't focus on writing and it wasn't really until I was first married that I hauled out my old Olivetti and began to thump away at my first novel. This was, as I recall, an amorphous thinly plotted excercise in putting sentences together and has mercifully disappeared in some move or another. I didn't try anything more adventurous than some short stories and a lot of newsletters for various things I belonged to until we moved to Martha's Vineyard and I bought my first computer. My little "Collegiate 2" IBM computer was about as advanced as the Olivetti was in its heyday but it got me writing again and this time with some inner determination that I was going to succeed at this avocation. I tapped out two novels on this machine with its fussy little printer. Like the first one, these were wonderful absorbing exercises in learning how to write.

What happened then is the stuff of day time soap opera. Writing is a highly personal activity and for all of my life I'd kept it secret from everyone but my husband, who, at the time, called what I did nights after the kids went to bed, my "typing." Until, quite by accident, I discovered that here on the Vineyard nearly everyone has some avocation in the arts. Much to my delight, I discovered a fellow closet-writer in the mom of my kids' best friends. For the very first time in my life I could share the struggle with another person. I know now that writers' groups are a dime a dozen and I highly recommend the experience, but with my friend Carole, a serendipitious introduction to a "real writer", Holly Nadler, resulted in my association with my agent. Holly read a bit of my "novel" and liked what she read, suggested I might use her name and write to her former agent. I did and the rest, as they say, is history.

Not that it was an overnight success. The novel I'd shown Holly never even got sent to Andrea. But a third, shorter, more evolved work was what eventually grew into Beauty with the guidance of Andrea and her associates at the Jane Rotrosen Agency.

The moral of the story: keep at it. Keep writing the bad novels to learn how to write the good ones. And, yes, it does help to know someone. Andrea might have liked my work, but the path was oiled by the introduction Holly Nadler provided.

Hawke's Cove is my second published novel, although there is a "second" second novel in a drawer, keeping good company with the other "first" novels.

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Summer Harbor 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and couldn't put it down. But the ending was such a let down. I'm really upset about the ending.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the second book by Susan Wilson that I have read. It was a very relaxing escape. I read it in 6 hours. I couldn't put it down. I loved the setting and the characters so much that I hope she writes about them again because I have become attached to them. The other book that I read by Ms. Wilson was: The Fortune Teller's Daughter- It was a great read as well. Ms. Wilson is now on my list of my favorite must have authors. I am now going to start reading my way through her other books.
harstan More than 1 year ago
As a child, Kiley Harris enjoyed Hawke¿s Cove because her two best friends, Mack Mackenzie and Grainger Eden, were there. The trio were the three musketeers until Mack and Kiley begin going steady. When Mack and Kiley make love for the first time, she realizes she wants Grainger. They make love that same night and explain to Mack their feelings. Distraught he goes sailing in a storm and dies. Kiley and Grainger feel guilt and her pregnancy adds to the end of what they once had.

Nineteen years later, Kiley has never returned since that fatal night, but her aging father pressures her to go back to sell the house and boat not in use. She refuses until her son Will gets busted for possession. As much as she dreads going to Hawke¿s Cove, she feels this will be good for her son before he leaves for Cornell in the fall.

Kiley and Grainger remain leery of one another because of the guilt and specter of Will, but also still love each other. Will needs to know which one is his biological father and pursues that while trying to bring together his mom and the man who may be his dad.

This engaging contemporary romance focuses on how the past is difficult to forget even when loved ones are involved in the present encouraging you to do so as Kiley and Grainger still blame themselves for Mack¿s death. Though the action is limited and the flashbacks to more merrier times takes an adjustment, readers who appreciate a strong character study will want to visit SUMMER HARBOR, a fine New England second chance tale.

Harriet Klausner