Summer Secrets: A Novel

Summer Secrets: A Novel

by Jane Green


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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 the storms.


When a shocking family secret is revealed, twenty-something 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 new-found 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.

"Gripping and powerful."-Emily Giffin

"The quintessential beach novel, complete with juicy drama and characters you fall madly in love with. You will devour it!" -Elin Hilderbrand

"Warm, witty, sharp and insightful. Jane Green writes with such honesty and zing." -Sophie Kinsella

"The perfect summer read...You'll be hooked." -Kristin Hannah

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250047342
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 06/23/2015
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,292,748
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

JANE GREEN is the author of more than fifteen bestselling novels, including Summer Secrets, The Beach House, and Jemima J. Originally from London, she now lives in Westport, Connecticut, with her husband, children, and a menagerie of animals.


Westport, Connecticut

Date of Birth:

May 31, 1968

Place of Birth:

London, England


"Managed to drop out of Fine Art Degree at University."

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Summer Secrets 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I truly liked this book and loved the characters and storyline. However, I was disappointed when the book ended without the rest of the story I was hoping for. I would recommend this book to friends.
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.
bluegreen91 More than 1 year ago
A bi-continental read about family dynamics and the effects of alcoholism. I found the main character, Cat, to be flawed, yet likable. The story jumps back and forth between 1998 and 2014, and includes a flashback from the 60s, as told by Cat's mother, but the seemingly random flashbacks are in context within the story. There were a few surprising reveals in the book, which made the story even more interesting, and plenty of feel-good and not-so-feel-good parts. I love the two settings in this book: Nantucket and London. And I was pretty satisfied with the ending, too. This is the first book I've read by Jane Green, but I'll be adding more to my TBR list.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Laura_at_125Pages More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars - Original review @ 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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Klova knyga ya pytays?
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
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*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