That Summer

That Summer

by Lauren Willig
4.3 8


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That Summer 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
irishclaireKG More than 1 year ago
Readable But Not Original. Much like this author's previous novel 'Ashford Affair' this one offers absolutely no originality of plot or style. Once again we have dueling stories of 21st century versus 19th; once again there is a mysterious painting and a young woman searching for herself and her own personal history through it; once again, the 19th century story of the painting's origins and the characters surrounding it are far more interesting; once again, there is a great love affair and a mystery surrounding it: we have seen this in Jo Jo Moyes' 'The Girl You Left Behind' (which is a much better book), the recent 'A Paris Apartment' (which is actually based in reality), and Justin Go's 'Steady Running of the Hours,' and any number of others. I don't really understand why this author cannot come up with her own, original, plots--or at least put some kind of unique spin on them. But what really annoys me about this--and which 'Ashford Affair' also suffered from is the multiple typos that, here, actually screw up understanding. Unless I have missed something major (but i have looked it over multiple times) in the last chapters there is a huge error in dates--the action moves from 1849 to 1850 yet the chapter headings that feature those dates repeat 1849 when the plot has clearly moved a year later--and then they move back again! It is mind boggling that someone getting paid to edit a major publication did not find this! What is also irritating is that the final 'reveal' in terms of the mystery is not totally clear. Like 'Steady Running of the Hours' the who-did-what-and-how definitely leaves some question. Consequently, by the time i finished I was more annoyed than anything else. All that being said, it is a quick read and uses a Pre-Raphaelite plotline which I love as they are my favorite school of painters. A relatively enjoyable time waster if you don't mind the typos and ending vagueness. Terrible cover--certainly cheesy looking compared to the rather sweeping plot.
Sam1219 More than 1 year ago
Seemingly out of the blue, Julia Conley inherits a house outside London from an unknown great aunt. Having previously been laid off from her job as as an analyst at a securities firm, the former art history major has no reason not to journey to England to sort through the old house and its contents before selling it off. No reason, that is, than confronting her repressed memories from her early childhood when she lived there before a car accident claimed her mother's life and nearly killed her as well. Julia claims not to remember anything from that period of her life, but when she and her long lost cousin, Natasha and friend, sexy art dealer Nicholas, begin sorting through the house, memories begin bubbling to the surface. And when Julia discovers a pre-Raphaelite painting hidden behind the false back of an old wardrobe, it stokes the embers of curiosity about her family's history into full flame. In 1849, Imogen Grantham, trapped in a loveless marriage and virtually ignored by her much older husband, Arthur, meets Gavin Thorne when he is hired to paint her portrait. The two find they are kindred spirits, but can Imogen risk her position to explore her passion for Gavin? Can Gavin risk incurring Arthur's wrath by dallying with his wife when Arthur can crush the struggling artist's career with just a word spoken in the right ears of the power Academy? Will Imogen allow Gavin to risk it all for her? Will events spin out of Imogen and Gavin's control? This novel was a little slow to start, but once it got going, I was held rapt by Gavin and Imogen's story, and then later by Julia and Nick's as well. The writing is spellbinding and fluid, despite the fact that the story keeps bouncing back between the past and the present. I thought that it would seem disjointed, but it somehow makes perfect narrative sense. This is a fantastic novel for anyone who loves historic fiction and the arts.
AsDreamsAreMade More than 1 year ago
Original Review Link: I will read anything that Lauren Willig writes. I mean it can be about a chipmunk who wants to be an astronaut and I’m sure it would be fantastic. I’ve been reading Lauren’s books for years now. It all started with her Pink Carnation Series, specifically this one. I even remember when and where I picked it up. I was a sophomore in college and browsing titles in my local Barnes and Noble. I came across The Secret History of the Pink Carnation and I was extremely intrigued–French spies? Men in Breeches? A young woman studying in London? I mean hello. I devoured that book and from then on, I was hooked. I even got my friend Jess on the Lauren band wagon. We now show up to practically all her readings and have gotten to know her. Lauren even helped Jess with one of her school assignments. (Notice how awesome she is at this point?) Most of Lauren’s books, up until recently, have been part of the Pink Carnation series. Each cover has a specific flower inspired spy. At (almost) every reading, Jess and I try to coordinate our outfits to the color of flower on the cover. We then have to take a picture with Lauren. It’s gotten to be a tradition that the three of us can’t break (otherwise it would spell disaster–duh). Like I mentioned earlier, Lauren started delving into some stand alone novels that don’t take place during the Napoleonic era. The Ashford Affair was her first (which was fantastic–I highly recommend it) followed by That Summer. That Summer takes place in 2009 and 1849, telling the stories of two very different women–Julia and Imogen. Julia has inherited a house in England from an aunt she doesn’t remember. She’s forced to face some painful memories from her past in heading back to England. Once in the house, she discovers a family secret and treasure hidden for years. Imogen is the unhappy wife in a loveless marriage. When her husband asks Gavin Thorne to commission a portrait of her, events are sparked that could change the fate of both women. Ohhh the feels with this book! I literally called Jess the minute I finished it. Me: Jess!! Ahh! Jess: I know, Cris. I know. Such a fantastic story. It will leave you with all the feelings. You have an idea of where the ending is headed and then it completely goes in the opposite direction. The characters are extremely engaging and you find your self deeply invested in each woman’s storyline. You emphasize with Julia and want her to face the past she’s so determinedly ignored while hoping Imogen finally finds the love and attention she so rightfully deserves. The two storylines eventually intertwine (which you knew they would), but the journey to that point is filled with discoveries, twists and turns, and of course beautiful paintings. This book will leave you feeling appreciative of the things you have and the desire and fearlessness to achieve the things you want.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always enjoy a book by Laurn Willig. This book is one of her best.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy Laurens pink carnation series. When I heard she was writing a new stand alone novel about a long lost pre-raphaelite painting I could wait to get my hands on it. I had very high expectations for this one and I wasnt dissapointed! One of the best books Ive read in a very long time..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago