The Summer That Made Us: A Novel

The Summer That Made Us: A Novel

by Robyn Carr

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Mothers and daughters, sisters and cousins, they lived for summers at the lake house until a tragic accident changed everything. The Summer That Made Us is an unforgettable story about a family learning to accept the past, to forgive and to love each other again.

That was then…

For the Hempsteads, two sisters who married two brothers and had three daughters each, summers were idyllic. The women would escape the city the moment school was out to gather at the family house on Lake Waseka. The lake was a magical place, a haven where they were happy and carefree. All of their problems drifted away as the days passed in sun-dappled contentment. Until the summer that changed everything.

This is now…

After an accidental drowning turned the lake house into a site of tragedy and grief, it was closed up. For good. Torn apart, none of the Hempstead women speak of what happened that summer, and relationships between them are uneasy at best to hurtful at worst. But in the face of new challenges, one woman is determined to draw her family together again, and the only way that can happen is to return to the lake and face the truth.

Robyn Carr has crafted a beautifully woven story about the complexities of family dynamics and the value of strong female relationships.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781488023644
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 09/05/2017
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 2,535
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than forty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series. Robyn and her husband live in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit Robyn Carr’s website at

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The Summer That Made Us 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in a few nights. The book has wonderful characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A somewhat heavier novel than Ms Carr’s previous works, this was by far my favorite. The characters are complex and beautifully written. The plots are believable and the prose tugged at my heart as there were few easy resolutions. I loved the book and look forward to Ms. Carr’s next novels
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was blown away by the complexities and surprises from beginning to end!
Anonymous 5 months ago
What a beautiful story !
Anonymous 5 months ago
Great read.....could not put down.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Very good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautifully writen, real and intense! I loved this book and would recommend highly!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Carr began with a core group of complex & compelling characters, who represented an extended family, which had once been incredibly close during summers at the house by Lake Waseca in Minnesota. The story begins with the family gathering at the lake house--after 27 years of bitter estrangement. Thus the stage was set for lotsa drama & suspense & finally some reconciliation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Robyn Carr is an Amazing Writer. It’s so easy to imagine the story unraveling right in front of your eyes because every word is something that could happen in real life. The struggle, the chaos, the love, the warmth and the triumphs are all real! Another great Novel and my face was wet by the end again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read from beginning to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Let me start by saying I am a Robyn Carr fan and I love her romance series and the stand alone women's fiction books. She can write a book so I was surprised throughout this whole book that I couldn't get into it or care about any of the characters. This book was all about the characters - two sisters who marry two brothers and each have three girls and one summer at their lake house sends these families spiraling out of control and many years later two of the girls decide to return and one invites the others and of course drama ensues.
Ejaygirl More than 1 year ago
Charlene (Charley) Hempstead is suddenly facing big changes in her life after her successful, long-running national talk show is canceled. Her younger sister, Megan (Meg) is fighting a tough battle with breast cancer and wants to return to their family’s lake house at Lake Waseba, Minnesota for the summer. She’s also inviting her cousins and their mothers, who haven’t spoken to each other in years. They all used to spend every summer at the lake until a tragic event fractured the family 27 years ago. Will they show up and if they do, can this highly dysfunctional family overcome their differences to restore the closeness they once shared? This was a fascinating story with every level of conflict represented. Charley is at sea now that her self-defining career is stalled and the man she’s lived with for over 20 years suddenly proposes. And, she’s barely on speaking terms with her prickly mother. Her cousins, sisters Krista, Hope and Beverly, haven’t spoken to each other in years. Their mother, Jo, hasn’t had a real relationship with her sister and Charley’s mother, Lou, since that last trip to the lake. I won’t spoil the story by giving you more details but suffice it to say this was one strange brew. There are so many layers to the story, the characters and the events that happened at the last lake visit. There’s a LOT going on but Carr effectively weaves them together to create a compelling narrative using many voices. I loved this story and wished we could see more of this family. But, deep down, I’m very satisfied to end where it did. This was one I had a tough time putting down and is contemporary fiction at its finest as family dynamics are explored in such a relevant way. (I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)
alterlisa More than 1 year ago
This is definitely my definition of a grand beach read. The Hempstead family was the poster family for dysfunction yet their underlying love and loyalty is unquestionable. Of the six girl cousins one is dying of cancer, one is fresh from prison, one is covering up her mental illness and the last is deal with a failing relationship and don't even get me started on their mothers. Both families used to spend the summer at their family lake home but something happened that splintered this family into tiny little pieces. The mystery interwoven with the rest of the story makes this the type of book that is very, very hard to put down and while a great beach read it's also one that you will enjoy this winter while bundled up on the couch with a fire and cup of hot chocolate.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Her books are always amazing!
deeeee More than 1 year ago
The Berkey women are a mess. Charley is a 44 year old talk show host who has just lost her job and whose significant other of 22 years and the father of her child has just proposed. Charley’s sister Meg has breast cancer but wants to spend the summer at their family lake house, a place no one has visited for decades. Charley has to ask her estranged mother Lou if the girls can use it for the summer. Dysfunction is a key word with almost every character in this book. Hope lives in a false world, Krista has been in prison for 23 years, Lou and her sister Jo haven’t communicated in eons, even though they were inseparable until the summer that caused their world to spin out of control. There is a mystery attached to the lake house and whatever caused the rift between Jo and Lou; and this might just be a way to solve the age old questions and pull the women together. This is another terrific book by Robyn Carr. It’s difficult to read without totally immersing yourself in the story.
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. A story of two sisters that married two brothers and each had three kids all of which were girls. The families would spend every summer at the lake house their grandmother and grandfather owned until the weekend that one of the youngest girls died in a boating accident. That weekend created a decade feud between the sisters that really tore at their kids and caused some of them act out and question themselves for many years. I loved all the characters especially the main ones - Charley, Meg, and Krista, the daughters. The sisters had such very different lives even though they married two brothers. I was really glad that the character, Hope, had only a small part in this book. I think if I had to listen to her craziness for much longer, I would have had to throw the book, literally. She was cray, cray. An excellent read about family and forgiveness that really touched a nerve with me. Thanks to Harlequin and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
kathyg40 More than 1 year ago
This book was EXCELLENT! I had a hard time putting this book down. It has humor, family dysfunction (lots!) and is heartwarmingly real.
TheBookBag More than 1 year ago
This was a great story to read, but at the same time it was a tough story to read. These two families had so much going for them, summers together at the beach house, cousins getting together each summer making wonderful memories. Until one summer, when it all starts to fall apart. The drowning death of the youngest little cousin seemed to send everyone into a tail spin. But evidently, there was so much more going on, secrets were being kept, blame was placed on others, and sisters who were estranged for years and years afterwards. Now, one of the cousins is dying of cancer and she wants to spend one last summer at the beach cabin, to try to heal this broken family. Everyone is invited to come and spend some time together but not everyone is happy about the prospect of opening up all the old wounds. The family dynamics and the drama of it all made this an engaging story that I was totally wrapped up in. I truly loved this story with all the supposedly 'normal' characters as well as the ones with their plethora of issues. Not everything and everyone is who or what they appear to be and figuring it all out made this book a page-turner for me. The Summer That Made Us is my first Robyn Carr book but I loved her complicated characters and I loved the depth of her story, so it will not be my last. I will definitely be looking for more of her stories to read.
CharlotteLynnsReviews More than 1 year ago
So much heaviness in this book with depressions, illnesses, pregnancy, and more yet what sticks most with me is the family coming together, putting their histories behind them and rallying around those who need them. The dynamics of the Hempstead family is interesting. They have been torn apart by the drama of their pasts and now must figure out how to come together as a unit. There is a lot of history to get past and many families would not be strong enough to overcome it but the Hempstead family does with a lot of hard work. The Summer That Made Us is an emotional rollercoaster. I had tears; there was fear, lots of love, and mostly hopefulness. It was intense and filled with so much feeling. Each character had their own issues, some life threatening, some life changing, but all equally important to the story. I was in awe of how Robyn managed to weave these stories together to make it complete. She was able to take different walks of life and turn them into a total package that I could not put down. I would recommend picking up your own copy of The Summer That Made Us ASAP. Thank you Claire McLaughlin from Little Bird Publishing and NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Strong women and a mix of family dynamics
Janga More than 1 year ago
Robyn Carr’s latest women’s fiction novel is an emotional story of a family whose dysfunction encompasses four generations. “Women’s fiction” may be generally a somewhat amorphous term, but in this case, it is literal. The Summer That Made Us is a story of women and their relationships to one another and how these relationships define, balance, support, wound, and heal these women. It is the story of how the events of one summer can change an extended family. There are men in this novel—some reprehensible and some admirable—but while their roles are not insignificant, they are clearly secondary. Be warned that reading this book requires a generous supply of hankies. There is irony in the fact that Meg, the cancer patient, is the means of restoring healthy relationships to the wounded. Romance readers should be aware that the romance in this one is minimal, and some may find the unraveling of so many threads and the optimistic ending unrealistic. I found these concerns negligible. Robyn Carr does in this book what she does best: she gives her readers characters who touch the heart and illumine the human spirit. I give The Summer That Made Us my highest recommendation.