Friday, June 7, 2013

That Certain Summer by Irene Hannon *Review

With her trademark compelling characters and heartwarming hope, celebrated author Irene Hannon offers her readers an inspiring true-to-life tale of complex family relationships, transgressions revealed and forgiven and the complicated process of finding love.
Karen and Val are family - yet they're anything but close. Karen has carried the burden of responsibility for her aging mother ever since her sister left town years ago to pursue a career in theater. But Val had darker reasons for leaving town – and had a secret to keep – so coming home has never been an option . . . until their mother suffers a stroke.

Reunited in their hometown, Karen and Val must grapple with their past mistakes, their own relationship and their issues with a mother who is far from ideal. When a physical therapist raising his daughter alone and a handsome but hurting musician enter the picture, the summer takes on a whole new dimension. As their lives intersect and entwine, can each sister learn how to forgive, how to let go and how to move on? And strengthened by the healing power of faith, might they also find the courage to love?
My Thoughts:
Val and Karen are so different, sisters who have been in competition with each other and vying for Mother's adoration for years. Val returns to help caretaker and nurturer Karen care for their mother after her stroke. Irene Hannon really delves into helping us get to know the characters in this story. Their isn't a physical ailment that keeps them from letting go and letting God bring them joy, but a emotional deterent. Sometimes it takes a crisis like a family member getting sick to bring people back together, to look forward rather than being steeped in the past. Val has skeletons in her closet that she has avoided and coming back home is allowing her to open them up and hopefully to move on. 
I really enjoyed the Christian focus in this novel. Though some of the issues are ones that affect us all, taking the approach of God being able to help us is always a plus in my book reading!
I very much enjoyed the character development in the story. I loved that it wasn't over the top 'deep' in drama and tragedy. The story will speak to it's readers and encourage them to seek God and faith to help them overcome the hard issues in life.

Irene Hannon is the author of more than 35 novels, including the bestselling Heroes of Quantico and Guardians of Justice series. Her books have been honored with two coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, a Carol Award, a HOLT Medallion, a Daphne du Maurier Award and two Reviewers' Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine. Booklist also included one of her novels in its "Top 10 Inspirational Fiction" list for 2011. She lives in Saint Louis, Missouri.

For more information about her and her books, Irene invites you to visit her website at

“Available June 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for taking time to read my latest, Melanie--and for the wonderful review!