They say there’s always one summer that changes you.
For Faith the one summer she can’t forget is when she fell in love as a teenager – only for her sister, Casey, to steal her man. Now, at the request of her beloved ninety-year-old Grandmother, Faith has agreed to a family holiday – at their childhood beach house, where it all began.
Faith hasn’t seen her sister in years but is finally ready to forgive and forget, enjoy the sunshine and relive happy memories. What she’s not ready for is meeting Jake Buchanan – the owner of the beach house – or the long-forgotten feelings he ignites in her.
Can Faith overcome the hurt of the past, rekindle the close bond she had with Casey and make this summer THE ONE to remember?
Ah, bliss. One of my most anticipated books of the year: Jenny Hale’s new Summer novel. Last year, Jenny’s summer book Love Me For Me earned the title as My Favourite Book of 2014, so to say I had high expectations for this one would be an understatement.
If you follow me, you’ve probably heard me gush about Jenny’s writing a fair few times, so I’ll try not to go too overboard…
Nah, sod it, she’s bloody marvellous!
Summer by the Sea follows the story of Faith and her family on their holiday to the Outer Banks. Faith hasn’t seen her sister, Casey, for some years, as she has never been able to forgive her for breaking her heart when they were younger, by stealing – and consequently marrying – the man Faith loved.
Their Nan’s 90th birthday finds the family under one roof again, in a place that used to hold such wonderful memories for them all. So much has passed, and there’s so much they’re still going through, but Faith still doesn’t know if she can truly forgive Casey, or if Casey is really even sorry.
On her first day, Faith meets Jake, and can’t help but find her falling for him fast. But is it really worth getting in to something when she’ll be gone in a couple of weeks? And even if it was, can they see past their differences?
Jenny’s books are just such beautiful, realistic love stories, that they honestly melt my heart. Faith was so guarded, so affected by her past that she had built walls around herself, and she was scared of getting hurt. Jake too is haunted by his past, and doesn’t want history to repeat itself. It is also a wonderful story about the love of families, and the need to be there for one another.
All the characters are flawed in their own way, but beautiful too. Nan had to be my favourite character of them all, so sweet and wise, and with all the wits I hope to have if I’m lucky enough to reach 90! Her ability to read her family, to care for them and help them, filled me with a nostalgic warmth for my own family, especially having never known a grandmother.
This story truly tugged at my heartstrings, as I willed for both Faith and Casey to be able to repair their relationship, and for Faith and Jake to be able to make things work. Set in the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina, it was impossible not to get swept away with them, as Jenny fills your senses with sun, sand and sea (and fishbowl cocktails!). I could just picture every scene, every house so vividly, it’s an absolutely perfect book to whisk you away this summer.