Monday, January 18, 2010

Book 3- Life Without Summer

This first novel, Life without summer, by author Lynne Griffin was pretty good. It was written journal style, the narrator's switching between two women: Tessa, the young woman whose 4 year old daughter Abby was just killed in a hit and run accident, and Celia, a therapist with secrets of her own.

Through this novel, over the course of a year, we follow the lives of these two women and their families. We have Tessa who is so mired in grief she can barely function, and when she does she starts an investigation of her own into the death of her daughter since she feels the police are doing an inadequate job. She pushes away her sister Rosemary and her husband Ethan while she struggles with each passing day until details about the accident are uncovered, and there are changes in her life that she can't control nor does she want.

Celia is newly remarried to Alden, a cold and unfeeling man, and the mother to 15 year old Ian and divorced from recovering alcoholic Harry. She is trying to blend this new family together while struggling with her own past demons. Through the story, as her new marriage starts to unravel and her son starts to fall apart, she questions everything she thought she knew.

And of course, there's the twist at the end.

Now, I'm going to say I saw ending twist coming about 80-100 pages into the story, but I don't know if it's because it's predictable, or if I was just lucky and perceptive in my intuition. (Once in awhile I get lucky and solve the 'whodunnits').

It was well written and certainly a vivid look into the lives of these women; so sad and tragic with a good mystery embedded into the narrative. I like that both of the central women characters weren't always likable but I still cheered for them. Tessa's grief was often palpable. It was a strong, likable piece of fiction.