BOOK REVIEW: Summer's Child by Luanne Rice

From Luanne Rice, the celebrated author of"Beach Girls" and many other" New York Times "bestsellers, comes this powerful novel of a mystery, a love affair, and a bond that cannot be broken set in a seaside town where miracles are made..."
"On the first day of summer, Mara Jameson went out to water her garden-and was never seen again. Years after her disappearance, no one could forget the expectant mother whose glowing smile had captured the heart of everyone who'd known her: Maeve Jameson, still mourning the loss of a granddaughter she had struggled to protect...Patrick Murphy, a dogged police detective obsessed with a vanished woman...and Lily Malone, drawn to the rugged beauty of the Nova Scotia coast and its promise of a new life.
Here Lily hopes to raise her nine-year-old daughter, Rose, far from the pain and loss of the past. Here she will meet a gifted scientist, Liam Neill, whose life is on a similar trajectory from heartbreak to hope. And before the season is over, Lily will find the magic that exists in people we love the best...the everyday miracles that can make the extraordinary happen anywhere.

I liked this book.  I really did...mostly.  'Summer's Child' by Luanne Rice was an interesting fast read.  While I would initially classify the novel as chick lit it also had a touch of intrigue and a touch of romance. 

Set it present day Canada in Cape Hawk, the end of the earth, Lily and her daughter Rose have made their lives there.  As Marissa and her daughter Jennifer arrive things are changing for Rose as she anticipates a major surgery for her heart defects.  Marissa and Jennifer are on the run, so to speak, to escape a husband/step-dad that terrorized them.  A story that Lily understands as she was hiding out when she arrived very pregnant with Rose.  With the support of the Nanouk Girls of the Frozen North Lily had carved a support system of friends for herself and Rose. Marissa and Jennifer are embraced by these same women as their own as well.

The story flowed well and the characters were 'mostly' believable.  Marissa trusted Lily and the Nanouk girls with her own secrets.  I have a hard time believing in a character that has run away from what Marissa has run from and suddenly surrounded by other women she tells them things about her situation.  Having gone so far as to change names and even birthdays I don't see some of those secrets start to unravel on a first meeting.  The mystery twist I figured out before it was revealed but it wasn't contrived or followed a 'formula' so that does not detract from the story for me.  I did feel the romance was a bit contrived however.  I am interested in getting my hands on the next book with these characters to see how it all plays out.

I rated this book 4 stars because there was some parts that felt contrived and and weren't completely believable.  I enjoyed this book however and would read it again.

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Summer's Child
About Luanne Rice

Luanne Rice is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty-two novels including THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF SISTERS, her first YA novel. Five of her books have been made into movies and mini-series, many have been New York Times bestsellers and two of her pieces have been featured in off-Broadway theatre productions. She divides her time between New York City and the Connecticut shoreline.

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