Title: Summer Secrets
Author: Jane Green
Date Published: June 2015
Summer Secrets is a perfect read for Jane Green fans. It is a heartfelt story about Cat Coombs, a woman working through her addiction to alcohol. It is told in a series of flashbacks, as we go back and forth between present day Cat and the events that have happened in the past that have led her to where she is now.
We begin with Cat in her twenties, where she parties hard and drinks even harder every single day. She has grown up feeling like she never belonged and alcohol worked as a way of being cool and desirable during her teenage years. She tells herself it’s alright as this is the period of her life where she is allowed to be wild before she eventually settles down. This is obviously a lie and deep down she knows there’s something wrong with her.
Growing up, there was a feeling of disconnect particularly between she and her father, he was never pleased with her and the divide got worse with her wild drinking.
Eventually, Cat’s hard drinking finds her waking up in a strangers house and she has no recollection of how she got there. Fortunately, the stranger is a recovering alcoholic, who has put himself back on the right path of sobriety. He encourages her to begin attending AA sessions and turn her life around. She is doubtful but makes small attempts to do this.
While she is taking these baby steps, she discovers a secret about her life that leads her all the way to Nantucket in Massachusetts, where her drinking wreaks havoc once again. It is quite painful and slightly frustrating reading through this bit of the story as the issues are avoidable. However, for me this acts as a window into the lives of alcoholics, delving into how the craving for a drink can skew all rational decisions.
In the wake of the event at Nantucket, Cat travels back to London and tries to rebuild her life and relationships; sometimes making progress, other times losing ground until she finally finds herself once more in a place of happiness and equilibrium.
I expected a lot more bombshells from the book considering the title itself says “Summer Secrets”, but I was disappointed in that regard. Both secrets that were revealed were ones I easily guessed early on, so there wasn’t any surprise factor for me. I had been looking forward to shockers rippling all through the book right till the very end. It was more of a slow read which focused on the issues and resolutions, rather than creating an aura of excitement and scandal.
Despite the calmness, it was still a page turner for me as I was deeply interested in finding out how everything will turn out for Cat. Summer Secrets is an inspiring story that details the effects of alcohol on a person’s life and relationships. It left me with a feeling of understanding and hope. It’s a book I’ll be recommending.