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That Summer

by Lauren Willig

That Summer by Lauren Willig X
That Summer by Lauren Willig
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  • Published Jun 2014
    352 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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There are currently 20 member reviews
for That Summer
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  • Erin J. (Milwaukie, OR)
    Good choice for a book group
    This would make a great book group selection. When I finished reading, I desperately wanted to talk it over with someone, to discuss and analyze what really happened back in January of 1850.

    The story alternates between 1849 and 2009, primarily, and I found myself getting nervous reading the historical sections because the atmosphere felt so dark and oppressive that it didn't seem likely Imogen and Gavin's story would end well. Emotionally it was easier for me to read the modern-day sections, even as Julia struggled to finally face the truth of what happened the day her mother died a quarter century ago.

    For readers' advisors: character doorway is primary, story and setting secondary. There are only a couple of mild swear words that I can recall, and no on-screen sex scenes.
  • Ruth O. (Downingtown, PA)
    Mostly satisfying read.
    That Summer by Lauren Willig was an enjoyable, quick read. It is actually two stories in one: present-day heroine inherits an old house in England and must unravel a mystery. Meanwhile, the second story is about the mystery which takes place in the mid-1800s. Portraits and pre-Raphaelite painters are major players in the book, which encouraged me to look up more information about the pre-Raphaelite art movement. This was a mostly satisfying book except that I felt it ended a bit too abruptly, as more of the story could have been filled in. The story was basically resolved, it just needed a little bit more. This will be a great beach read, so the timing for its release in June is perfect.
  • Janet S. (Terrace Park, OH)
    Great Beach/Escape Read
    This is a fun Gothic novel from start to finish. It alternates between two time periods 1849 and 2009. Both time periods are done equally well and both flow well together. You can't wait to finish one section (modern day) to find out more detail of the 1849 period.
    It was interesting for me to learn about the Preraphaelite movement...a period of art that I was unfamiliar with.
    This book has it all -- some romance, humor, a spooky old house. It also had good character development. I had a hard time putting the book down. It is a great beach read or a good way to escape on a rainy day.
  • Helen M. (Petaluma, CA)
    Convergence
    Lauren Willig's That Summer is a good read. Since I am an artist, it encouraged me to research the Pre-Raphaelite movement of the time period of the novel, 1848-1850. The novel goes between this time period and modern-day England. It travels between the two very gracefully and pulls it all together at the end with a genuine surprise or two. Willig's attention to detail from both time periods is excellent. Fans of historical fiction, artist or not, will enjoy the ride.
  • Cam G. (Murrells Inlet, SC)
    That Summer
    I've always harbored a secret dream of inheriting an old house filled with treasures ( not likely!), so I quite enjoyed the fact of Julia having to go through all that was left to her by her aunt...turns out there were discoveries dating back to 1839 , including finding the bones of Julia's probable great great grandfather! There is that story and more but I will leave it to the reader to find out. It is an easy book to read, but also
    enjoyable!
  • Patricia S. (Chicago, IL)
    That Summer
    I was excited to receive the book, That Summer, by Lauren Willig because I love her Pink Carnation series. Also, this book is my favorite kind of novel--a mystery portrait by a possibly new Pr-Raphaelite artist, an old house that protagonist Julia Conley almost remembers, and maybe even a ghost. Plus one of the characters is a descendent of Miles Dorrington! (Although he didn't inherit the charm). The part of the book set in the present was well done, the characters believable and the house was so well done that I could have recognized it if I woke up in it. I really felt for Julia, depressed and alone, trying to decide if her new acquaintances are really trying to help her or rob her. However, the scenes in the past were less intense, especially the main character. I just didn't feel her husband was explained well enough to believe his final actions; although it was said that he was cold and unloving, it didn't really appear that way to me. He just wasn't developed, just a one-dimensional character. I couldn't reconcile his last acts with his character throughout the rest of the book--he just didn't seem to care enough about his wife to do what he did. And some of the clues discovered in the search for the missing artist were just left hanging, such as the tickets for 3 to New York. I did mostly enjoy the book, I just expected more characters like in the Pink Carnation series--distinct personalities, the subtle charm and wit of the women, and the dare-devil actions of the (oh so handsome) men.
  • Diane W. (Lake Villa, IL)
    That Summer....a good "summer" read
    I began reading this book last weekend and immediately got hooked with the parallel stories during two markedly different time periods....it was hard to put down and kept my interest late into the night! The characters were complex and I enjoyed getting to know them through their stories and wish their stories could have gone on longer to keep the history of the house and the women flowing. The ending was less than satisfying (but I feel that way about many books!)....but all in all, a good read that I will recommend to others.
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