That Summer: Book summary and reviews of That Summer by Lauren Willig

That Summer

by Lauren Willig

That Summer
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2014
    352 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

2009: When Julia Conley hears that she has inherited a house outside London from an unknown great-aunt, she assumes it's a joke. She hasn't been back to England since the car crash that killed her mother when she was six, an event she remembers only in her nightmares. But when she arrives at Herne Hill to sort through the house - with the help of her cousin Natasha and sexy antiques dealer Nicholas - bits of memory start coming back. And then she discovers a pre-Raphaelite painting, hidden behind the false back of an old wardrobe, and a window onto the house's shrouded history begins to open...

1849: Imogen Grantham has spent nearly a decade trapped in a loveless marriage to a much older man, Arthur. The one bright spot in her life is her step-daughter, Evie, a high-spirited sixteen year old who is the closest thing to a child Imogen hopes to have. But everything changes when three young painters come to see Arthur's collection of medieval artifacts, including Gavin Thorne, a quiet man with the unsettling ability to read Imogen better than anyone ever has. When Arthur hires Gavin to paint her portrait, none of them can guess what the hands of fate have set in motion.

From modern-day England to the early days of the Preraphaelite movement, Lauren Willig's That Summer takes readers on an un-put-downable journey through a mysterious old house, a hidden love affair, and one woman's search for the truth about her past - and herself.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A well-rounded group of characters, clearly connected ties between alternating time periods, and a jaw-dropping conclusion make for one engaging story." - Library Journal

"[T]he perfect beach read." - Kirkus

"Once started, That Summer will not allow readers to put it down. I promise you. It's A Perfect 10 from page one to the poignant, heartwarming endings of both stories. Humor, history, a wee bit of mystery, and brilliant characters in both centuries will guarantee a fun and satisfying read." - Romance Reviews Today

The information about That Summer shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

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Harriette K. (Northbrook, IL)

that summer
Julia inherits a home in London, and, when she goes to examine the property in order to sell, she finds herself enmeshed in a family mystery. Along with finding the circumstances surrounding her late mother's death, she is plunged into the ancient history of her forebears. And then there is are the love stories, both current and old. I thought that the mix of mystery, romance and a peek into the life of a Victorian woman made this a great read , especially for the summer. The author writing is very well paced and descriptive. I will be recommending this to friends for a good, well paced read.

Carole P. (Framingham, MA)

That Summer
I have read Lauren Willig many times and always enjoyed her books. When I was finished with this one, I thought about giving it a 4. Then I realized that I could not stop thinking about it. In fact, I became so vested in Imogen that it felt like I knew her. While I liked all of the book, it was the historical story that was the best. I do not want to give the story away. Let me just say that when Imogen and Julia tell their own story, I wanted to comfort them. I felt their pain .Even now , even knowing this is fiction, I want to help these women. This is by far, my favorite of Willig's books. It is a lovely, heartbreaking tale . This will be a great summer read and book group book.

Sandra W. (Marietta, OH)

Know your heart.
I really enjoyed this book about secrets, choices and empowering women. I especially enjoyed the character of Imogene. Her husband changed after marriage. Imogene told him she was passionate about books and learning, but he did not hear her. She became an ornament, but proved to be much stronger. It was a great parallel between Imogene finding herself and Julie exploring her choices. I admired Imogene's strength.

The story kept my interest. I was always sorry to leave one time period and move to the next.

This would make a great vacation read; in fact it was for me.

Karen K. (West Bloomfield, MI)

That Summer
I enjoy stories that alternate between time periods and then they somehow weave a connection. This book did an excellent job with this task. I enjoyed both stories and found the main women characters believable. I think that the ending was a bit predictable and the pace of the events hastened as the story came to a close. One part of the ending I found a bit "too convenient", but overall I highly recommend this book for an enjoyable read. Well done!

Ilene R. (Northfield, IL)

Great read!!
I loved the book, That Summer! It alternates between the modern day story of Julia and the mid 1800's story of Imogen. It's part mystery and part love story. I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish it! My only criticism would be that I want more of the story!! I want to know what happens to everyone. I loved the characters and I was sad when the book ended. That's always the sign of a great read. Enjoy!

Lisa R. (Salem, OR)

Connecting the Past to the Present
I very much enjoyed reading this book. I had no trouble going back and forth between the different time periods, and I found myself reading way into the night, wanting to know what happened. I didn't really get a feeling for what would happen in the past until near the end of the book, so the story kept it's momentum for me. I began feeling very involved with the two female protagonists from different times, and caught myself moved to tears for Imogen. This is not your average mystery with a happy ending, but it is a good book, well worth the time of reading. There are some wonderful tie-ins to the past, and the world of art as well.

...14 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Lauren Willig Author Biography

Lauren Willig is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Pink Carnation series and a RITA Award-winner for Best Regency Historical for The Mischief of the Mistletoe. A graduate of Yale University, she has a graduate degree in English history from Harvard and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She lives in New York City, where she now writes full time.

Link to Lauren Willig's Website

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