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That Summer

by Lauren Willig

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

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Power Reviewer 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.
Leslie D. (Le Roy, NY)

Solid historical from outstanding author
Lauren Willig has a talent for combining a contemporary story with a mystery from the past, and like her Pink Carnation series, this is no exception. Moving from the Napoleonic-era of those, this one is about the Raphaelite painters of the mid-19th century. I found the modern characters a little more interesting than the 19th century ones, and I think that there is not as much sparkle in the dialogue in this book as in her others. The author is an excellent storyteller, though, and this is both entertaining and enlightening.
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.
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