Beach Reads: Summer Secrets
We’re in a Beach Reads blast here this week on the CGG – I’ve got a handful of fabulous reads to round off your summer reading list that are also great picks as we head toward fall (especially since they can help keep those last wisps of summer alive). Today we’re starting off with an intriguing read in the women’s lit category.
What’s The Buzz?: Jane Green is one of the best-known authors in women’s lit, up there with the likes of Sophie Kinsella and Emily Giffin. Her specialty was previously frothier romantic fare, but as of late her works have taken a more measured tone. Her second novel in 2015 is the delicious Summer Secrets.
What’s The Plot?: The story see-saws between two different times in a woman named Cat’s life. From rock bottom alcoholism to a struggle for sobriety and everything in between, Cat is a woman haunted not only by her own past, but the life choices made by her birth father and her half-sisters. A decade-plus after making a mess of things with her birth family, Cat is on a journey of redemption. Summer Secrets is one of those books where I feel like less is more when it comes to knowing the finer details of the story going into it, but a large portion of the story has to do with Cat’s alcoholism, alongside themes of adultery, difficult marriages, friendship, and of course, family.
I’m a Jane Green fan. How does this compare?: I’ve read a few Jane Green books over the years – but admittedly it’s been awhile. Summer Secrets felt vastly different from her older, fluffier books, although one of her trademarks – a US / UK storyline – is very much part of this story, which straddles England and Nantucket. I also think of Jane Green as an author that really cares about her characters and tries to write authentic stories for them, and that’s very much the case – Cat is ultimately an empathetic character and Green is talented at making you feel all the feels.
How Beachy Is It?: Summer Secrets is definitely darker than your typical beach read – despite the summery title. But it’s also powerful and intriguing, not just to hold your breath though Cat’s story, but all of the little sub-plots and twists and questions you’ll have. Don’t be turned off by the fact it’s quite AA-focused, there’s still lots to keep you engaged.
Who Should Read This Book?: Logically Summer Secrets will be compared to something like Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret or Big Little Lies. Family dramas loaded with secrets are very ‘in’ right now. But with the large focus on Cat’s alcoholism, I was also vaguely reminded of The Girl On The Train, itself compared to Gone Girl, mostly because both characters’ drinking habits are the central driving force behind the story.
Summer Secrets is available from booksellers everywhere for $31.50 (list) in hardcover. Or you can enter to win a copy right here! Here’s how to enter:
1) First & foremost: you must be a subscriber to the Canadian Gift Guide to enter this giveaway. It’s as simple as finding ‘The Gift of Gab’ box in the righthand column and dropping in your email or clicking follow. Then, tell me in the comments below by September 11, 2015 – why are you interested in reading Summer Secrets?
2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around September 12, 2015 to select the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.
3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible for this promotion.
4) Bonus Entry: Follow Raincoast Books on Twitter, tag them and me (@cdngiftguide) in a Tweet about why you want to read this intriguing book! Post a link to your Tweet below in a separate comment to earn yourself an extra entry into the draw.
5) Bonus Entry #2: Add this book to your to-read list on GoodReads, and leave a link back to the page it’s on below in a separate comment to earn yourself another bonus entry.