Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Life Without Summer

Life Without Summer
by Lynne Griffin

Genre: Women's Fiction

Synopsis:  Tessa Gray's life changes forever when she loses her four-year-old daughter, Abby, in a hit-and-run accident outside her preschool.  Once a vivacious, joyful mother and wife, Tessa now spends her days holed up in Abby's room, sleeping in her bed, clutching Abby's Tootsie Rabbit stuffed animal-anything to keep her memories close.  As Tessa grapples with a terrible grief, made worse by the police's insistence that the case is unsolvable, she finds solace in Celia Reed, the therapist her husband pushed her to see, and in the journal she's keeping, where she compulsively counts the "days without Abby" and maps out her plan for catching the driver who tore her family apart.

As Celia struggles to keep Tessa from getting caught up in a bleak crusade for answers, she finds that their sessions open the door to emotions that she's spent years ignoring, forcing her to face the rising tensions in her life-her troubled teenage son, her alcoholic ex-husband, and her fragile new marriage.  Celia begins to realize that she must come to terms with the tragic mistakes of her past and the choices that have led her family to their own brink of destruction.
from the book jacket

Review:  The first third of this book was uninteresting.  The characters were one-dimensional, flat, and mainly unlikable, Celia's new husband being the worst of them and sadly, he does not improve at all in the book.  I have some words that I would like to use to describe him but they aren't nice words so I will refrain.  He causes so many problems in Celia's relationship with her ex-husband and son.   Honestly, I think he could have been left out of the book.

I kept reading because I really wanted to know how Celia and Tessa were connected, in a way beyond therapist-client, who ran Abby down, and what the title had to do with the book (that was not self explanatory).  Once Tessa started doing more than just grieving, the book picked up.  The story is supposedly journal entries written by Tessa and Celia but they don't seem to be journal entries-the sections lack emotions and are much more like prose than something that a character would have written.  The ending is predictable.

Rating:  2.5 stars

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