Monday, June 22, 2015

(50)Summer Secrets by Jane Green

Twenty-something Cat is fearless and fancy-free.  Living in London she lives the kind of life that many twenty-somethings would envy.  Working in magazines she gets access to all of the posh parties and of course that means all of the free food and drink she can stand.  So of course she drinks frequently, who doesn't when they are at a party?  One night after such a party Cat wakes up in a strange bedroom in a strange house.   She does not remember how she got there or who the man on the couch is, but there he is.  Jason was kind enough to take her to his home when Cat was too drunk to remember where she lived the night before.  Jason remembers everything, though because he is a recovering alcoholic.   It is the start of their roller-coaster ride of a relationship that spans decades.  Through horrible drunken mistakes involving a trip to Nantucket and a long lost family, through multiple attempts at sobriety, through the birth of their daughter and more Jason sticks by Cat's side urging her to fight for her sobriety and their family.  Until he stops.  Cat is devastated by their divorce and once again she fights for her sobriety. And that means a trip back to Nantucket to make amends.  Will Cat finally be able to face her demons and make peace?  And is it too late to make peace with Jason?

Oh Jane Green - why must you be so awesome?  I told myself that I was only going to read a few pages on the deck this morning before going off for a walk,  Next thing I know hours have passed and the hot sun told me it was too late for a walk.  It was easy to get swept away in Cat's story because it very well could have been my story had I not changed my course.  I could totally relate to the desire Cat had to be at all the cool parties where everybody was drinking and having fun.  I could even relate to nerves that drove her to drinking as she did in Nantucket when she went to meet her long-lost family. I get it.  The blackout drinking is scary and Cat was going to that extreme far more than was healthy and even she recognized that , but not enough to want to change.   I loved how Jason was the steady force in her life from the very first night they met.  He made her want to be a better person and I can relate to that, too.   The book kind of moves around in terms of timeline with huge chunks in one era or another, but it was necessary to get all of Cat's story and to understand what drives her.  Cat is more than just a party girl and it is important for us to know that about her.

Bottom line - Summer Secrets tackles a pretty heavy-hitting topic with Cat's story.  Alcoholism is  one of those secrets that destroys lives and often time it is happening to the person you would least expect.   Definitely a must read this summer and sure to generate lots of chatter at your next book club meeting.



Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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