Hmm, when I come across a book that is set in Australia, I automatically scan the blurb to see if the storyline resonates with me. It did, and so here I am.
This is a book which has three intricately woven threads running through it: the stories of Floss, Jules and Sarah. All three of these women have issues to deal with and all of them wish they could turn the clock back to when they were happily enjoying their childhoods on Lord Howe Island (a place I have never been, but now want to visit!). I loved all three of them, even though they were very different women. Dot reminded me very much of my mother - enough said, there.
I could smell the salt air as I was reading this book, and I loved the characterisations, so much. In fact, I didn't want the book to end - any follow-on books, let me know :)
Beautiful novel, it really was. Highly recommended.
5 stars from me.
Thank you to Harlequin Australia for the ARC. All opinions regarding this book are entirely my own.
After a failed marriage and an expected partnership in the accounting firm she’s worked in for years doesn’t eventuate, it’s an opportunity for Sarah to go back to Lord Howe Island where she grew up. With her mother incapacitated with a broken hip and her father looking after her, she steps up to help run the local general store but there are ghosts on the Island she doesn’t want really to face. If your looking for a great holiday read, I throughly recommend this one. With some characters that you were happy not to like, it’s centred around families, friendships and life disappointments with some topical subjects like infertility touched. As like most of this genre, we are all aware what the ending may be but it’s the journey the story takes us on that makes it. I throughly enjoyed this feel good book. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy to read.
Trish Morey returns with a story about 3 friends who were once close but are now estranged. Floss is a mother of 5 and battles bringing up her children with running a holiday park. Her husband Andy is a fly in fly out worker, so it is pretty much up to her most of the time. They were once close but now seem drifting apart. Sarah has a career as an accountant in a prestigious firm in Sydney, she is driven to aim for that partnership that has eluded her for ages. She is a widow but bitter because of the circumstances that led to her becoming a widow. Jules is a single mother of Della and battles to bring her up on her own after Della’s father is deemed missing at sea. The issue is that Sarah’s ex-husband is Della’s father. Added to this is a shocking medical issue that threatens to turn her life upside down unless she makes plans for the future. When Sarah returns home to look after her family’s store as her mother has had a hip replacement, she must face up to her two friends who live in the same place. Will they ever return to that happy place they felt when they were best friends. A very enjoyable read set on Lord Howe Island off the coast of New South Wales, lovely descriptions of life there and the scenery. Readers of contemporary women’s fiction will enjoy this novel immensely.
Sarah was hoping to be made a partner in the accounting firm where she’d worked for years. After her marriage failed, she’d invested a lot of time and energy in her career. But when the partnership doesn’t eventuate, Sarah agrees to return to Lord Howe Island for a while, to help her parents in the family store. Sarah really doesn’t want to return to Lord Howe Island, where her two ex-best friends Floss and Jules live. But she doesn’t feel like she has a choice: her mother is incapacitated with a broken hip and her father needs help.
‘It struck her that her life was a bit like those ceiling tiles: stained in places and with other bits all askew.’
Floss is married to her high school sweetheart, Andy, and they have five children. But Andy seems preoccupied and is pushing her away. Who can Floss talk to?
Jules can’t forget the past. Her four-year-old daughter brings her great joy but is a reminder of her broken friendships with Sarah and Floss.
So, what went wrong? How (and why) did Sarah, Jules and Floss go from being best friends to being estranged? Can the past be negotiated? Why did Sarah’s marriage fail and why is her mother so difficult?
Ms Morey delivers an enjoyable, contemporary story about life challenges, friendship and forgiveness. And just in time for the holidays!
Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin HQ for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.
This is without doubt the best book that Trish Morey has ever written. One Summer Between Friends is the sort of book you lose yourself in and resent being dragged away from when life dares to interrupt. This is a story of healing and forgiveness for former childhood friends Sarah, Floss and Jules, each of whom has contributed to a massive falling-out which resulted In their estrangement from each other. With Sarah back on Lord Howe Island the seemingly irreparable situation comes to a head and each woman is forced to have a good hard look at her actions. This story is exquisitely written. The scene setting is so beautifully done you can’t help but clearly imagine yourself standing amid the lush palms, hibiscus and frangipani. Then there are the characters. Sarah, Jules and Floss are complex women, each with the life stories that come with 37 years of dealing with husbands, families and all the associated issues. These women and the circumstances each is dealing with are sensitively portrayed. As a reader I couldn’t help but feel for each of them. Beyond the core values that are central to this story is the fact that this is a ripping good yarn. It’s engrossing. It keeps the pages turning and it’s utterly engaging. I read it in two settings and if I’d been younger and healthier it would have been one. I loved this book!
I could not put this book down even though it was my Sunday off work with plans to visit with relatives for the holiday season. The story is about three wonderful women that drew me in straight away to the many topics from broken friendships, Illness, lost dreams, disappointments, failed marriages, infidelities but most of all forgiveness.
Three girls that have grown up together and been friends have been estranged from each other for many years. Each is facing new challenges in their lives that may bring them together or might just be the final nail in their friendship.
Will true friendship be overcome and can forgiveness be their future?
Sarah once had it all Husband, great career and a home in Syndey, but she is now returning to her home on Lord Howe Island to one help her parents in a time of need and two to re-evaluate her future career and life goals.
Floss is a mother of 5 children, wife and business owner with her parents of an Inn called Beached on Lard Howe Island. She has only ever had one dream to marry her high school sweetheart and have a family but after eighteen years of marriage and with the oldest child being sixteen Floss is looking to a bit of a change. Her is not being appreciated by her husband and she is in need of a good friend to talk to about her problems
Jules is a single mother of a four-year-old, a daughter she never plans or even wanted in her life. But life will test us all at times and with another test just around the corner can Jules keep everything running along without the two most important friends she has ever had in her life.
I love the setting of this book and would love to visit Lord Howe Island one day. The author did a wonderful job of describing the area at the same time giving us a very entertaining and thought-provoking storyline. This is my first read by Trish Morey and I am pleased to say I just love her writing style and the language used in her telling of this very moving story of friendship and forgiveness.
Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin Australia for the copy of this ARC it which I have given my honest and voluntary review.
One Summer Between Friends is largely set on Lord Howe Island, a small community off the coast of New South Wales. The setting is glorious and one that I must say sounds like a beautiful place to visit, Morey paints it vividly. The story is very much character driven but the setting is an integral part of that, especially in that it’s a small community. Floss, Jules and Sarah were childhood best friends who shared everything and thought they would be lifelong friends there to share the ups and downs of life together, forever. Sarah moved to the mainland to forge a career as an accountant while Floss and Jules were happy to remain on Lord Howe Island. Their friendships remained strong until things happened that tore the friends apart, these were things we didn’t learn about until well into the story and I had to keep reading to find out what went so horribly wrong. These three friends were so close and to lose a friendship like that leaves a massive hole, a hard hole to fill because friendships like that are hard to find. We open with Sarah thinking she may finally be about to be offered a partnership at the firm she has given her all to for 17 years, a firm she started in straight out of university. A partnership there was question she would ever be offered because it still has very much a boys’ club mentality. Unfortunately her day doesn’t quite go to plan, beginning with the call from her father with news that her parents are in a Sydney hospital after hip surgery for her mother; recovery and rehab are going to take time and they need her to come home for six months to run the family store on the island. How is that ever going to work when she thinks she’s about to be offered the position she has spent years working towards? More to the point, why would she want to return to the island and all of the past hurts she’s been trying to escape. She doesn’t want to be on the island where she can’t hide from the ghosts of her past and she can’t forget all that has happened. Her meeting with the partners goes far from how she expected and she agrees to head home to run the store, albeit reluctantly. Floss seems to have it all, married to her highschool sweetheart with a brood of beautiful children and living in paradise; except that things aren’t always how they seem. Floss is feeling a little trapped in her life and her marriage has seen better days, and she has no idea what to do about it. Jules is happily living a life she never expected, or knew she wanted, until she finds something that changes everything. One Summer Between Friends is very much the story of all three of these ladies but I feel like Sarah is really the central character. She has certainly not had things easy and I found her easy to relate to. Actually, I found all of these women easy to relate to. These are women approaching 40 and going through things that many women of a similar age are going to understand and empathise with. We won’t always react the same way or make the same decisions but I could certainly see how thedecisions were made. One thing that really touched me is that these women, friends since childhood, who had always thought they would be friends forever, don’t seem to have other really close friends. I’m sure they have other friends and people they spend time with but not friends that they can share anything deeper than the day to day. I think that’s beautiful in that it was clearly a friendship so deep and special that it’s irreplaceable but it’s also sad that when the friendship imploded there wasn’t anyone to share the struggles that require a special friendship. Sarah being back on the island is a perfect opportunity to try and find a way back to friendship but she’s determined that’s not on the cards. Jules reaches out and Sarah wants no part of it. The reunion between Sarah and Floss came as a surprise to both of them with an unexpected meeting in the store, though I guess they both knew it was possible. Theirs is a slightly awkward meeting which leads to more regular contact. I can completely understand this falling out, Floss had everything Sarah had always wanted and couldn’t have. Her bitter jealousy got the better of her and she snapped, said terrible things and broke off a friendship they both relied on. Years later and Sarah is dealing a little better with the way things are, she knows she was in the wrong and tries to make amends; helped by the fact that Floss understands. This becomes a summer of transformation for all three women. I quickly realised that it’s not just the ghosts of friendships past that Sarah is running from, her mother has a poison tongue and unleashes it on Sarah regularly. There were some comments that I thought were just insensitive and thoughtless but not necessarily intended to harm, but there were others that were most definitely designed to flay and open wounds Sarah is so desperately trying to heal. I loved these women and I felt for them through their issues and I hoped that they would find their way back to each other because the friendship they shared was an important piece of all their lives. I could understand Sarah’s reluctance but I also hoped they would find a way through it. The struggles they face are the same struggles that many face; fertility, health issues, intimacy, family dynamics, career choices. There is a list of book club questions in the back which I have given some thought to but won’t address here because it gives away quite a lot. All three of these women have done things they aren’t proud of, things that it isn’t easy to come back from. Things they need to forgive themselves for as much as ask forgiveness and though some of them I can understand I still don’t know that I could have forgiven myself in their shoes. One Summer Between Friends was a beautiful book of life, family and friendship in all it’s pleasure and pain. I would love to check back in on these characters in another year or two to see what’s happening for them. I have hopes and dreams for them that I would love see come to fruition.