Sunday 28 August 2016

Book Review - A Summer of Secrets by Alice Ross

Amazon UK
Title: A Summer of Secrets
Author: Alice Ross
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Carina
Publication Date: 9th May 2016
Rating: 4.5 Stars

One long hot summer. Secrets never stay buried for long…

Portia is determined to restore Buttersley Manor, her family’s crumbling ancestral home, to its former glory. Yet she has a feeling that there are a few forgotten skeletons in the dust-covered cupboards.

Jenny has put her life on hold for far too long. It’s time to finally start living and to dig up those hopes and dreams she’s kept hidden all these years – but is she brave enough?

Rich is happily married with a beautiful wife and lovely daughter. In fact, his world is perfect until a very unexpected consequence of his past walks through the door…

Joe would like nothing more than to travel back in time to when he and Gina were happy. But is it too late to rescue what they once had?

One thing’s for sure, nothing’s ever quite what it seems when it comes to life in the country!

This is my second and definitely won't be my last visit to Buttersley. I really loved the way the four main storylines wove around each other, and the main characters in this I found a lot easy to get to know than the ones in the previous book in this series. 

Although it is book 2 in the Countryside Dreams series, it can easily be read as a standalone as all the focus are on people that are new to the reader, the book just happens to be set in the location. 

A couple of the storylines were a lot stronger than the others, in fact although Portia is a main character, and is heir to Buttersley Manor, it felt like she had the smallest amount of book dedicated to her, but she still had a budding romance in the offing. 

Jenny is a lot more interesting, she has lived with her domineering mother for her whole life, and has barely done anything with her own life. Finally at the age of 50 she is slowly starting to show a rebellious streak which is wonderful to see, and did make me think that if I don't change my own life I may end up like Jenny in the future. 

Rich's story is a bit more complex when a blast from the past shows up, but at the same time shows us his family situation, and work situation and I really liked his whole family. 

And then there is Joe, he is a young twenty something, working as a window cleaner that offers additional services, but is heartbroken, until things slowly start to change, and he has real adult decisions to make which will affect his future. 

The narrative switches between the various characters fairly often, but instead of feeling confused, it didn't take long to get used to it, and to know who was who. I really enjoyed the way the four main strands would interact, even if I couldn't work it out to start with. 

My only slight niggle with the book was the it felt like rather an abrupt ending, but I hope that just means we will get glimpses of these characters in the next book, to find out what is going on with their lives. 

A Summer of Secrets is  a very enjoyable glimpse into the lives of some of Buttersley's residents, and I can't wait to see what happens next in this charming series.

Thanks to Carina and Netgalley for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

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