Return to Summerhouse

Return to SummerhouseI didn’t think you could take such an incredible read As The Summerhouse and then years later come close to topping it… but I think Jude Deveroux just about did.  If you look at my previous blog on The Summerhouse you can read about my love for that book and why.  Now years later Jude comes up with a follow up book that knocked it out of the park again…

Return to Summerhouse is one of those books I was almost afraid to crack open.  After my raving through the years about The Summerhouse, and the shock of finding Jude suddenly out with a sequal 5 years later….(I can’t believe she didn’t call  and tell me!) I was almost afraid the second might tarnish the first if you know what I mean.  Sometimes good things are meant to just be left alone.

Yet Jude must have felt called to continue with this story line and I can’t help but believe that there must be many more out there like me that loved the first one to make her want to go on.  I also have to believe for a writer to write this well, she has to love the topic and the characters she develops as well.

A few days ago after rereading The Summerhouse, I followed up with this one.  I was not dissapointed.  Jude (if I may call her Jude…) used a completely different set of people this time, just left the area and Maddam Zoya the same.  As much as I had hoped that she bring back my favorites from Summerhouse (Leslie, Madison, and Ellie) I am now glad that she didn’t.  These new women were amazing too, and the fact that this time they go back into the 18th century, made me long to create an “orangery” and find a way to get my hands on the original balm out of biblical times…. (you’ll have to read the book to know what I am talking about!)

HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommended.  Let this book take you away!  I can not wait to review it for book club and I have a fun idea to go with our review….    A 10.

The Summerhouse by Jude Deveroux

All readers have a few favorites that they tuck aside to pull out and dust off every few years and read again just for that thrill they got from the first time they opened this treasure.

This is one of those books for me.

Knowing that, you are going to have to imagine what happened when I was recently on The Mother Ship (Barnes and Noble) online looking up book suggestions for our August read for book club and I found a book titled Return To Summerhouse by Jude Deveroux.

I paused and reread the title.  Could this be a reissue of the book that came out in 2003?  Then I read the lines under the title…. “a follow up to Jude Deveroux’s best selling book The Summerhouse….”

I think I screamed in excitement from my home office.

I’m pretty sure I scared Al.

A sequel!  To one of my top reads of all time?  This was like a dream come true!  Haven’t we all had those books where you wish the author would have went further with the characters?  Or you wish that a second book would come out continuing on how the previous book ended?

Of course, I am not writing here about Return to Summerhouse.  This entry is about The Summerhouse which I knew I had to pull off the shelf and read before I read the follow up.

I love this book.  I think I love it mostly because of the strong women characters and of your the chance to go back to a point in our lives where we wonder if we chose right… and get to choose again.  Wow.  But – the review we had on this book in 2003 only adds to my love for the book as this I still believe was one of our best ever book discussions.  This was probably the first book we had read as a group that really made us open up to choices we would change.

Rereading this book for probably the 4th time… I am again in awe of this incredible writing and the unique turn this book takes unlike any I have ever read.  This book is a full 10 rating from me.

Now… to read the follow up…

A Bookie Event – All Hale the Queen!

Here we are – year two of our Queen Election for the Bookies and once again the ladies of the group have outdone themselves! Dresses came from Good Will, Bargains on Seventh, Clearance sales, loaners, Prom Dresses, – all over! It was such a blast to see everyone get involved!

We had our annual book sale to raise money for Charity, our potluck with great foods and then our book vote. For August we chose Return to Summerhouse by Jude Deveroux which has me so excited to read as Summerhouse (I know you probably all know this – is one of my favorite all time book club reads!).

Finally we got to our election and the poems. songs, musical instruments, speeches… – they were all so amazing! Our Past Queen Amy Price crowned our new Queen. We had two in the running – Lori Norgard and Angie Simmonds. Amy crowned Angie as the new reigning Queen for July 2008 – July 2009! I love how everyone just gets up and does their thing! Well…don’t take my word for it – here are the pictures!

The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis

It took me a bit to get into this third book of the Chronicles of Narnia.  The characters are different than the ones we have grown to love in this series and it is not until about the middle of the book that you catch a glimpse of Queen Lucy, Susan, and King Edmund.

Once I picked up the flow, the book was good and I found myself looking for C.S. Lewis’ story within the story.  I especially liked the part where Shasta is traveling alone on a stubborn horse (not a Narnia horse of course – just a plain old horse…).  Shasta is alone, lost, and it is dark.  He is afraid and feeling a bit sorry for himself and is softly crying when he sences a presence walking next to them.   It takes him a while to be brave enough to call and when he does his voice is a small, “who’s there?”

It is of course, Aslan.  A great conversation takes place here between Aslan and Shasta and I love the way Lewis has presented that even in the darkest night, in our darkest fears – He is with us.  We are not alone.

Still plotting through the series, I am excited to get into the 4th book which is Prince Caspian, the movie that recently came out.  Great reads – highly recommended.