Cat Coombs always seemed to struggle in finding her place in her world of London. She did not fit into the popular crowd, but eventually discovered that with a few drinks in her, she could bring on the liquid courage that seemed to make her fit. In her teen years and into her 20’s it became known that the party had not started until Cat had arrived. Sure, Cat did not always remember events that took place in these crazy drinking binges, and she did not always make it to her job as a journalist on time, but being “absent” from a dad that does not seem to really care and a mom that keeps her distance isn’t so bad.
When Cat meets Jason, a handsome guy who is a recovering alcoholic Cat tries to stop drinking for him (although she is sure she doesn’t have a problem) but a bombshell dropped by her mother sends Cat not only into a shock… but also to the states and Nantucket to stay with family she doesn’t know. This family is a lot of fun and Cat slips easily into old habits. A serious mistake destroys relationships all around her and sends her back to London planning never to return to Nantucket again and put what happened out of her mind.
But…. things have a way of popping up when not dealt with.
As Cat grows into her 40’s, now a recovering alcoholic who understands the importance of her meetings and never drinking again, she finds herself stuck on the 9th step in her recovery: Made direct amends to such people, wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
While Cat has completed most of this step, she has not addressed what happened in Nantucket or the people she hurt deeply. When an opportunity arises for Cat to write a story on Nantucket and she is able to spend two weeks there, she knows it is time to face whatever happens… even if it means risking it all.
I have to admit Summer Secrets surprised me. I found I liked Cat. This is the first book I have read that really placed me inside an AA meeting and I found that interesting. Of course I have heard of the steps, but learning more about the meetings through Cat’s character was interesting and really thinking how hard that 9th step has to be – to face those you have hurt, has to be so hard and yet so lifting as well, no matter what the outcome. Author Jane Green did an excellent job of covering this topic through Cat’s character without it ever feeling heavy or draining. Well done.
Summer Secrets has a great mix of people, places, and situations. This is not your typical “Nantucket read”. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and think that this would make a great book to pick up and enjoy this summer. If you enjoy summer reading, realistic family dynamics, great friendships, and learning a little something along the way do not miss out on this book.