When 11-year-old Daria Cato sneaks out early from her North Carolina home to look for shells along the beach, she finds a newborn baby left along the shore. With no evidence of who the baby girl may belong to – Daria’s family adopts her, naming her Shelly and providing her a safe and happy home to grow in.
Twenty years later, Shelly is a young gorgeous woman who still lives with Daria in the Cato home. Daria as well as her sister Chloe love Shelly like a sister and will go to great lengths to protect her. When an old neighbor of the sisters comes back to the area set on digging into the mysteries surrounding Shelly’s birth – old wounds are reopened and a town that takes care of its own is found to have more buried secrets than anyone could have imagined.
I picked this book up recently at our Friends of the Brainerd Public Library sale and it came with me to Boston this past week. I first was introduced in Diane Chamberlains books in 2014 when I was helping a friends with her bees in Florida (true story). I spent many a long day working with bee hives and listening to Diane Chamberlain books on audio. I fell in love with her writing style – she has such a unique way of drawing you in and leading you to a conclusion that you do not see coming.
I have to say, out of all of the Chamberlain books I have read – this is my least favorite. While it still had the twists and turns I have come to know and love – there were several areas of this book that did not flow for me. Without going into too much detail so as not to create spoilers –
- Some of the language (words) used to describe certain characters felt outdated and improper – almost cringeworthy when I read them. (In her defense, maybe this was intended for setting the full feel of the book) yet every time I found this in the book it stopped the flow of reading for me.
- The way a few spots came together did not quite fit or flow as they should. I found myself thinking that it came together too easy, there eshoudl have been follow up questions, this should have raised a flag, etc… and yet it did not.
This is a book originally written in 2000 – so quite honestly, it is an older title of hers, and I belive possibly the oldest of her writings that I have read. While I still enjoyed the characters, the setting and the outcome (yes, I was surprised again – yet have follow up questions), I belive I will stick with her more recent publications.
If you have not read Chamberlain – I highly recommend you do! Her books are typically fantastic in book format as well as audio. Here is a link to reviews of her books I have read and enjoyed:
Big Lies In A Small Town
Keeper of the Light
Pretending To Dance
The Secret Life of Cee Cee Wilkes
The Midwifes Confession
The Silent Sister
4 thoughts on “Summer’s Child by Diane Chamberlain”
I’ve never read anything by this author, but it sounds like I am missing out. Too bad this one wasn’t as good since the plot sounds intriguing.
I highly recommend her Helen – she really writes great books. I’m not sure what happened here.
I do love this author and have enjoyed everything so far. I am still curious about this one despite the issues you found, so thanks for sharing.
Thanks, Laurel, one was what she (her characters) call a disabled person – I didn’t feel that is was because of the book it’s written like is appropriate. Really didn’t sit well with me.