Good happy Minnesota morning. It is a gorgeous morning here and my COFFEE CUP quite literally runneth over… good friends, good home, good family, good commitments. You get the point. 😉
I was thinking about the book Expo today… after all I have this juicy pile of books that I cant wait to dig into and thought I would start telling you about each one and why it came home with me.
Jane Green has a new book out called The Sunshine Sisters. LOVE LOVE LOVE the title….
Ronni Sunshine left London for Hollywood to become a beautiful, charismatic star of the silver screen. But at home, she was a narcissistic, disinterested mother who alienated her three daughters.
As soon as possible, tomboy Nell fled her mother’s overbearing presence to work on a farm and find her own way in the world as a single mother. The target of her mother’s criticism, Meredith never felt good enough, thin enough, pretty enough. Her life took her to London—and into the arms of a man whom she may not even love. And Lizzy, the youngest, more like Ronni than any of them, seemed to have it easy, using her drive and ambition to build a culinary career to rival her mother’s fame, while her marriage crumbled around her.
But now the Sunshine sisters are together again, called home by Ronni, who has learned that she has a serious disease and needs her daughters to fulfill her final wishes. And though Nell, Meredith, and Lizzy have never been close, their mother’s illness draws them together to confront the old jealousies and secret fears that have threatened to tear these sisters apart. As they face the loss of their mother, they will discover if blood might be thicker than water after all…
Sound summery good?
I think so too.
So how did this jewel or a gorgeous book come home with me from New York? Well that is a GREAT story.
I absolutely love author meet ups. I love to spend time one on one with authors in smaller more personal groups. When the invite came by email to have a lunch with the author at a small park in New York while I was at the Expo the answer of course was yes. YES.
The day of the luncheon the weather was absolutely beautiful. My consistent and awesome Book Expo room-mate and partner in all things BEA Candace (Beth Fish Reads) and I made our way from the Javitz Center the short walk to the park. Jane Green could not have been more personable and AWESOME. She welcomed each of us with a beautiful sack lunch and then personally signed a book for each of us. She then had a great photo op with props (I LOVE props!!!) which was a lot of fun.
We sat down to an amazing lunch. I had the chicken salad which was in a canning jar with apples, grapes, chicken, lettuce and a little dressing… shake it up and grab a fork… wow. The potato chips were organic rosemary and the dessert was made my Jane herself, with the recipe included in the bag.
Of course meet ups are made even more fun when you run in to fellow Bloggers who you chat with on-line…. Stacy (The Novel Life) and Deb(Reader’s Buzz) joined us and that was the icing on the Jane Green Luncheon cake… errr… salad..dressing on the salad I mean… 😉
This was one of my favorite things at the Expo…. sitting in the sun, enjoying a great lunch with friends. Can’t wait to dig into Jane’s book!
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.
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (June 23, 2015)