Summer of Roses by Luanne Rice

Book Synopsis

(taken from blurb of book)

On the windswept coast of Nova Scotia, two friends and their young daughters have found refuge in the rugged community of Cape Hawk. Lily Malone and nine-year-old Rose are making a new home with a man who will do whatever it takes to protect them. Marisa Taylor and young Jessica are beginning to recapture the music that once filled their world with joy. But now a stranger from faraway New England has made his way to Cape Hawk, bearing secrets from the past and news of an uncertain future. And each woman will face choices that will irrevocably shape all the seasons to come — between lives left behind, mysteries unsolved, and loves that must be reclaimed or abandoned forever.

Ciel's Rating

Ciel's Review

Book in context: This is the sequel to her story Summer's Child. Many recommend reading Summer's Child first before attempting to comprehend the complexity of Summer of Roses, which I didn't do. That said, this is the first book I read out of my comfort zone (fantasy and Classics), and to be honest, I enjoyed every page turn.

This book addresses the delicate issue of domestic violence and the emotional scars it leaves. Luanne Rice centers her message in sisterhood solidarity, friendship, and love. The characters are fully developed and complex, and the situations surrounding them are believable in every sense. I like how it emphasizes on family and portrays strong women fighting through their emotional scars. The meaning of the story is clear: In order to reach what's in front of you, you have to let go of of what's behind. This is exactly what the book is about, to let go of your past and your scarred heart, to be able to aim for a brighter and happy future. It has a powerful, emotional quality to it that readers can identify pretty easily.

The setting is in Connecticut, and it affects the plot and the characters very much (making them more believable and humane). One of the main reasons Connecticut was chosen as the setting of Rice's book is because she was brought up there; she is familiar with the land, and has drawn an inspiration from her characters from real people she knows. Of course, that is only an assumption.

The grammar was impeccable, and the language was of every day use. It isn't extremely complicated to read or understand. The imagery was so real that I actually felt I was there, standing in the garden of roses next to Lily and Rose.

On a final note, Summer of Roses has left a lasting impression on me. It made me yearn for strong family and friendship bonds in a world so cynical like the one we're currently living in. I learned that you don't have to fight alone; you have loved ones that would die for you in order to make you smile. I highly recommend this book; it opens your eyes and gives you a new perspective of what family and friendship mean.

Disclaimer: May not be appropriate for young children due to minor violence.