Title: Summer Secrets
Author: Jane Green
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
For a summer read, Jane Green’s ‘Summer Secrets’ is nothing that you’d otherwise expect from this genre. There’s no whirlwind romance or lavish weddings. What this story does is offers an emotional journey, ranging from shame and resignation to frustration and realization.
Our protagonist is Catherine "Cat" Coombs who had it all: friends, a secure job, and people who loved her even when she didn’t deserve it. But besides all this she had a love affair with alcohol. If it had given her a feeling of worth once, it certainly became a bane of her life later. Never realizing that she had a drinking problem that could land her in a sticky situation, Cat kept going until she blacked out one more time and woke up in a stranger’s bed. Luckily for her, the man she woke up with after the blackout was Jason Halliwell, a television director marking three years, eight months, and 69 days of sobriety. Inspired by him and with a possibility of a romance with the handsome hunk, Cat embarked on her own journey toward sobriety. Theirs is a tumultuous relationship with Cat falling off the wagon time and again.
Meanwhile Cat finds out that the cold man she grew up endlessly failing to please was not her real father. She also finds out where she got her ‘drinking gene’ from. She heads for Nantucket, where she meets her drunken dad and two half sisters and where she commits an unforgivable blunder. She also loses her husband Jason and their daughter to her dismay. Now all that she can do to put the pieces of her life back together is to accept her problem and get clean. The major portion of the book traces her commitment to sobriety.
Green’s tackling of Cat’s character is commendable. In the beginning we see exactly how and why Cat falls prey to alcohol. I couldn’t but sympathize with her circumstance. She handles a grim issue with a sure hand. While the main theme of the novel is Cat’s alcoholism, the overall story also features issues arising out of family dramas. However, the time jump in the narration can leave one disoriented. In spite of being a very good story, I found something amiss. I kept it aside several times only to pick it up and finish it.
About the Author:
A former feature writer for the Daily Express, Jane Green took a leap of faith when she left in 1996 to freelance and work on her book. She is now the bestselling author of over fifteen novels. Jane lives in Connecticut with her husband and their blended family of six children.
* I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
** Picture courtesy: Amazon.in