Still Summer

Author: Jacquelyn Mitchard

Publisher: Warner Books

Release Date: August 2007

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4

Format: PRINT

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Tracy, Olivia, Holly, and Janis have been best friends since high school. They were the queens of their Chicago-area Catholic school, where they ruled the halls as a girl group known as the Godmothers. Olivia moved to Italy soon after graduation and married a wealthy nobleman, rarely returning to her hometown and growing apart from her childhood friends.

When Olivia’s husband dies, she suggests a sailing trip in the Caribbean so the women can reconnect with one another. When Janis’s husband becomes ill, Janis pulls out of the trip, and Tracy’s daughter, Cammie, joins the three women. Cammie is nineteen and in college, and her relationship with her mother is strained. Tracy hopes that the time at sea will bring her closer to her daughter, as they were when she was a child.

The ship’s captain, Lenny, and his assistant, Michel, have been sailing for years. They are well-prepared for any situation, but when a freak accident leaves the women adrift on the open seas, they are forced to learn how to survive on their own. Can they get over their differences and find their way to land, or will the challenges tear them apart?

STILL SUMMER gets off to a slow start. Like many of her earlier books, Ms. Mitchard focuses on character development rather than action at the beginning of the novel. This technique helps the reader better understand the characters’ motivations and actions, so when the story begins to move quickly—which it does—everything is more believable.

What starts out as a novel about the relationships between mothers and daughters and female friends quickly turns into a thriller and a story of survival. The women are out of their element, and the tension is incredible. The challenges they face are real—starvation, dehydration, even modern-day piracy—and the pace of the writing keeps the tension high. The writing is skillful, the four women are believable characters, and the ending is beautiful.

I’ve read several other books by Jacquelyn Mitchard, and I’ve had a difficult time putting them down. Ms. Mitchard is one of today’s best writers of contemporary women’s fiction, and STILL SUMMER does not disappoint.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Lucia Nelson

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