Friday, November 4, 2011
Review: "The Summerhouse & Return to Summerhouse"
The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux
4 out of 5 stars
My mom shared with me her love of Nora Roberts, Johanna Lindsey and many more when I was a teenager and young adult and this was one of my favorites. Don't let the author or "romance" category turn you off of this little series though, there's not a lot of "mushy" stuff lol and it is really a surprisingly good read. (Now, if you do want some "mushy" or "steamy" stuff, I can definitely recommend you some titles! :))
The first is much better than the second, in my opinion, but they are both good stand alone books. The Summerhouse starts out with 3 young women, Leslie, Madison & Ellie, waiting at the DMV in New York to get their licenses renewed on their 21st birthdays. Of course, they are stuck there for hours and eventually get to know each other a bit and become sort-of friends. They go their separate ways and don't speak or see each other again for 19 years, when they decide to get together at a summerhouse in Maine for their collective 40th birthdays.
All 3 women have changed drastically; they are no longer the beautiful, confident women from the DMV. They each have a story to tell and it's a big one. While out shopping around the town, they each pick up a business card from a Madame Zoya, who claims to be able to send a person back in time for 2 weeks and they decide to go visit her just for fun. Yes, the book does stretch your imagination a bit at this point, but it's worth it! Each woman goes back to a specific 2 weeks in her past to try and change her future. Or maybe just realize she doesn't need to.
Return to Summerhouse
3 1/2 out of 5 stars
In the sequel, we unfortunately do not get more of the same characters' stories, but 3 all new women visit the same summerhouse and visit the amazing Madame Zoya. Amy, who seems to have the perfect life and has followed her "plan" up to this point, has a huge setback and is coerced/forced/begged by her husband to go to the summerhouse, which has turned into a therapeutic vacation spot for women. Faith is a young widow who doesn't know what to do with her life. And Zoe has no memory of the night that caused her entire hometown to hate her.
Again, all 3 women visit Madame Zoya, but the main story is focused on Amy, who takes the other 2 back to her husband's ancestor's time to try and change his future for him. We don't get equal time with the other 2 girls and that is the only thing that made me mark this sequel down a half star. I loved Amy's story, but I wanted to hear just as much detail about the other 2.
I guess I enjoyed these books so much because I play a lot of "what if" in my head. What if I had said this to this person 10 years ago? What if I had been this way in high school? What if I could go back to any 2 weeks, which would I choose? Which would you choose? Would you go back at all? Intriguing stuff.