Published July 1, 2016
Lake Union Publishing
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I am quite surprised that I haven’t read anything from Allison Winn Scotch before. When I came across this book on NetGalley I thought it sounded very interesting. A bit of a lighter read after all of the thrillers and books about missing adults and children that I have read lately.
I read this quite quickly. The plot was good and flowed well. As I am almost the same age as these characters I could relate to a lot of what was going on back when they were in their early twenties and also twenty years later.
Twenty years ago six friends shared a house while attending Penn University. Bea, Annie, Catherine, Owen, Colin and Lindy. They considered themselves not just friends but family. They promised themselves and each other that no matter what happened in life they would always remain close.
“We were twenty-one. We were allowed to believe impossible things.”
However, life happens and as the years pass a few things happen that end up severing the ties between many members of the group. More importantly though Bea, the one that would have tried to bring them back together tragically passed away.
Now twenty years later the five friends have been summoned back to the house they lived in all those years ago. It is the 4th of July weekend and had their friend and leader, Bea lived she would be turning 40 that very weekend. In honor of Bea’s wishes they all return to the house that held so many good memories, heartbroken that Bea isn’t there with them.
But this isn’t exactly a happy homecoming. All of the friends have returned not only with the issues they have with each other but the many issues they have going on in their own lives. So many secrets and things left unsaid. Will they take this chance to make things right? Can they come together and be as close as they once were? Or will their stubbornness, insecurities, as well as even more secrets revealed over the weekend pull them even further apart?
I really enjoyed this book and all the compelling characters. I feel like the author did a great job of developing the characters and all of their individual problems. We have a plastic surgeon with a heart of gold, the devoted mother and housewife with all kinds of secrets (including a HUGE addiction to Social Media), A CEO and her husband, a stay at home father, as well as a famous musician. I liked reading all of their thoughts and perspectives about the past as well as what was going on currently.
The author skillfully writes about secrets, friendships and marriage. It all felt very believable. The egos and insecurities and all of the things that get in the way of relationships. Her descriptions of those gut wrenching feelings of crushes, early love , break-ups as well as unrequited love were bang on. I remember when forty felt so far away and twenty years a lifetime. I felt quite nostalgic reading this. It made me even more aware of how my own life has changed over the years. This really was an interesting look at how relationships as well as everything else changes as time goes by. Makes me feel like I need to do a better job of reaching out to some of my old friends….and not just on social media.
The one thing I do wish was that the ending was a bit longer and more detailed. I can understand where the author was going with it, sort of leaving some things up in the air but I think it would have been really nice to see how things tuned out for these characters that I grew to really like and care about.
All in all an engaging read that held my interest from beginning to end. A great summer read. I am definitely looking forward to reading more from Allison Winn Scotch.
Thank you to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing, and Allison Winn Scotch for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.