Saturday, May 30, 2009

Life Without Summer by Lynne Griffin

Life Without Summer has gained a lot of attention from various bloggers, as well as some magazines where I have read reviews for it. It sounded like a good read, and something different from the usual mystery and thriller books I read. I decided to place it on hold from my library and am glad I did. I pretty much read it one sitting this morning/afternoon and enjoyed it. Life Without Summer receives a B+ from me.

Inside cover:
Tessa Gray's life changes forever when she loses her four-year-old daughter, Abby, in a hit-and-run accident outside her preschool. Once a vivacious, joyful mother and wife, Tessa now spends her days holed up in Abby's room, sleeping in her bed, clutching Abby's Tootsie Rabbit stuffed animal- anything to keep her memories close. As Tessa graples with her terrible grief, made worse by the police's insistence that the case is unsolvable, she finds solace in Celia Reed, the therapist her husband has pushed her to see, and in the journal she's keeping, where she compulsively counts the "days without Abby" and maps out her plan for catching the driver who tore her family apart.
As Celia struggles to keep Tessa from getting caught up in a bleak crusade for answers, she finds that their sessions open the door to emotions she's spend years ignoring, forcing her to face the rising tensions in her life- her troubled teenage son, her alcoholic ex-husband, and her fragile new marriage. Celia begins to realize that she must come to terms with the tragic mistakes of her past and the choices that have led her family to their own brink of destruction.

Life Without Summer is told through Tessa's journal and Celia's, who begins to start one after suggesting to Tessa to help sort out her thoughts and feelings. I thought Ms. Griffin did a great job of writing about Tessa's grief and confusion of losing her daughter is such a senseless way (though as I write that, is there a way that makes sense when a little child's life is lost) and the reactions of those surrounding her. I was more drawn, however, to Celia's story, perhaps because it wasn't as painful Tessa's. I have to admit, I really disliked Celia's husband and wanted to jump into the pages and beat him over the head. Actually, the more I think about it, I wanted to jump into the pages and beat most of the characters over the head at one time or another, though I think that just goes to show how raw and realistic the characters are in this story. It was a difficult book to read at times, and I did shed a few tears. It was a good book, but definitely not the type of story one can read too many of.

Reading this story pulled a lot of raw emotions out of me. After being married for nearly five years and deciding to try and start a family, things are not happening as quickly as I would like. Every day I am surrounded by people who should not have children or can't seem to be bothered with their children, and I get so frustrated that I am having such a difficult time fulfilling this desire of mine. Then I read this book and am further reminded that bad things happen to good people all of the time and it does depress me a bit. Right now in my neck of the woods, a little 5 year old girl has gone missing. She disappeared on Sunday after her mother allowed her to play outside without any adult supervision. This mother, who was just released from prison herself, surrounded her and her daughter with convicted sex offenders and two are in custody right now on other charges and are being called "persons of interest". It causes me so much anger on how some people can be so dumb, or I guess I should say, so selfish. The mother has said that she knew these two men are sex offenders though she seems to think nothing of letting them be around her child. Are there really women that desperate for a man that they make these stupid decisions, or are they just so selfish? I don't understand, but I will say I hope something happens to her. Neglect charges or something, because unfortunely, as each day passes, the hope that little Neveah is found safe and unharmed is dwindling. Anyways, all of this has been on my mind and reading Life Without Summer had me examining my feelings a bit more.

Well I am going to try and keep my mind focused on happier thoughts. The Wings start tonight, and I am going to find a less depressing book to start reading now. I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend and Happy Reading!

No comments: