The Summer We Came to Life

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The Summer We Came to Life

Format:  Paperback,

312 pages

Edition: Original

Publisher: Harlequin Books

Publish Date: May 2011

ISBN-13: 9780778312918

ISBN-10: 0778312917

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.
Every summer, Samantha Wheland joins her childhood friends--Isabel, Kendra and Mina--on a vacation, somewhere exotic and fabulous. Together with their mixed bag of parents, they've created a lifetime of memories. This year it's a beach house in Honduras. But for the first time, their clan is not complete. Mina lost her battle against cancer six months ago, and the friends she left behind are still struggling to find their way forward without her.
For Samantha, the vacation just feels "wrong" without Mina. Despite being surrounded by her friends--the closest thing she has to family--Mina's death has left Sam a little lost. Unsure what direction her life should take. Fearful that whatever decision she makes about her wealthy French boyfriend's surprise proposal, it'll be the wrong one.
The answers aren't in the journal Mina gave Sam before she died. Or in the messages Sam believes Mina is sending as guideposts. Before the trip ends, the bonds of friendship with her living friends, the older generation's stories of love and loss, and Sam's glimpse into a world far removed from the one in which she belongs will convince her to trust her heart. And follow it.

Specifications

Publisher: Harlequin Books
Publish Date: May 2011
ISBN-13: 9780778312918
ISBN-10: 0778312917
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 312
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 0.54
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 5.75 x 8.5 x 1.25

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (2011-05-01)

For years, childhood friends Samantha, Kendra, Isabel, and Mina have spent their summers together on exotic vacations. This year, however, the group is missing Mina, who died earlier in the year. Mina left behind her journal for her friends to remember her by, but it offers little comfort for the women, who are each struggling with personal and family demons. Featuring drama, family secrets, and friendship, Cloyed's multilayered debut will appeal to those who don't mind their beach reading on the weighty side.

(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book description

Every summer, Samantha Wheland joins her childhood friends—Isabel, Kendra and Mina—on a vacation, somewhere exotic and fabulous. Together with their mixed bag of parents, they've created a lifetime of memories. This year it's a beach house in Honduras. But for the first time, their clan is not complete. Mina lost her battle against cancer six months ago, and the friends she left behind are still struggling to find their way forward without her.

For Samantha, the vacation just feels wrong without Mina.

Despite being surrounded by her friends—the closest thing she has to family—Mina's death has left Sam a little lost. Unsure what direction her life should take. Fearful that whatever decision she makes about her wealthy French boyfriend's surprise proposal, it'll be the wrong one.

The answers aren't in the journal Mina gave Sam before she died. Or in the messages Sam believes Mina is sending as guideposts. Before the trip ends, the bonds of friendship with her living friends, the older generation's stories of love and loss, and Sam's glimpse into a world far removed from the one in which she belongs will convince her to trust her heart. And follow it.

Customer Product Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5★by 3reviewers.
Rated 5 out of 5 This book is AMAZING! Read it NOW!!! This book is AMAZING! Read it NOW!!! Cloyed's writing is powerful and lyrical, as it chronicles three best friends trying to make sense of their lives and futures in the wake of the death of their fourth musketeer. The depths this book plunges to are so unexpected – quantum physics theories alongside New Age writers like Deepak Chopra and the parents’ heart-wrenching stories of the Iranian Revolution, Panama, and the heady days of Civil Rights. What I anticipated as a quick summer read ended up being a life changing experience. When I finished, I asked my own parents and aunts and uncles about their individual experiences of history and love, AND re-examined some of my own life path and choices. Every page teems with longing and searching, healing and surrender. Or laughter. The writer not only leads her protagonist Sam out of the depths of loss, but she teaches us how to live, trust, choose, and begin again. 05/29/2011
Rated 5 out of 5★by Favorite Summer Read! The Summer We Came to Life is anything but typical and girlie. Rich and enchanting, it is unconventionally intellectual and weighty . . . while still being a great beach read! It delves right into real life personal issues women face today. Should Samantha really marry her French playboy boyfriend Remy? Samantha, like us women do, turns to her best friends for help. This in turn prompts the best friends’ parents to weigh in with their own love stories in detail they’d never told their daughters.All of this soul searching centers around the recent death of Mina. When death strikes too early, loved ones naturally ask - how could this possibly be the end? The journals Mina and Samantha kept examine the possibility of multiple realities in a desperate attempt to communicate after death. This exploration of scientific theories adds a fresh perspective on coping with death and mourning.The novel also explores social and cultural issues of the Baby Boomer’s generation – power and corruption during the Panamanian Revolution, the ideological terror of the Iranian Revolution, and brutal racism during Civil Rights in the South – reminding us that history books are really only the cliff notes of millions of very personal experiences.But for me, the greatest strength of the book is the enviable bond of Samantha and her best friends and her unlikely family. It’s an interesting commentary on our times – that with single parents, broken families, and women delaying starting their own families – best friends and extended circles become our soul mates and tribes. Samantha describes her friendship with Mina as “happiness that bubbles between us like warm, oozing honey.” A pretty good description of how I feel about this book! 05/31/2011
Rated 5 out of 5★by Perfect for Summer Book Club! Every year summer comes around and I look forward to lazy indulgent days by the pool with a good read. Well, this summer I already found a true winner! Categorized as women's fiction but so thrilled to find so much more than fluff in the pages of this amazing novel. As the main character Samantha along with her best friends Kendra and Isabel mourn the loss of their 4th, Mina, to cancer 6 months ago you journey into a profound story of friendship. But this story is also beautifully enriched with lives of their parents, pivotal moments in history such as the Iranian Revolution and Civil Rights, science, and the spiritual after life. At the age of 30, when faced with reflection about the future this book made me realize just how important my own friends are to me. HIGHLY recommend for a summer book club read! 06/02/2011
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