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 NHunter 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
Rated 5 out of 5 by Estela2716 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