Today I review The Summer Guest by Emma Hannigan.
Published 31st July 2014 (paperback)
“A little magic is about to come to sleepy Caracove Bay…
Lexie and her husband Sam have spent years lovingly restoring No. 3 Cashel Square to its former glory. So imagine Lexie’s delight when a stranger knocks on the door, asking to see the house she was born in over sixty years ago.
Kathleen is visiting from America, longing to see her childhood home…and longing for the distraction from the grief of loosing her husband.
And as Lexie and Sam battle over whether or not to have a baby and Kathleen struggles with her loss, the two women realise their unexpected friendship will touch them in ways neither could have imagined.
In Caracove, there’s more than a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”
3 of 5 stars
I was sent a copy of this book by the publishers and this is my honest review.
Lexie and Sam have been happily married for 17 years and have spent most of that time lovingly restoring their home, affectionately recognised as a money pit. After an accident left her unable to carry on her career, Lexie opened a gallery which has become her pride and joy. She puts up with her overbearing mother and often spends time with her teenage niece, Amelie. She is delighted when she receives a letter from Kathleen asking if she can visit her childhood home. The two soon strike up a friendship, made all the more close when Kathleen moves into their ‘granny annex’.
I did struggle to get into this book in places. I didn’t warm to Lexie who I felt came across as nice and kind one minute, then selfish the next. Her and Sam battle over whether or not to have a child and her resolute refusal to discuss it grated on me. That said I am heavily pregnant at the time of reading and reviewing so that may have some influence on my viewpoint!
Each of the characters were distinct and I was left with clear opinions on all of them, which to me is always a positive. Better to love or loath a character than be indifferent to them. I liked Kathleen and Sam, and felt more on Sam’s ‘side’ than Lexie’s. His reaction to the situation he and Lexie find themselves in seemed more natural to me. I also liked the character of Maia, Lexie’s best friend, who is blunt to the point of rudeness but to me was portrayed in a funny and quirky light. I did however detest the character of Amelie, Lexie’s niece, and was always bewildered when another character said what a nice girl she was. She just appeared to me to be spoiled by Lexie and self-centred.
Overall I thought this was a gentle-paced, easy and quick read, something to take to the pool or beach perhaps.
About the Author:
Emma Hannigan is the author of six bestselling novels including Keeping Mum and a bestselling memoir Talk to the Headscarf which charted her journey through cancer. Emma lives in Bray, Ireland, with her husband and two children.
For more about Emma, visit her website www.emmahannigan.com or follow her on Twitter @MsEmmaHannigan.