Title: Summer of Roses
Author: Luanne Rice
Narrated By: Karen Ziemba
Published: May, 2007
Published By: Simon and Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Format Read: Audio Book
Genre: Contemporary, Women's Fiction
Date Read: March 31, 2016
Summer of Roses is a continuation of the characters in Luanne Rice’s Summer’s Child. Upon hearing that her grandmother had fallen ill, Lilly comes out of hiding risking the chance of potentially encountering her abusive ex-husband. The man she ran away from without a trace all those years before. The same man she hid their daughter from, taking refuge in an ocean side Nova Scotia town. Meanwhile another abused ex-wife of the same man, is hiding out with her young daughter in the same town.
I picked up the audio version of Summer of Roses from my local library, not realizing that it was a continuation of another story. Had I known this I probably wouldn’t have picked it up. Thankfully the author included some background information on the characters previous situations, so I was able to get an idea of what I missed.
It took me quite some time to get into this story especially that of Lilly’s storyline. I felt like the characters were so overloaded with personal trauma that it didn’t feel believable. I didn’t particularly connect with Lilly, although leaving her abusive husband was the right decision.
The secondary storyline which involved Marissa and her daughter was far more interesting to me. Not only was the location of Nova Scotia captivating, but the excitement around the Celtic music festival really kept my attention. These parts of Summer of Roses are what kept me listening until the end.
I thought that Karen Ziemba did a good job narrating this book and was glad to hear that she didn’t try to overdo the distinctive character voices.
Although I lacked connection with Lilly, I found Luanne Rice’s descriptions of the settings and the season to be quite beautiful. I also thought that the physical descriptions of the characters really helped set the tone of the story.
I look forward to reading more from this author in the future and hope that I have a better connection with some of her other characters. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy contemporary women’s fiction.