Title: One Summer
Author: David Baldacci
Published: June 14th 2001
When given a death sentence by a merciless disease, war veteran, Jack Armstrong can’t help but feel that he still has so much to live for. To leave behind his beautiful wife Lizzie and their children: two-year old Jackie, talented Cory and rebel daughter Michelle is a fate he can’t bear to accept. But on Christmas Eve, Jack surrenders and prepares to bid his family farewell, when disaster worse than he could ever have imagined knocks upon his doorstep. His beloved Lizzie is killed in a car accident leaving him with a fate worse than death. However, something rises out of him, something that gives him the second chance he’d only dared dream of and after inheriting his wife’s exquisite beach house in South Carolina, Jack spends the summer of his life rebuilding his family. Together, they learn the importance of love and the preciousness of life.
A beautiful piece of writing, this book triggers and unearths all the gooey emotions that are present in each and every one of us. A change from Baldacci’s usual crime/mystery genre, this novel has the heart-strings tugged and silent whispers emerging from the first pages.
With the themes of love and the importance of family, this novel takes us on a journey with a man who thought he had lost everything. After having built his life and dreams for the future with his high school sweetheart, everything he wanted is ripped from him and we watch him struggle to understand what life is really all about while trying to learn again what he thought he once knew. It reminds us all that the love of a father is one which can be infinite and Baldacci reminds us that if we’re fortunate enough to have a father figure in our lives who would do anything for us, then it is up to us to ensure that we show him how much he means to us!
The author is able to completely submerge the reader into the plot and into the lives of the protagonists. The many depths of the different characters are revealed as the book progresses and it’s fascinating to watch them all grow into stronger people. The introduction of new characters throughout the whole book only piles on to the many people we get to love and hate. Usually in books you get the chance to experience the story through descriptions of scenes and places but, in this book, it’s both scenic description, as well as vivid description of emotions that makes the novel the emotional roller coaster that it is.
A perfect read for the theme of this month!
As usual, peace, love and pogo sticks y’all!