That Certain Summer

Title:  That Certain Summer
Author:  Irene Hannon
Pages:  304
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Revell
                Irene Hannon’s novels have been a favorite of mine for awhile, especially those filled with suspense/mystery.  The novel, That Certain Summer, takes a more relaxed story that is built on the lives of four adults, two of whom are sisters.  There are some aspects of the novel that are mystery-like because they reveal something about the characters’ past or present life.
                A major health issue brings Val back to the hometown she left ages ago to help Karen through the summer care for their widowed mother.  Val’s reasons for her return are to handle a situation that has been dogging her steps for the past 18 years.  David is a physical therapist who moves to Washington to take a new position because he felt the Lord led him and his daughter there.  Scott’s life is irrevocably changed in one night, and now he has to find a new reason to live, to hope that all days will not be as dark as the present days.
                Margret is the mother of Val and Karen.  Her stroke has done nothing to change her demeaning attitude or tongue.  However, as she recovers, she is about to give a peek about why she is that way when her daughters least expect it.  This easy to read novel explores issues we all wrestle with at different times in our lives, whether they be questions of faith, wrestling with doubts or concern for the future.  Other parts show how real people might respond to living through divorce, infidelity, and learning not to compare oneself to standards we aren’t meant to.
                Forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts God offers to us, and it definitely isn’t something we usually seek out.  One aspect of the novel talks about self-forgiveness, which isn’t a thought or teaching I agree with as I don’t see that in the Bible.  There isn’t anything good in and of ourselves.  Genesis tells us that our hearts are inclined to do wickedness continually.  We are to believe in God’s forgiveness for He alone is the source.
                Redemption of lost relationships as portrayed in the novel can be real if God is doing the redeeming.  Sometimes relationships cannot be redeemed as if to picking up where it was before, though forgiveness towards others can happen.  I read the book in a short amount of time and enjoyed it a lot.  There is hope in this novel and the way the consequences of behavior can be dealt with in loving and secure relationships.  I liked, too, how one person didn’t seem to embrace the faith that was lived out before him for years even when facing serious health issues.  How true that we cannot decide for others, but we can choose how we will respond to their choices whether we agree with them or not.
                My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at

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