Saturday, 27 May 2017

Review: Summer Dance (Nantucket #2) by Nan Rossiter

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Nan Rossiter brings together characters from her acclaimed novel Nantucket in a powerful, heartwarming love story that bridges past and present.
When Liam Tate was seven years old, his uncle Cooper opened his heart and his Nantucket home to him. In the intervening decades, Liam has found both love and loss on the island, and since learning of his son Levi's existence, a new kind of happiness. Yet one piece of his family history remains elusive--the long-ago romance between his uncle and Sally Adams. Now Sally has a revelation that sets the whole town abuzz: She's publishing a book about what happened during the summer when she and Cooper first met, painting a picture so vivid it feels like yesterday . . .
In 1969, Winston Ellis Cooper III lands on Nantucket with only a duffel bag and a bottle of Jack Daniels. He finds a sparsely furnished beach cottage, about as far from Vietnam as he can get. But even here, Cooper can't withdraw from the world entirely. Especially once his eyes meet Sally's in the flickering lights of a summer dance. The effects of that fiery affair can still be felt decades later. And as the story unfolds, there are new lessons for all to learn about life's triumphs and heartaches, and about loving enough to let go.

Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: May 30th 2017 by Kensington Publishing Corporation

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!  It is set to be released on May 30th.

This is the second story in the Nantucket series by Nan Rossiter.  I did not release this and therefore had not read the first story.  This was ok, as it was not necessary in order to follow and enjoy this storyline.  It would have given more context in to the story of Liam however since this was Sally's story it was not required.

High level, this was an easy to read story that focusses on relationships and the obstacles of the constraints that society, in particular the church, imposes on said relationships.  Set in the ideal background of Nantucket, it offers a lot of detail about the charming island.

I will not divulge the plot however I am going to go on a little bit of a rant.  Said rant is why this story would make a good book club submission as I feel that there is a lot to be discussed/debated.  My rant begins with the Church.  The timing is funny as I just had this particular discussion over dinner with my family.  While I try to refrain from expressing views that may not shared or understood by my followers, here I go anyway.

I have a serious issue with the Church dictating unrealistic constraints on peoples lives particularly when it negatively impacts them.  In this story, Sally's entire secret and conflict is due to her stringent belief in the doctrine of her church and that to go against it would be a mortal sin.  As a result, she lived her life with guilt and regret as she could not be free to live the life she wanted.  For this exact reason, I have a serious issue with the institution of the church when it adds a burden to someone's life.  Don't get me wrong, I believe in faith and spirituality, however I do not believe that one must live with something that negatively impacts their life and potentially ruins it for the sake of a religion.  I believe that everyone should be free to make decisions (within reason) that betters their life without the interference of judgement (particularly by the church) so long as these decisions do not negatively influence any other life.  By this I get angry with people using the Church as an excuse for behavior as opposed to using it as a guiding influence on the good they do.  Enough on this, I sugar coated my opinions here however I think I roughly got the message across.

That being said, without this theme there would not have been a story.  Although Sally's secret was not a big one, nor really that secret to those surrounding her however it did make an interesting story.  For those who may have read the first story, I believe it would close the loop on the characters featured in it.  For those who have not such as myself, it made an interesting read.

This is not the first book that I have read by Rossiter and I am sure it will not be the last.  I enjoy her work.

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Nan Rossiter's adult fiction is often compared to the work of Nicholas Sparks - especially her first novel, THE GIN & CHOWDER CLUB. Nan's second novel, WORDS GET IN THE WAY, is an uplifting story about a single mom whose young son has autism. Her third novel, MORE THAN YOU KNOW, touches on the bonds of sisterhood and the tragedy and despair of Alzheimer's. UNDER A SUMMER SKY ties the first three books together in an unexpected way, and NANTUCKET touches on the difference time can make, the truths that never alter, and the bittersweet second chances that arrive just in time to steer a heart back home. Her new novel FIREFLY SUMMER is an uplifting story of the resilience of sisterhood and the bright glimpses of joy and solace that, like fireflies after rain, can follow the deepest heartaches.

Nan is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and is also the author-illustrator of several books for children including, most recently, THE FO'C'SLE: HENRY BESTON'S OUTERMOST HOUSE, called "a lovely vision of one man's communion with nature" by Publisher's Weekly.

Nan lives in rural Connecticut with her husband, two handsome sons and a black Lab named Finnegan.

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