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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Life Without Summer by Lynne Griffin

Publication Date: April 14th 2009
Genre: Fiction, Grief
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5
Source: Own Copy

 Hey Everyone! I don't know if you remember, but a while ago I mentioned that I'd like to review "Life Without Summer" by Lynne Griffin. I was scrolling through my posts today, and I realized that I never actually did! So without much ado, here I go!

 Tessa Gray's life is ruined when she loses her young daughter, Abby, to a hit and run accident. As she struggles to get over her grief, she confides in Celia a therapist her family has encouraged her to see. Tessa's unfortunate situation is worsened by the incompetent police officers who claim that they will never be able to solve this case. As the story continues, more of Celia's broken family is revealed, and through the novel the readers develop a bond with both characters.

 The story concentrates primarily on love, loss, relationships, and family. Tessa seems to be losing her husband as well herself as she wallows in grief, and Celia has lost touch with her teenage son (Ian) after re-marrying the man she loved. When Celia's ex-husband and Ian's father returns, things take a turn for the worse.
 Meanwhile, Tessa decides that she will be able to do a better job than the police, and secretly hunts down Abby's murderer. She convinces herself that this is the only way to find closure, but soon finds herself developing a friendship with Celia.
 The novel is written as a journal, both from Tessa and Celia's point of view. While Tessa's journal is definitely more pessimistic and is titled "Day 52 without Abby", Celia's is more blunt and fact-based. Her entries are headed with the Day, Date and Time. However, both writing styles vary through the book, and eventually one perceives that Celia's writing is slipping into the more depressed tone, and Tessa has brief spurts of joy present in her entry.
  I wouldn't say that I've identified with Griffin's style, however I feel that I'd be able to recognize her writing if presented her second novel. I'd caution anyone interested in this book; It's not a light read. In saying that though, I''d also like to recommend it to the YA and Adult readers who are interested in a story similar to Kristin Hannah's "Night Road".

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