by Jude Deveraux

April 2002
ISBN: 0-671-01419-96
Reviewer Graphic Button Pocket Books
Mass Market Paperback

The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux captivated my thoughts about the “what if’s” in life. What if I could change the course of my life? Would I keep everything the way it is, or would I do things differently? Would I still marry the same man? This book explores those questions, and taps into the insecurities we all feel over past decisions, and mistakes.

Ellie, Madison and Leslie meet in The Department of Motor Vehicles in New York City. While waiting in line they discover they all share the same birthday, they bond in the way one does with others waiting like cattle for the nice clerk to wave his magic wand! After sharing an afternoon of their goals and dreams they go off, separately to attain them.

Nineteen years have passed, and life has brought some twists in the road for the three women. Ellie is a successful author, who's been dragged through the mud as of late by her ex-husband. Her finances are in dire straits, and so is her self-esteem. Madison, once an incredible beauty and would-be model, is down on her luck, looking kind of shabby - an all-around unhappy camper. Leslie, an aspiring dancer with a body we’d all kill for, is now a housewife fearing her husband is playing hide the paperclips with his young, sexy secretary! The women decide to meet at Ellie’s therapist’s summerhouse in Maine, each hoping to escape their misery, and each shocked by the others' appearance.

During this fateful weekend, where the girls spend a lot of their time with not much in common, they whine, eat and meet Madame Zoya. Madame Zoya gives the women hope that redemption is possible by offering them the opportunity to travel back in time for three weeks! Each woman may go back to a point in their past that was a genuine Dr. Phil-like defining moment. Then they have to choose to either remember the experience, or have the slate wiped clean. This reader had to ask herself, what would I do?

There is not any one focus on the three women, and all had an issue or two I could relate with. I thought Ms. Deveraux did a fine job of blending each woman’s tale into a masterful plan. As the reader, you thoroughly explore each woman, and her drama giving you the full impact of three very different lives. To give you further detail of each girl’s plight, and what brought them to the point of agreeing to travel back in time, would be to ruin the very essence of this book. Each tale isn’t only about the boy you think you should have married, but about choosing yourself, at the risk of possibly hurting others. While I found a hole or two in this story, I didn’t care, the engrossing character development of these three women, outweigh some unanswered questions

I’ve been a fan of Ms. Deveraux’s for quite some time, and she didn’t disappoint. A great read, and a soul searching thought provoking plot made The Summerhouse a good investment.

Reviewed in January 2003 by Connie.

Read more reviews of Jude Deveraux books.Click Here