by Joan Wolf

September 2003
ISBN: 0-446-61044-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Warner Books
Mass Market Paperback

Joan Wolf has once again created a love story of epic proportions, in her newest novel That Summer. Anne Foster and Liam Wellington were good friends when they were young but an unexpected murder that took the life of one of their classmates sends Liam and Anne on different paths. When Anne returns home after her father’s unexpected death, she and Liam are reintroduced to each other and finally begin to see each other in a whole different light. Liam is now following in his family’s footsteps and has become a race horse breeder and soon Anne begins to work for him as a vet. As Liam and Anne rediscover each other and love begins to bloom between them, the old murder mystery is once again brought to light. When Liam becomes the chief suspect Anne knows it will take more than her love to keep him out of jail. Liam and Anne, with the help of their families and friends, must discover who the murderer is before Liam’s trial begins.

That Summer interweaves the horse racing world with an extraordinary mystery that leaves the reader guessing right up until the last few pages of the novel. Anne is an independent and smart character who has carved out a life of her own in another state while working as vet. Liam is a character filled with determination and is willing to make incredible sacrifices in order to achieve his dreams. This novel is beautifully set in the Virginia countryside and if horses are your passion than this book will definitely be your cup of tea.

I enjoyed the interaction between all the characters in the book but especially between Liam and Anne who grew up together. The book switches from the present to the past effortlessly and without losing the reader which is a true testament to Wolf’s extraordinary writing abilities. The memories that are revealed in the book help the reader to get to know the characters and provide a backdrop for the delicious mystery that is folded into the plot. The love story is of the sweet variety and tells the story of two people who are pushed to their limits yet somehow together they survive. I highly recommend That Summer for its interesting mystery, its delectable characters, and its beautiful prose. This story is definitely a keeper.

Reviewed in August 2003 by Jen.

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