THE DAYS OF SUMMER
by Jill Barnett

June 2006
ISBN: 0-671-03535-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Atria Books
Hardcover
Rating:



It’s 1957 when a drunken Rudy Banning hits the car of Jimmy Peyton and changes the lives of Banning and Peyton families forever. Rudy, his wife Rachel, and Jimmy die, while the survivors of the Banning and Peyton clans must continue living with the loss of their loved ones.


For Jud and Cale Banning, that means going to live with their dictatorial grandfather Victor, a controlling and punishing man who expects high results from his grandsons.


Kathryn Peyton has been left a widow and forced to raise her four-year-old daughter Laurel on her own. Living in the shadow of Jimmy’s life, Kathryn must decide the kind of future she wants for herself and her daughter.


In 1970, Laurel is a grown-up seventeen-years-old. She’s looking for a boy to love her and chase away the shadows of the past. Kathryn is struggling to make her pottery a success on the small island of Santa Catalina, unaware that her safe existence is about to once again collide with the Bannings.


Jud is now a businessman like his grandfather. He’s just trying to learn the ropes while Cale is attempting to get into med school. It will be Laurel who will change these two men yet again, in ways they will never expect nor see the repercussions of for several more decades.


The Days of Summer is a story within a story kind of book. Each character has their own tale to tell, and yet they all fit cohesively into the general Banning and Peyton plotline. The use of various generations to tell the tale of the Banning and Peyton clans is a bit like a soap opera, but luckily, this is a well written and fascinating soap opera. Jill Barnett has created a whole cast of sympathetic, annoying and anger-inducing characters that liven up this book. Readers will be mesmerized by the growing tale of tragedy, woe, and hope that emerges between these two families. In the best way possible, The Days of Summer is truly a gift for the beach bag. You’ll enjoy every minute you spend with these chaos-stricken families.


Reviewed in September 2006 by Sarah.

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