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The First Warm Evening...
Jamie M. Saul
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The First Warm Evening of the Year

2.61 of 5 stars 2.61  ·  rating details  ·  299 ratings  ·  80 reviews
"The first time I saw Marian Ballantine she looked like a burst of bittersweet among the winter branches . . ."

And so begins a tale of love lost and found, the rekindling of a passion for life that two people discover with each other, and the complex dynamics of family and friendship.

Geoffrey Tremont is untroubled by his neat, contented bachelor life in bustling New York
ebook, 320 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by William Morrow
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Actual Rating: **1/2

I really wanted to like this book; after all, my favorite cover icon (an Adirondack chair) is right there…on a dock…at sunset. However, I just couldn't warm up to this cast of self-absorbed characters and all of their various past loves and past lives.

There were two quote snippets that summed things up for me. The first, "Oh well, what's the point of having a heart, if you're not going to use it?," made me wonder why these characters were always mistaking their heads for the
Ann Freeman
A colossal bore. Lots and lots of pages all about whether one relationship would materialize or not. Did not really care. Another thing that irked me was how much of the dialog involved questions. Is that what you think this review is? Are you reading this book because you "have to"?
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
Looking at the cover of this book, almost beckons the reader to open it's cover and discover a wonderful story inside. However, for me this wasn't the case. It's unusual after having read so many books during the last three years to find one you can't quite connect with but can't really explain why. This is one of those for me, however it may not be for you. This is a novel about two characters drawn together by an unusual set of circumstances.

Geoffrey Tremont, currently living among the busy li
Geoffrey Tremont is a bachelor living in New York City when he is asked to be the executor for the estate of an old college friend, Laura Wells. He hasn’t seen her in twenty years and was unaware that she was living back in her home town in upstate New York. When he goes to Shady Grove, he immediately becomes infatuated with Laura’s best friend Marian. Although both are dating others, their lives are forever connected. The story begins with the meeting of Geoffrey and Marian and we quickly learn ...more
WOW! First of all, I love this cover. I would love to read there!

So I had really high hopes for this book and I wasn't disappointed. The imagery in this book is so vivid and just amazing, words were just penned so wonderfully you could feel each one, and I re-read some, just because they were so beautiful. Not very often an author like this comes along, especially a man!

Further, I loved all of the characters. Laura has passed away and left her good friend from college, Geoffrey, executor of her
Shylashree Chikkamuniyappa
Boring and predictable story.
The two main characters Geoffrey Tremont (Laura's musician college friend and now executor of her estate) and Marian Ballantine (Laura's best friend in Shady Grove, widowed but in a realtionship with Eliot Wooten) are drawn together by an unusual set of circumstances. Simon, Laura's brother, Dr Alex, Geoffrey's brother and Rita, Geoffrey's NY girl friend are thrown in to.

I just could not connect to the characters well enough to truly care about what happens to them n
Geoffrey has a relationship with Rita, but they’re both not very committed to each other. When he travels to Shady Grove to deal with his late friend Laura’s estate, he meets Marian, a friend of Laura and a widow of ten years, who is in an unsatisfactory relationship.He falls in love with her, and talks to her, his brother, her former in-laws, her lover, and a number of other people about her past, Laura’s past, himself and his chances of wooing Marian. Didn't warm to the characters and skim rea ...more
I must come clean and admit I didn't finish this book. It was just too bad to finish. The sentence structure made the book very difficult to read and the subject matter was beyond boring. A man trying to describe the feelings of other men??? Do yourself a favour and pass this one by.
Slow, plodding novel about love and grief. I didn't get the feeling that Geoffrey, the main character, was an actual person, he felt more like an omnipotent narrator to me.
Geoffrey Tremont is a confirmed bachelor living the good life in New York City. When a lawyer's letter arrives one day out of the blue, Geoffrey is astonished to learn that his college friend Laura has passed away and that he has been named as the executor of her estate. Geoffrey revisits his memories of Laura and examines her life of the past decades since the two really knew each other. When Geoffrey arrives in Shady Grove, his plan is to take care of business, then leave the spot for good. Th ...more
Andrea Guy
What can I say about this book, except maybe, WOW!

I usually have a hard time with romantic stories written by men, yet this one was different, mostly because for me I felt it dealt with the relationships between Geoffrey and Laura , Geoffrey and Rita, Geoffrey and Marian, as well as the others involved in their lives.

I found the story hard to put down, because I wanted to learn about Laura, his friend who died of lung cancer leaving him executor of her estate, Simon, her brother who is more then
Virginia Campbell
Now that I have read and thoroughly enjoyed "The First Warm Evening of the Year", by author Jamie M. Saul, the thoughtfulness of the work is gently nudging my philosophical side. I have passed the half-century mark, and in spite of myself, I've learned a few things along the way. The friendships that we form in our youth have a profound effect on the person we become in our later years. They shape and mold us more than we realize, even if we allow the connection to become hazy through time and d ...more
The First Warm Evening Of The Year
Jamie M. Saul

In a teeny nutshell...

Laura, a good friend from Geoffrey's past, reaches out to him after her death. All kinds of amazing things happen because of this.

My thoughts after reading this book...

What a total charmer this book was. Geoffrey, out of the blue, is appointed executor of his friend's estate. Geoffrey is the consummate New Yorker. He has a lovely life, great friends, good times, and a three year relationship with Rita...they enjoy life toget
Geoffrey has a relationship with Rita, but they’re both not very committed to each other. When he travels to Shady Grove to deal with his late friend Laura’s estate, he meets Marian, a friend of Laura and a widow of ten years, who is in an unsatisfactory relationship.

He falls in love/like/must-have with her, and talks to her, his brother, her former in-laws, her lover, and a number of other people about her past, Laura’s past, himself and his chances of wooing Marian. Marian keeps a distance but
Geoffrey and Laura were close friends in college and have lost touch over the years. One day, he comes home to find out that she has died and has
made him executor of her will. Strange, he thinks, since they have not been in touch. He does voiceovers for commercials and the like so he has the kind of job where he can just take off and go for awhile, very convenient for him, as he has to go to the small town where Laura lived.
The town is a few hours from New York City, where he lives, and he ha
Victoria Miller
Refreshing to read a love story novel written by a man, particularly who isn't Nicolas Sparks confusing romance with bathos. (Actually, I've never read Sparks: the couple of films I've seen, at the recommendation of a friend, have served as a deterrent.) Women churn out romance novels as they once did butter, and frequently the results are more like margarine. At least as frequently as I've read them, which, really, isn't saying much.

While the premise seems unlikely, never-the-less this book doe
This is an odd little book. I can't quite figure out who it is targeted to - it's not really romantic enough for women and it definitely lacks enough action for men. Two people meet, are attracted to each other, and then talk talk talk talk talk talk about whether or not they want to get involved. Does the woman want to finally move on past the grief of losing her husband 10 years ago? Does the man want to finally have a meaningful relationship after years of casual affairs?

The author has a nic
Diane Meier
A warm-hearted, quiet little book that deserves some serious attention. No one is shot. Nothing gets blown up. It's all about the heart -- and how often to we find men willing to write about that, from their point of view?

There's love-at-first-sight, but we see it too - a vibrancy about Marion Ballantine that Saul lets us recognize as it crackles the air. It is the kind of thing Geoffrey Tremont, his protagonist, has protected himself against all his life - that crackle of real connection. And
Book Journal #13, Book # 1123
42-year old voice-over artist Geoffrey Tremont, heads to Shady Grove in upstate New York to settle the estate of Laura Wells, a dear friend from college.
This is a novel about love at first sight, but it is not a sappy romance novel. This is a sensitive, moving, character-driven story about people who have settled for their unsatisfying lives and who are resistant to change. The middle aged main character, Geoffrey, is called upon to be the executor of the estate for an old friend who has died and learns that the departed, before she died, had arranged for Geoffrey to meet a widowed friend of hers. It is a beautifully written novel filled with in ...more
Thomas Koh
A readable book - a slice of life - but with no great drama, twist or surprises and it has a predictable ending.
Shelly Itkin
Excellent and very enjoyable story about possibly forgetting the past and trying to go on and start over.
Is it fate that Laura Welles has left a will for Geoffrey her college confidant of over twenty years to make him executor of her will. Why is he retiring to Shady Grove a place he never knew existed and what surprised lie in store for him
He will be reconnect with Laura's brother and reminded of something that both did to him many year ago and also having him meet Marian Ballantine who is a wi
The life of a confirmed bachelor living in New York City takes an unexpected turn when he receives word that he has been named the executor of a college friend's estate. He relives their long ago friendship as he travels to her hometown to see to the sale of her house and the distribution of her belongings. He is immediately attracted to her widowed friend who has yet to come to terms with her husband's death. And so it begins! I liked this book for quite a while, but then it just got so wordy - ...more
Lyn Ford
Not the best book I have ever read, rather a disappoint really
Heidi Green
Was interesting. Romance from a man's point of view.
I found it rather tedious but at the same time I couldn't stop reading it. Ultimately for all the inner examinations from each of the characters I didn't feel the reader could understand or empathize much with any of them.
Michele Varljen
I just finished reading this book.
I truly enjoyed this one and didn't want it to be over. I'd love to read another with what happens after this one ends.

It's a simple story told simply, yet that simplicity includes some very unique ways to say what the author says, what the characters are feeling, and what is going on in their minds and hearts. There were times I wanted to stop and write down the words I was reading and repeat them to myself over and over again so I would never forget them.

Not to be missed.
James Wharton
The book had a great storyline. The characters were well developed and interesting. There were one or two slow spots along the way, but overall, the story unfolded well and I found it truly enjoyable. The insights into the characters' motives and concerns were outstanding. The setting was pleasant. The evolving romance was sometimes frustrating like many things in life, but that made the book all the more credible. I recommend it. It was great.
Sheila DeChantal
Occasionally a book comes along that you wish with all your heart you could leap within it’s pages and walk along it’s streets and hang out with the new friends who hold court within. The First Warm Evening Of The Year is such a book.


For the rest of my thoughts on this books, please check out my review on Book Journey.
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a novel on love 1 7 Jun 26, 2012 07:56PM  
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I was born and raised in the Bronx, New York, attended public school there, and graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School, an all-boys school, at the time, with renowned alumni that includes Richard Avedon, the great photographer; novelist James Baldwin; playwrights and screenwriters Paddy Chayefsky and Neil Simon; and several famous actors, film directors, and athletes. I received my bachelors de ...more
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