The Summer I Dared
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The Summer I Dared

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  2,515 ratings  ·  184 reviews
On Big Sawyer island, life is as steady as the routine of the lobstermen who leave with the tide each morning and return with their haul each night. But for forty-year-old New Yorker Julia Bechtel, life and what's important in it are about to be forever altered when she survives a terrible boat accident en route to the island. Now, in the company of her aunt and daughter,...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published June 28th 2005 by Pocket Books (first published 2004)
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This was a typical "disgruntled urban trophy wife who journeys to the coast on her own to discover herself" kind of novel. The plot was totally predictable:
1. Women feels unloved, unappreciated, suspects husbands infidelity
2. Women goes on vacation ALONE to rediscover herself
3. Women falls in love with local
4. Women uncovers truth about husbands affair.
5. Women divorces husband.
6. Women marries local and lives happily ever after.
So why 4 stars if it was so predictable? I normally would have g...more
Another "I shouldn't have listened to the abridged version" audio book, though I'm not sure I should have listened to this at all. Delinsky was a favorite author of my mother's and I'm missing her a little, so dared the book. For car "ear reading" it was okay, though I just wanted to shake Julia and make her be a grown up. But when she and Noah finally get around to acting on the quivering liquidity they feel inside whenever they're near, I did shout out, "oh come on! Get real", making the drive...more
Brandi Sullivan
I loved this book. It had a little of everything. It was a book, again, i could not put down. It is rare for me to find books that I could not put down. I loved all the characters. The mystery could have been a little bit more dramatic, but ifyou get the whole "local law", and have a strong family sense, then a person would welcome it. Good book.
I like Barbara Delinsky books and this was a very good summer read. Her characters are strong and you want to see what will happen next. I would definitely recommend.
Dec 28, 2013 Mary rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
What happens after the moment when your life is forever changed? This is the question that haunts Julia, Noah, and Kim - the only survivors of a devastating boating accident off the coast of Maine, that claimed the lives of nine other people. What follows is an emotionally intricate story of three lives irrevocably changed by a single tragic accident.

Julia, a forty-year-old wife and mother, has always taken the path of least resistance. Careful to never shake up the status quo, she has always do...more
Jul 23, 2008 Jen rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like uplifting books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I am a big Barbara Delinsky fan. I have read some good ones, some great ones, and some bad ones from this author. This one was a good one, not up to par with her "Looking for Peyton's Place" but well written just the same.

I do, however commend her desire to go out of her comfort zone to speak and write about something completely foriegn to her. At the back of the book there is an interview with Barbara and they asked what inspired this book. She was thinking of several tragedies that had occured...more
I really enjoyed Barbara's style of writing and this won't be the only book by her that I will read.

Julia, an unhappy housewife from manhattan visits her aunt who lives on an island off of the coast of Maine. While on the ferry over to the island, a terrible accident occurs and she and one other person are the sole survivors. This other person "Noah" (perfect name for a handsome lobsterer living on the east coast) are drawn to each other and their story is fun to follow.... I loved reading about...more
Forty years old Julia Bechtel, mother of one and obedient wife of a controlling husband was on her way to a discovery – herself. A two weeks’ vacation to visit her favourite aunt on an island she fondly remembered…at last, space to breath. Time was right for the unthinkable to occur, a ferry collision with only three survivors – Noah Prine, Kim Colella, and Julia. The tragedy affected each of them differently, Noah was a divorced lobsterman, worked alongside his dad every day, and missed this bo...more
This was a pretty good book. It's an old-fashion good story. I've never read any of her books before, but I liked this one I had to read for my church book club.

On pg. 155 Julia asks:

Where do you draw the line between the obligation you have to your family and the one you have to yourself?

I like that quote.
I love books that take me to places very different from my own, along with things I've never experienced. This book explores a lot of new ideas for me, survivor guilt, lobster fisheries, and angora rabbits. My favorite part is when father and son are lost at sea in a storm and the bonding that takes place.
In "The Summer I Dared", by Barbara Delinsky, a New York woman named Julia, decides to take a vacation to her aunt's house on an island in Maine. Taking the ferry from the mainland, Julia finds herself in a horrible boat crash. She and two others are the only survivors. The crash starts Julia to thinking about her purpose in life, and what she has done with her life thus far. Julia's marriage has grown stale, and she feels she has no real self identity, other than mother, wife, daughter, etc. As...more
Paula Ratcliffe
This book was incredible. While three characters survive what 9 others didn't, you see them connect and help one another move on. It shows that trauma can help people reevaluate their life, and choices they have made. For Noah it was repairing a relationship with his son, for Kim it was finding her voice when she was so filled of horror, and for Julie it was deciding what she wanted and not what others wanted.

I really loved the island. Reminded me of a summer home I lived on as a kid. It had de...more
Another truly spellbinding novel by Delinsky!!

"What comes after the moment that forever changes your life?

That is the question that haunts Julia Bechtel, Noah Prine, and Kim Colella, the only survivors of a terrible boating accident off the coast of Maine that claimed the lives of nine other people.

Julia, a forty-year old wife and mother, has always taken the path of least resistance. Pigeonholed by her controlling family and increasingly distant husband as "loyal" and "obedient," she realizes i...more
Phyllis Sommers
Julia Bechtel believes a trip away from her home in New York City will give her time to determine where her marriage to her husband Monte truly stands. Knowing things haven't been good between them for quite a long while, now that their daughter, Molly, is in her twenties, Julia feels the possibilities of her finally going her own way are much more real. Thus, she sets out to visit her aunt Zoe in Penobscot Bay, Maine, a place that has always been Julia's sanctuary. This time, however, trying to...more
Rhonda Rae Baker
This is a novel that brings about many emotions of past, present, and future relationships. I related to the twist of fates, as it were, because when a person faces a near-death experience or an incident where one could have easily died because so many other's did, we often ponder the what-if of our own life's choices.

The Summer I stand on my own, to make choices for myself, to reach out to a child and others, to go out of our comfort zone...all positions that change who we are becaus...more

I have to say that I really detest giving authors low scores, especially those who've I enjoyed before hand. The detailed descriptions of life as a lobster fisherman was fantastic and well-researched. The reader really gets a sense of the hardships for a community that this is the sole source of revenue. Delinsky is very much like Luanne Rice, Kristin Hannah, and Fern Michaels in her family centered dramas. Her latter books are so much better though!

Here are the prob...more
Julia who is aware of her husband Monty's philandering decides to take a two week break onan island in Maine. On her way there she is involved in a terrific fery and boat accident and is rescued by one of the only two other survivors ,a man named Noah. Noah and Julia,both determined to change their lives after their close encounter with death re-evaluate their relationships with their significant others and their communities.
There was alot of information on lobstering and sailing in this novel...more
I enjoyed this book, a summer read, light but meaty at the same time. Deals with some pretty serious issues, a murder, smuggling, estrangement and does it well. At 40, Julia is at a crossroads and needs to find herself, as cliche as that is so leaves her husband for a 2 week trip to visit an aunt. The unthinkable happens on the trip, the ferry is involved in a collision and most of the passengers don't survive. Julia is saved by Noah and they share an experience that ties them together emotional...more
Ana Isabel Rebelo
Não há muito a dizer sobre este livro. Uma leitura muito light, fácil e agradável. O tema é já muito explorado, dentro da reflexão acerca do sentido da vida após uma experiência de quase morte. Não existem, no entanto, muitos livros que utilizem uma mulher quarentona, já com uma filha adulta, uma vida supostamente cómoda e casada há vinte anos. No entanto, após a grande tragédia do Amelia Celeste, em que apenas Julia, a protagonista, Noah e Kim sobrevivem, ela decide que está na hora de tomar as...more
 Gigi Ann
I hate writing this review, because Barbara is one of my favorite authors. I shouldn't say I read this book, because I struggled through to page 178 of the 491 pages and finally said enough is enough. It was a very slow boring book to read. (That is just my opinion only.) I noticed quite a few who have read this book, loved it, liked it, and thought it was and okay read. However, I am not one of them.

That being said; this will not keep me from reading other Barbara Delinsky books, like I said b...more
Marcia Berg Haskell
'On Big Sawyer island, life is as steady as the routine of the lobstermen who leave with the tide each morning and return with their haul each night. But for forty-year-old New Yorker Julia Bechtel, life and what's important in it are about to be forever altered when she survives a terrible boat accident en route to the island. Now, in the company of her aunt and daughter, Julia finds herself feeling strangely connected to the tragedy's other survivors -- Noah, a divorced lobsterman, and Kim, a...more
This book was set on a fictional island off the coast of Maine. It starts with a horrific collision of a Ferry boat with a Lobsterboat. There are only 3 survivors out of all nine people. Julia, the main character and one of the survivors then questions her purpose in life and what to do now. We follow her struggle with family ties, responsibilities and new feelings and desires. I was drawn to this book because of the island setting and lobstering! There are wonderful descriptions of the locals a...more
Good Barbara Delinsky story... Learned a lot about lobstermen and their trade... very interesting and a unique way of life...
Not sure where the book came from - I don't think it was spontaneous generation on my bedroom floor, but that's where I picked it up from.
This story reminded me of The Vineyard, not in terms of the story or setting, really, but in terms of the type of writing, the characters and how it gripped me.
Although Julia has a bit of a too good to be true side, she is nonetheless an appealing character and this time of change for her is moving. Interesting look into the lobster fishing community... a b...more
Jean Perry
Interesting premise that sends a woman and her daughter on an analysis of their lives. Delinsky's usual good writing about women's thinking.
I really enjoyed this book. My favorite thing was how easily I could picture/envision everything...the lobster boats, wharfs, small town atmosphere, local businesses, isolated homes in the woods, etc. Although it wasn't, it could have easily been set in Cutler :) At times the emphasis placed on Julia's newly discovered independence and desire to live a different life was excessive. It is completely understandable that she wanted out of a loveless marriage and that the events in the book changed...more
I have had this book on my shelf for years, and I just got around to reading it. I actually really enjoyed it. Julia is a New Yorker in a loveless marriage who decides to go to Big Sawyer, an island off of Maine, to visit her aunt and take a photography course. When the ferry she is on inexplicably crashes, her life and only 2 others are spared. This prompts Julia to reexamine her life and truly find herself. I wound up really disliking Julia's family, including her daughter. They were so needy...more
Irene Dreger
Delightful book about the reality of outgrowing a marriage and moving on to personal growth.
Lovely setting, well written, very pertinent issues. Loved the story.
Virginia Markhart
My second time reading this book. Must have been many years ago, prior to Goodreads. It was a good book and worthy of a second read. I liked Julia but did not like her lack of strength. She really should have left her husband after the first affair. Having one herself seemed more like payback to me. The lobstering part of the book was very interesting. Also the Angora rabbits. The boat accident...hmm. Not very believable to me. I think the character of Kim was weak.

Still, all in all. A decent bo...more
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I was born and raised in suburban Boston. My mother’s death, when I was eight, was the defining event of a childhood that was otherwise ordinary. I took piano lessons and flute lessons. I took ballroom dancing lessons. I went to summer camp through my fifteenth year (in Maine, which explains the setting of so many of my stories), then spent my sixteenth summer learning to type and to drive (two sk...more
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