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The Summer I Dared

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3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  3,561 Ratings  ·  259 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dale Harcombe
A boating accident off the coast of Maine claims nine lives. But three people survive. Julia, a forty year old wife and mother, Noah a divorced lobster fisherman and Kim a twenty one year old woman. While Julia and Noah try to deal with losses in family, Kim turns mute after the accident. And is it even an accident that claimed so many lives? Or is it murder? I admit that it was the answer to this question that kept me reading even though the characters didn’t engage me all that much.
For me the
...more
Julie
Apr 11, 2012 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
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
Amy
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
Sep 10, 2009 Brandi Sullivan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jen
Jul 06, 2008 Jen rated it did not like it  ·  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.
Joyce
Jun 11, 2011 Joyce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mary
Dec 25, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  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
 Gigi Ann
Jul 16, 2011 Gigi Ann rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Joy
Dec 28, 2009 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
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
Katy
Dec 24, 2008 Katy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Beth Gusler
Feb 10, 2016 Beth Gusler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A friend gave me this book several years ago, and for several years it sat on my nightstand. I was aching to read it, but did not get the chance. Until now. It was definitely the right time to read it. It is definitely a good book. Perhaps a predictable story line, based on the title. But there's so much more to it. My favorite line, towards the end, is "Real intelligence is like a river; the deeper it is the less noise it makes." Although I plan to be more daring, I plan to do it more quietly.
Rho
Dec 20, 2014 Rho rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many years ago I read Three Wishes - a book of hope and a story that has stayed with me for many years. I have not read any of her books since. I am now wondering why - this story that I read during the Christmas season is about courage and rebirth. We spend part of year on an island off Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Delinsky has truly captured life on the coast of Maine - the people and the struggles.
Jacque
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.
Gretchen
Nov 07, 2011 Gretchen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Tracey T
Jul 22, 2014 Tracey T rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of only a couple of books that I will not part with and have read more than once. The story is the perfect blend of mystery, tragedy, family and romance with very likable Island-folk characters. Though I've never heard of Sawyer Island, in my mind this takes place on Long Island, in Casco Bay, the very place we visit every year.
Kim
Oct 21, 2016 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed it when it first came out, just couldn't get into it this time, seemed a bit wooden, a lot like many of her other books. Sad.
Samantha Baker
Jan 03, 2017 Samantha Baker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maine--one of my favorite settings! Loved it!
Smitha
Jan 10, 2017 Smitha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is for countless women around the world, who have live the life of the good girl. For women who have created their identities based on their families, as daughters, wives and mothers; for those who have lived conventionally correct lives, have given without constraint, have put themselves last and have maintained the social values.

But then there comes a summer when you have been given the greatest gift- that of life from the jaws of death. It make your rethink your priorities, your ch
...more
Mary Sewell
Oct 08, 2016 Mary Sewell rated it really liked it
Very good!
Sandee Wriston
Very good read

This assimilated best that I have read by Ms Delinsky. It had a re storyline, not just a love story with all the sexual stuff that you really need. I thought it was very well written with wonderful story lines.
Louise
Mar 22, 2009 Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: women-s-fiction
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
Diana
Aug 10, 2014 Diana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While clearing out my bookshelf, I found this book that my husband had given me a few years ago. Although, I know that I read the book back then, as I skimmed the pages, I realized that I did not remember as much as I thought.

With the word Summer in the title, you know that it had to be a so called "beach read" and it was. It takes place on an island in Maine, and since I had just returned from my first visit to Maine, that was the hook that drew me to it. Add some additional goings on in one o
...more
Erin
May 22, 2013 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
* MAY CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS*


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
Lynda
Mar 28, 2014 Lynda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kris - My Novelesque Life
3 STARS

"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 in the aftermath of her brush with death that there is more to her -- and to the world around her -- than she ever imagined.

Feeling strangely connected to Noah, the divorced, brooding lobsterman who helped save her life, and to Kim, a twenty-one-year-old whose role in the accident and subsequ
...more
Janet Hartman
Aug 24, 2016 Janet Hartman rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Literary it's not, but if you're looking for an easy read that isn't silly, try it.
After finishing a very tense, gory book, I wanted a light story to help me recover. I picked this book because I thought it would be beach read, romance type book--a genre a rarely read and rarely like because I like complex stories. This was the first book by Delinsky that I've read, but I will read more when I want an easy read.

This book was a pleasant surprise. No "jump into be, hot sex scene" early on. Actually the sex scene comes very late in the book. So if you're looking for a typical rom
...more
Paula Ratcliffe
Aug 02, 2010 Paula Ratcliffe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
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
Rhonda Rae Baker
Dec 02, 2010 Rhonda Rae Baker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 Dared...to 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
Sharon
Jul 22, 2013 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
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
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36492
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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