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Quaker Summer

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  825 ratings  ·  137 reviews

Sometimes you have to go a little bit crazy to discover the life you were meant to live.

Heather Curridge is coming unhinged. And people are starting to notice. What's wrong with a woman who has everything--a mansion on a lake, a loving son, a heart-surgeon husband--yet still feels miserable inside?

When Heather spends the summer with two ancient Quaker sisters and a crusty

Paperback, 336 pages
Published February 6th 2007 by Thomas Nelson (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

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This book was voted novel of the year by Women of Faith. The message of the book it great, especially since we live in such a materialistic society where people believe that the objects that they own are what define them as a person. This novel opens both your heart and mind as to how it really should be. Although I didn't find the writing to be great (definitely not to be categorized as novel of the year), the message was. Overall, it was a good read.
Valerie (Val's Vicinity)
Heather Curridge has it all: A great family, ritzy lake-front house, possessions aplenty, and enough money to buy more "things" whenever she wants. Her husband is a surgeon, her son goes to a private school. This is the perfect life, what many people aspire to have but never achieve. Heather loves her stuff, she knows she is fortunate...but then why is she feeling so discontent? Shouldn't she be content with her pampered life? And why have the sins of her childhood started to haunt her?

Many peop
I give this book 3.75 stars, although I can't bring myself to round up to the four-star rating. First of all, 401 pages was WAY too long. The story could have effectively been told in 300. Secondly, I think part of my let-down is because it was one of Publishers Weekly's Top Books of 2007 and the Women of Faith Novel of the Year that same year, so I totally expected it to be phenomenal. While I enjoyed the ending immensely, the rest went in spurts ranging from sweet to dragging.

Overall, it was
What I liked:
I liked the overall concept of the plot and main character (Heather). Heather is a wife to a cardiac surgeon. They have a son and she is a stay at home mom. They have plenty of money, which is mostly spent on crap they don't need. She spends money to buy STUFF as a way to fill a void she seems to have in life. After a lifetime of trying to fill that void, she realizes she cant do it with material possessions or social status.

What I disliked:
The constant conversations she had with ev
Wow, I can see why this book was Christianity Today's 2008 Novel of the Year. This book took me a while to get through, but not because of the content, but other things going on (relative in hospital, company at our house, etc). I think I would have flown through this book if I had my "normal" time to read.

It is taking me a while to digest this book. I don't think I can give it a review that will do it justice. I enjoyed it. I found it choppy in writing style, but riveting. I found it challengin
Heather has everything, and she's not happy. She knows she should be happy -- she compulsively buys name brand everything, she's got a great family, lives in a a great neighborhood -- but she isn't.

For most of the book I thought Heather needed to get over herself and go do something useful. She eventually came to that conclusion herself. What I did enjoy was her and her supporting characters' description of how God does not work in the ways we expect, and sometimes when we are most troubled that
"Well, you'll find if you open yourself up to the possibility that God is found in locales you've never imagined, you'll meet Him in all sorts of faces and places you never thought possible." (p. 153)

"I don't just take in, dear. More comes out of me than goes in. It's why I give, have really made a life work out of it. When you take so much in, it can fester inside of you, knotting up your muscles, your psyche, your stomach, your nerves, even your soul. You've got to find some way to get it out.
I almost closed the book without finishing it several times and yet something compelled me to go on reading to the end and yes, in the end, I did end up at least liking parts of the book.

What first threw me off was the main character Heather (nicknamed Hezzie???) was a hot mess. Once having dreams of opening a hair salon, she instead gave up a career when her husband became a successful (think dollar signs) heart surgeon. At a loss of what to do to fill the emptiness in her life, she becomes an
Havebooks Willread
Jan 27, 2014 Havebooks Willread rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Havebooks by: Carrie Haeufgloeckner
Self-absorbed, materialistic, suburban wife and mom hits midlife crisis, realizes the vanity of her current lifestyle, and seeks the Lord for her purpose. There was lots here worth reading and pondering--would love a sit-down chat over this one. I think it's easy for the modern woman to get caught up in busyness--even the busyness of serving others--and feel empty and unfulfilled in the midst of it. I appreciate the way this book pushed the main characters out of their comfort zone, but it wasn' ...more
I got off to a slow start with this book. The main character was hard for me to feel 'connected' with. I couldn't relate to or understand her compulsion to keep buying things to make herself feel better. But as her heart was softened and she began to grow closer to God, I really began to love her! Here's the paragraph that really hit me:
"And when I cut away the rot from a case of oozing tomatoes that came from only heaven knows where, I experienced euphoria like I'd never known. I knew that at t
I find it difficult to say whether this book is 'good' or not, since I'm not much of a literature fanatic and I don't care so much about stylistic considerations. Obviously the opinions about this book vary widely. I can see that the critics have some good points, but regardless, I enjoyed the book pretty much. The many silly conversations and random observations about American culture (especially about evangelical subculture) make for an easy and entertaining read, while the deeper questions an ...more
Not being a typical American Christian myself, I tend to regard Christian fiction with skepticism. Lisa Samson's novels are an exception, as they feature more complex characters and "edgier" plots that most typical Christian fiction. In this novel, Heather, a middle-aged stay-at-home mother, experiences a painful spiritual awakening. Heather is like most of the women that I knew growing up. She married young and sacrificed many of her own hopes, dreams, and ambitions upon the altar of good Chris ...more
Lisa Samson has quickly become one of my all-time favorite authors. In this 2007 Women of Faith Novel of the Year and Christy Award finalist, Heather, the main character, is a well-to-do shopaholic with a terrific kid and married to a handsome surgeon who is nuts about her. She lives in a house that most people only dream of, furnished with the best of everything. On the surface, life is grand. But are all the ‘things’ merely anesthetic for a pain too deep to be faced? In order to find the peace ...more
Kristie Kercheval
Heather is suburban mom who looks like she's got everything you'd want. She has a lakeside dream home, and enough money from her surgeon-husband's salary to finance private Christian school for her son, make continual upgrades to their home, and go on regular compulsive buying fits. Her husband adores her even though she sees her extra weight as a turn-off. She's also caught up in the loop of keeping appearances with the other moms at school. Her teenaged son, Will, has problems with being tease ...more
Aug 20, 2008 Weavre rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: if it were better written, Melissa'd like it--but it's not.
Shelves: quakers
I decided to finish this after all, since my brain was spinning after finishing The Black Hole Wars. This is a treacly-easy read that hasn't gotten any better, but for whatever reason I decided I might as well just see it through. The characters have all the depth of the manufactured stock people from the management books, only the insights shared through them aren't anything remotely novel. The incredibly wealthy bored suburbanite housewife and her even wealthier friends aren't satisfied with a ...more
p. 173
The Friends Peace Testimony

"We utterly deny all outward wars and strife and fightings with outward weapons, for any end or under any pretence whatsoever. And this is our testimony to the whole world."

From "A Declaration to Charles II", 1660

p. 220
"Of course my nose has started to run, and every sniff sounds like the winds of a hurricane here in the silent gathering. Most sit with their eyes closed, expecting a thought from God or waiting for someone else to stand and deliver the Spirit's me
Katieeoh Lacanlale
One word to describe this book: INSPIRED.
I got this book from the Logos Hope book fair last March and to tell you, this book is wonderful. It mainly talks about a mom named Heather Curridge who lives a great life with her loving husband who’s a surgeon, and his 15 year old son. She has everything, all the material things she needs; a beautiful mansion on a vast lake, soapstone countertops, all the clothes, shoes and latest gadgets, everything that money can buy. But Heather wonders if this is th
Randomly picked this up at the library the other week. It is part of Thomas Nelson Publishers' "Women of Faith" fiction series. Of course, the "Quaker" in the title grabbed me. Then I noticed reviews saying that it spoke to our culture's addiction to consumerism, and talked about the radical gospel of Christ. Then I opened it and saw the chapter titles are titles of Beatles songs. SOLD.

I'm finding myself reading more and more women's Christian fiction these days. It's surprisingly good.

Samson is
Sometimes, a decent book is made really good by a theme and story that connect with the circumstances of the reader's life at that moment in time. For example, when I read "Eat Pray Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert for the first time, I have no doubt that I appreciated it so much more because I was recently divorced and could relate so much more intimately to the things she wrote about.

Reading this book, I had the same type of appreciation. I'm at a point in life where I really relate to the doubt an
To me, the best factor in this book is main character Heather's struggle to connect and hear God in the midst of attempts find joy through material wealth. Good portrayal of societal values, but I thought it was naive in some ways; However, that naïveté epitomizes the main character, who actually develops a greater sense of purpose by attempting to love, work (volunteer) in some very accurately portrayed poverty & violence. The only negative for me is that I think few people are actually hav ...more
Heather is losing it...she thinks she has to be the perfect wife, perfect mom, have the perfect house, and be the perfect Christian. People come into her world that help her realize that life is about so much more than THINGS and that Jesus really just wants your time, not your money(the church wants this!). I grew up without religion or faith playing a role in my life and as an adult, I've found that I have been searching for something and have been struggling with "what" that exactly may be. T ...more
I did not find this book compelling and only finished it because my book club was reading it. The main character spends too much time on the wrong things and then spends too much time figuring out that she is doing the wrong things. The conclusion was also predictable.
Beth Peninger
Heather, the main character, and I are living very similar lives. At least when it comes to spiritual lives. Her journey spiritually in this book is very similar to mine the past few years. It was refreshing to read someone else questioning the same things I question. I realize it is fiction but there's reality underneath the fiction. Again, Lisa Samson hits a home run. She faces life head on and doesn't cloak it with "isms" and such. So refreshing! The journey in this book is "simply" this: wha ...more
Funny, meaningful, straight-shooting, inspiring, life ain't always pretty, soulful chick lit with a nice stream-of-consciousness twist. I like the characters & their interactions with each other and the theme of seeking both eternal truth and the day-to-day application of faith. The book offers a great, non-preachy answer to Why are we here and what should we do about it?

Most thought-provoking line: Does peace come from freedom or does freedom come from peace? Makes you go, 'Hmmmm' doesn't i
Laura Bonham
I have also read "Embrace Me" which is also by the same author. I loved that book. this book was a little more sporadic and I didn't connect to the characters as much as I did in the other book. it was a good story, but it was very predictable.
April Suter
Heather has everything: the perfect husband, kids and house. Why is she so unsettled? Why is it not enough? What does she need to learn? She gets lost with her husband in a not so nice part of town and meets a nun. Then she has a car accident and meets two elderly sisters, one being a Quaker, both with strong faiths in God. So she spends time that summer with the new people in her life and prays for guidance for her husband's career, her faith and the future of her family.

I tried to read this bo
This book made me think about the stuff I have (do I have too much?). It also made me think about helping those who are less fortunate than me.

One little thing that bugged me was that sometimes the dialogue looked like a script. i.e. "Hello" Anna. No, Anna said or Anna replied just a name next to what they said.
This was an amazing book, however, a little difficult to get into at first. I kept thinking that the title was wrong - there was nothing Quaker in the book until about half-way through and even then, I thought her time with the Quaker sisters was minimal. This book had several layers and the Quaker part was only a small part of Heather's dramatic change. I haven't been challenged by a work of fiction in a long time. I loved this statement "God wants us to care for the poor and the lonely and the ...more
Heather Curridge seems to have an idyllic life-- until she starts falling apart. This book won Christianity Today's fiction book of the year award. I didn't love it, didn't hate it. I couldn't really relate to the main character, who was honestly kind of a dolt. On the other hand, it was a pretty speedy read. Some of the messages (eschew materialism, practice relational Christianity) I agreed with, while other parts (dropping established church altogether, and having "church" services with one's ...more
Loved the main characters, but too many ancillary characters with so many unresolved issues. could have been consolidated.
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The Christy-award winning author of nineteen books including the Women of Faith Novel of the Year Quaker Summer, Lisa Samson has been hailed by Publishers Weekly as "a talented novelist who isn't afraid to take risks." She lives in Kentucky with her husband and three kids.
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“Man, I wish God wasn't starting to shake us up like this. Wouldn't it just be easier to care about stuff like dinnerware, golf, school uniforms, and getting to that new resturant that just opened?” 1 likes
“What are we doing? Have we really drifted so far off course? We have it all, don't we? We get along, live comfortably. But what's it all really for in the long run?” 1 likes
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