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Summer by the Sea

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4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,131 Ratings  ·  251 Reviews
With a little determination and a lot of charm, Rosa Capoletti took a run-down pizza joint and turned it into an award-winning restaurant that has been voted "best place to propose" three years in a row. For Rosa, though, there has been no real romance since her love affair with Alexander Montgomery ended without explanation a decade ago. But guess who's just come back to ...more
Paperback, 412 pages
Published August 1st 2008 by Mira Books (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Darcy
Dec 05, 2010 Darcy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, romance
I am not sure how this author made it on my radar, but this will not be the last book that I read by her. This book was a very sweet story about first loves, first betrayals, and screwed up families.

The story switches back and forth from the present to the past. In the beginning we see where Rosa doesn't have the time of day for Alex, and I have to admit I wondered why, it seemed like she was out of line. But it is as we learn how these two meet as kids and see their friendship progress that we
...more
Annette Mardis
If you only like romances with lots of steamy sex, don't read this book.

If you only like breezy novels with quick payoffs, don't read this book.

If you don't like well-drawn characters, don't read this book.

But DO read this book if:
* You like to read about people finding lasting love the second time around;
* You like to see literary puzzle pieces come together in a pleasing plot;
* You like to settle in with characters for a while;
* You don't mind flashbacks and well-fleshed-out back stori
...more
Kelly Moran
Aug 26, 2008 Kelly Moran rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always say that I will take sleep deprivation over a bad book any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Thanks to Susan Wiggs, I'm now sleep deprived. This was the first book I picked up by her, and it won't be the last. She has a way of winding love, family, and friendship into a book that's so emotionally powerful you jump right in the setting. Bravo! I love her already!!!
Jasmine Whitherly
Susan Wiggs possesses great skill in describing the nuances of human emotion and intertwining them into a story line that is real and believable. In "Summer by the Sea" I enjoyed the progression and the complexities of the romance between Alex and Rosa, the flashbacks that put their history into perspective, the descriptions of scenery and the characters' reaction to it. I loved the recipes that fit so well into the theme. Most of all, I liked that the ending was not mushy or overly emotional.
Audel
Jun 28, 2014 Audel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Voici un roman idéal pour l'été !

A travers 6 parties, l'auteure nous narre l'histoire de Rosa et Alex. On alterne entre le passé où on découvre la rencontre des deux protagonistes durant leur enfance, avec le présent où Alex est de retour dans la vie de Rosa après plusieurs années et une rupture difficile. Le tout se déroulant la plupart du temps lors des vacances estivales.

Par cette alternance, l'auteure entretient le suspens puisque se pose aux lecteurs deux questions tout au long du roman : q
...more
Anne
Oct 08, 2011 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Susan Wiggs is an American author, she's written many stand alone novels and also a couple of series. Summer By The Sea is a romance novel, no getting away from it - if you don't like a bit of love and heartbreak then don't bother. If you like a story that makes you feel good, with a cast of interesting characters and a dollop of Italian food thrown in, then this one will suit you down to the ground.

Our heroine; Rosa, is the owner of a succesful Italian restaurant in a small coastal US town. Her
...more
Carol
Oct 30, 2009 Carol rated it liked it
A very nice romance novel. Not as sexually explicit as some. However, when the teenager takes his girlfriend out after dark with his telescope to see the 'transit of Mercury' and it wasn't a boondoggle, I thought "What's wrong with this picture?" A transit of Mercury takes place when the planet Mercury comes between the Sun and the Earth, and Mercury is seen as a small black dot moving across the face of the Sun. How are you going to see that at night?? Huh? Anyway you don't just point your tele ...more
H2
Dec 26, 2010 H2 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Diane
Apr 05, 2016 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable romance, a second chance.
Natalia
Mar 17, 2015 Natalia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrea
Feb 08, 2014 Andrea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Warning, do not read this book if you are hungry! :) Loved the aspect of the Italian restaurant and the many wonderful recipes included throughout the book. Although the story starts out strong, there are a few places where it seemed to lull. However, once the loose ends came together, the storyline really picks up and I found that I couldn't turn the pages fast enough! This is one of the best Susan Wiggs' books I've read!
Miss Kim
Aug 26, 2008 Miss Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Romance Fans
This was my first Susan Wiggs read, and I did like it. However, it didn't blow my sox off. It's the old tale of one half of the relationship being from 'the wrong side of the tracks'. The characters are well developed and there are very strong family connections. It has a nice HEA.
Linda
Jul 25, 2015 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a marvelous book and I really enjoyed reading it. This is a story of second chances and realizing that families don't always know what is best. Rosa Capoletto had dreams of going to college and what she thought was her future but plans don't always work like you want them to. After breaking her heart ten years ago, Alex Montgomery came back to his beach house to try and make amends for his actions. Rosa had moved on, she thought, and was not ready for him to break down the wall she had b ...more
Amy
Aug 02, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Susan Wigg's Summer by the Sea is a charming beach read. Second chances, found opportunities and first love are themes explored as readers dive into the summer adventure. Rosa's life is far different than she imagined. As a girl, she dreamed of going to college and seeing the world but tragic circumstances kept her chained to her hometown.

She made the best of her dilemma and turned a run-down restaurant into a popular tourist destination. Although her life has moved on, part of her heart has re
...more
Laraine
Feb 06, 2016 Laraine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a perfect beach read and I really enjoyed it. Rosa Capoletti has a nice life...a popular restaurant and great friends in her hometown in Rhode Island. The only thing she doesn't have is a boyfriend. Her heart was broken and her life disrupted when her father was hurt in a hit and run accident and she didn't go to University with the boy she loved, but stayed home to look after her beloved father. Years later, the old flame comes back to town when his Mother dies. Alex and Rosa come ...more
Amy Thorleifson
Jul 23, 2015 Amy Thorleifson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When her childhood friend and first love Alexander Montgomery returns to town, Rosa Capoletti is in denial about her continuing feelings for the man who left her just when she needed him the most. As the gardener's daughter, she was never accepted by Alexander's very wealthy mother. Now a successful restaurant owner, Rosa is still tied to the events of 12 years before, when her father was the victim of a hit and run accident. Secrets are uncovered and relationships clarified in this rather lengt ...more
Fatema Al Fardan
This book was on my To-Read list ever since I started Goodreads-ing. I've always wanted to read it, but I never got a chance until now. It never occurred to me, until the moment I acquired it, that I won't enjoy it, because my reading taste has evolved.

1. I thought the characters were very two dimensional. I couldn't relate whatsoever.
2. The conflict(s) were petty and underdeveloped.
3. I only continued on reading it because it had some dumbfounding quotes that I read a very long while ago and I
...more
Emily Higgins
Nov 03, 2014 Emily Higgins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
Rosa Capoletti and Alex Montgomery spent all of their time together during their childhood summers. Alex's family were "summer people". Rosa and her family lived in the little Rhode Island town all year. As Rosa and Alex grew older, Alex stopped spending his summers in Rhode Island. His family disapproved of their friendship and worked to keep them apart. When Alex's mother died, he came back to Rhode Island to oversee the repairs to the family's summer home. He also made it clear that he had re ...more
Dixie-lee Campbell
Excellent book. Got a bit confused at first the time-line shifting back in the story... but once I caught onto what was happening... it unfolded nicely and could not stop reading the book.
It was very challenging romance for Rosa and Alexander... and some outcomes were surprising and a couple predictable.... but loved this story and highly recommend it.
I felt I was actually living amongst the people, families and the community. Loved the Italian culture and community... Rosa was perfect in her ro
...more
penelopewanders
Jan 28, 2016 penelopewanders rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, contemporary
This was a pleasant change of pace from some of the other books I've been reading recently. I see Goodreads suggests books by Barbara Delinsky as a similar read, and I quite agree. Very New England, I felt I recognized parts of Rhode Island...The story reads well, although Rosa is a far more compelling character than Alex, I felt. Entertaining but not earth-shattering. I enjoyed reading the recipes and thought about copying them... for the time being I still have the book so could see if I actua ...more
Arleen Fuller
This book was a fun read. It takes place in a different time when class struggles were more cut and dry. It also took you Back to immigrant ways where families stuck together. I really enjoyed the setting of the book. Susan Wells descriptions of the places was so vivid. You felt like you were there on the beach or walking through the seacoast towns. But my favorite part of the book was the inclusion of the recipes of the food that Rosa cooked or what was served at family events. Can't wait to tr ...more
Kate Vale
Rosa Capoletti is a town girl who owns an award-winning restaurant based on her Italian mother's recipes. Alexanader Montgomery is a sickly summer boy who spent several weeks each summer during his childhood at his mother's summer place in tiny Winslow on the shores of the Atlantic. As children, they played together while Rosa's father manicured the expansive lawns and gardens for Alex's mother. But as they grew, his mother rejected Alex's feelings for Rosa. When he finally agrees to stop seeing ...more
Nicole
Sep 30, 2012 Nicole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Rosa Capoletti is an Italian American who runs a popular restaurant on Rhode Island's South Shore - she is a local in a land of Summer People. She met Alex, one of the Summer People, when they were 9 years old and when Rosa's life takes a drastic turn at the age of 18, she found she couldn't even count on the man she loved to be there for her. Now 30 and still stinging from Alex's rejection over a decade ago, she has steeled herself ever since against being hurt again. But, when he whirls into h ...more
Ns
Mar 13, 2010 Ns rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When it comes to true love there are second chances in Susan Wiggs' novel Summer by the Sea.

From the moment Rosa Capoletti met Alexander Montgomery when she was nine and he ten, they shared an instant connection, one that would create memories of a magical summer. That fateful summer paved the way for several more magical summers shared by Rosa and Alex, oblivious to their differences and circumstances.

For a few summer weeks Alex is a part of Rosa's world but she is never part of his when summer
...more
Kerrymac
Jul 28, 2014 Kerrymac rated it it was ok
This was a hand-me-down book, but looked like an enjoyable summer read. The first half of the book impressed me with its richness and occasional poetic style. But the last half of the book seemed to have been rushed. Details of character didn't always line up and the quality of writing seemed diminished. I guessed the big mystery early and the mostly predictable end almost seemed as if written as an afterthought. I will try this author again and hope for consistent quality!
punxsygal
They were approximately nine years old when they met. Rosa Capoletti was the daughter of the gardener and Alex Montgomery was the asthmatic son of the mansion’s owner. As they played together each summer their friendship grew deeper and deeper. Then Rosa’s father was hit by a car and it all seemed to fall apart, their friendship, her dreams of college, the thought they could overcome the differences in their backgrounds. Now Alex has come back to town and Rosa, owner of a popular restaurant in t ...more
Linda C
May 20, 2015 Linda C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Winslow is a fictional Rhode Island sea town where the very well to do have large summer homes and live separate lives from the locals. When Rosa is 9 she loses her Mother to cancer and must accompany her Father to his job as gardener to the big houses. At one place she meets a pale sickly 10 year old boy. Alex has severe asthma and has been extremely protected. But Rosa gets him out of the house and into trouble. So begins a friendship that persists despite family objections on both sides. At 1 ...more
Kshydog
Enjoyed reading about the comparisons of the rich people vs the locals. Felt happy for Alex to have found a childhood friend for his summers when so asthmatic and that he was able to find ways to overcome it. Liked that he could see his parent's faults in a so-so marriage but really had a hard time with him forgetting Rosa so completely after the accident with her father. Admired Rosa for her determination and belief in helping family over everything else.
Kat
Jan 03, 2016 Kat rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michelle
Jul 21, 2015 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never read this author before, but I will again.
Great story, great characters.

I wondered when I started this, how can they make Rosa and Alex's breakup so upsetting that she's still mad at him over a decade later but still make him forgivable and loveable enough that we want them back together?
Mission accomplished.

Very entertaining story, I really couldn't put it down till I finished it.
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Susan Wiggs's life is all about family, friends...and fiction. She lives at the water's edge on an island in Puget Sound, and she commutes to her writers' group in a 17-foot motorboat. She serves as author liaison for Field's End, a literary community on Bainbridge Island, Washington, bringing inspiration and instruction from the world's top authors to her seaside community. (See www.fieldsend.org ...more
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“She knew with painful certainty that the opposite of love was not hate, but indifference.” 98 likes
“She was the living, breathing proof that the hard things in life didn't have to defeat you - or even define you.” 18 likes
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