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The Summerhouse (The Summerhouse #1)

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,531 Ratings  ·  657 Reviews
Three women, good friends, all with the same birthday, are about to turn forty. They plan to share the occasion together at a summerhouse in Maine, but none of them expects the gift that awaits them there - a chance to turn their "what-might-have-beens" into reality.
Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Francine
Jul 06, 2008 Francine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gwen, Shannon
If you could go back in time - would you? While this book is a serious summer/ice tea read, it stayed with me longer than I expected. If you could go back in time - for three weeks - change one thing - one day, one conversations, would you? When/where/what would it be. Would you be willing to risk what you have now to do so? Or maybe because of what you have now you would? Which prompts my own question - if you could change one thing -- the first credit card you ever got, the first diet you ever ...more
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
Pre-Read (4/10/15): My mother in law got this book for me for my birthday. Even though I'm basically done with Deveraux's books, but what the hell? :)

Abandoned (1/16/16): I'm being honest with myself in the fact that I don't want to read this and I probably never will.
Jane Stewart
Engaging. I didn’t want to stop reading. Very feel good ending.

STORY BRIEF:
Three women travel to a summerhouse in Maine for a reunion to celebrate their 40th birthday. They share the same birthday. They haven’t seen each other for nineteen years and tell each other about their lives. Terrible and depressing things happened to Madison. A terrible injustice happened to Ellie. Leslie is unhappy and disappointed with people and things. Then a mystical woman offers them a chance to go back in time an
...more
Jeanne
Sep 18, 2008 Jeanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a lot better than I expected it. I read it when I was at an isolated hotel in Costa Rica in the offseason for my honeymoon.....and I didn't bring enough books from home and finished mine and there wasn't a bookstore within a 2 days trip. So out of desperation I borrowed this book from the "Share a book" at the hotel.

But it was about 3 women who met when they were 19 and then went seperate ways and all had seperate crappy lives.....and they meet this lady who give them a chance to
...more
Nika (Off to Neverland)
Look, if you had, one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted, one moment,
Would you capture it?
Or just let it slip


-Eminem, "Lose Yourself"


Three women meet one day while waiting at the New York DMV.

Maddie, a beautiful small-town girl from Montana, sent to be a model by her town.
description

Leslie, a pretty girl with a killer body, with dreams of being a great dancer.
description

Ellie, a cute, petite girl, who wants to become an artist.
description

Each was filled with big dreams. But their lives didn't tur
...more
Rexanne
Jan 12, 2015 Rexanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This novel by Jude Deveraux that tackles the question "If you could go back in time, would you?" is an engaging read that combines time travelling, friendship and romance in a superbly written book.

After 20 years, three friends in their 40s reunite and think about what has gone on in their lives after two decades. A chance walk takes them to the mysterious Madam Zoya and her magical summerhouse. All three are given the chance to go back in time 20 years ago to modify past decisions and ultimate
...more
Buppy Paul
Jul 25, 2012 Buppy Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I must admit I was extremely impressed with this novel. It wasn't at all what I expected it to be.

It's a very emotional tale, pulling you through the lives of three wonderful women and their very different yet equally traumatizing ordeals; then delivering that oft-dreamed fantasy: What if they were given the option to redo the last two decades of your life? Not just to change decisions, but also to change environments and social circles?
The whole narrative comes together incredibly smoothly and
...more
Rachael
Jul 11, 2010 Rachael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my first Jude Deveraux novel. I was a little hesitant because I'm not normally into romance novels--which Deveraux is known for. But The Summerhouse is not a traditional romance novel. This actually was a charming and relaxing read-- looking into the insights of three young promising women that meet on their shared 21st birthday. Not keeping in touch with each other, their unique bond was not forgotten so they reunite for their 40th birthdays. This is a story of how when they see each ot ...more
Tanya (Girl Plus Books)
The level of suspension of disbelief it takes to get through this book is staggering. The reader is expected to believe that 3 women meet one afternoon in line at DMV. The bond the forge there is so strong {snort} that 19 years later they reunite... having never kept in touch during the interim. Uh-huh. Then of course there's the ability to travel back to relive any 3 weeks of their life, courtesy of "Madame Zoya." {double snort} The fact that the three women seemed to take the going-back-in-tim ...more
Liesl
Dec 05, 2015 Liesl rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, residence, 2015
I don't read much from this genre and went in expecting something breezy; on some level I was at least entertained enough to finish. However, to me the most interesting thing about this book is the food for thought provided by the premise of going back in time to redo three weeks of the past and decide which future to embrace from there rather than anything that occurs on its pages. The time travel is a neat concept, but it takes a frustratingly long time to make its appearance. The characters a ...more
Alyce (At Home With Books)
The Summerhouse is a delightful and thought-provoking story where do-overs are allowed and alternate realities are possible. There’s even a bit of time travel involved in the story, which is always a big draw for me. The idea of being able to change the past is not a new one, but this book has an added twist to that idea – the ladies had to choose which few weeks they would go back and change in their lives. Which three weeks are the most important in regards to the path your life has taken? Whi ...more
Karschtl
Mar 25, 2008 Karschtl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked the idea of the story (three female friends get the chance to relive 3 weeks of their past lives - and change their future). Of course it was very loaden with stereotypical women. Only bad things had happened in their lives, they never were lucky. That was maybe a bit too much, but only those women can appreciate the opportunity to go back and change their lives. And of course all changed for the better at the end, I think I'm not spoiling anything in saying that the book has an H ...more
April
Jun 13, 2014 April rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an almost perfect simple romantic easy summer read. I zipped through it in one day, and that's all this book really deserves of your time. The three main characters, struggling with choices made in their youth that have resulted in disasters as they approach 40, are all endearing, albeit predictable and fairly one-dimensional. I couldn't help it though, I liked them, and I found myself rooting for them, even to the end. The story has a surprising fantastical twist toward the end, which e ...more
Kelcey
3.5 stars
I remember reading this in Burbank teen book club in high school and I remember enjoying it, especially toying with the idea of three weeks to change the entire direction your life went. Even now, I remember most of the story so I know it stayed with me in some respect. I have no desire to re-read it but an interesting concept in a quick fun read.
Beth
Jan 11, 2011 Beth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was a pick of one of my bookclub members. I have a hard time saying anything nice about the book. I was rolling my eyes and groaning at the way the author depicts the three women in the story. Usually I like a supernatural element to a book, but this seemed so cheesy to me.

On a positive note...the book explores the idea: If you could go back in time and make a different choice, would you keep the life you lived or choose the new life after the making a different choice?

I do not regret my pa
...more
Sara
Feb 17, 2012 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sara by: daneen sales
Shelves: book-club
Who doesn't wonder "what if" sometimes?? In this book three women get the chance to go back in time to answer this question.

This will be a great discussion book for our book club! It made me think of the choices I made in life or events that changed my life. If I changed one bad thing would I lose some of the best things? I thought about specifically if our first born daughter survived and would be special needs...would we have our other 3 children that came after her?? Would I really want thin
...more
Jen
Apr 26, 2016 Jen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance-chic-lit
Three women meet when they get stuck at the DMV. Discovering they have the same birthday, Leslie, Madison and Ellie strike up a conversation while waiting in line. Leslie, a former dancer turned housewife is a doormat to her husband and two children. Madison, a stunningly beautiful would-be model is a beaten down woman who has been abused by her husband. And, Ellie a best-selling author has been destroyed by a bitter divorce in which her ex-husband took her for everything she had and then some.

S
...more
Rhiannon Hammond
Sep 06, 2011 Rhiannon Hammond rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Rhiannon by: Kelli Evans
I really enjoyed this book, it was amazing to see such a change in all the women and you feel as if your changed a little as well after hearing their stories. It was hard hearing all the hardships they had been through but it was rewarding to see that they were all happier after they came back. I thought it was a really unique premise as well but not to sci-fi for me lol it still had its romance, I was aching for every character as they were in their bouts of love. Very good book, glad I read it ...more
Karen
Sep 14, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Someone gave me this book, as a used paperback, over 10 years ago and its one I've held on to and have re-read at least 6 times! It isn't my 'typical' genre-- I don't usually like books with anything 'super-natural'-- fantasy-- anything like that. And even though, these women do get a chance to go back in time to rewrite their pasts-- the storyline focuses on their current lives and sadness-- and as they go back in time-- the choices they made that got them to the place they currently are. Obvio ...more
Carolyn F.
I started the audiobook where I only listen in the car but the story was so compelling that I gave up and read the paperback from where I left in one evening. I had liked Jude in the 1980s and then just stopped reading her for awhile. Well this book was great! And I started reading the excerpt of The Mulberry Tree and that sounds really good too so I'm ordering it from the library as soon as I stop writing this review. I'm looking forward to making her one of my go-to authors.
Manju
Aug 16, 2009 Manju rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Going back in time to change a decision in the past - anyone who has regrets has always wished that one time or other. It was a good read. The foremost impression that I have is that it is better to take things as they are and not worry about yesteryear for the path we've traveled afterall is what has made us the person we are.
The story is about a random meeting of three women and then a reunion at a stage of their lives where each of them have gone through something or the other.
Anne Marie
Jan 23, 2016 Anne Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a cute story about three friends who have the opportunity to see what "might have been." They met at the DMV when they were all turning 21. Days before their 40th birthday, Ellie, a famous author but washed-up from a divorce, invites the two other women for a getaway in Maine (on the advice of her therapist.) Ellie finds out that her friends' lives have not been perfect. Madison, an up and coming model when she was 21, is now a chain smoker, divorced from a man who just used her for her ...more
Jayne
Jan 02, 2015 Jayne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
Wow, I couldn't believe I read the entire book in one night. It was okay, the first half was interesting, but the twist in the middle threw me off guard and it slowly lost my interest in the story. It wasn't that predictable, but I wasn't overly satisfied with the (somewhat) predictable, too rosy, cheesy happily ever after ending.
Leanne Hunt
I turned to this book because it was at hand, and not because I had heard of the title or been recommended it. As a result, I came to it with no expectations. My first impression was that the story began slowly and wasn't particularly gripping. However, I persisted with it because I liked the general concept, the coming together of three friends at age forty and the opportunity to review their lives and choices. This kind of story intrigues me because it always explores the reasons why people do ...more
Shawn Burcham
Three girls meet at a BMV in NY on their 21st birthdays, go out for a drink, meet up again 20 years later at a house on the east coast. They visit a "foruner teller" that offers them the opportunity to go back in time for 2 weeks. After that time, they can either 1)change life and forget their past, 2)change life and and remember the past or 3)keep the same life. Each woman chooses something different.

This was a slow starter. It got better about halfway through when the women visit Madame Zoya
...more
Susan
Mar 05, 2014 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, a great book that is really about choices, attitude, self-esteem and lessons learned.
I almost did not finish this book because it was so depressing in the beginning. The women talked about their tragic lives and how miserable they were. I almost stopped reading. Then I got to the place where they had the opportunity to go back in time for 3 weeks and make changes in their lives. That is when it got interesting for me. I am glad I stuck with it because I LOVED it. Each woman went back to a
...more
Sara
Feb 19, 2014 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Para ser una autora romántica, el libro es bastante sorprendente.
Cuenta los dramas de la vida casi sin juzgarlos, porque la vida nos sucede sin que nos demos cuenta. Y vemos casi como las tragedias de cada personaje eran inevitables.
Y luego tienes la parte de fantasía, el poder arreglarlo. Y ya estás tan metida en la historia que no te sorprende. Y el final todo empalagoso te parece normal.
Por lejos mi favorita fue Madison. Y las opciones que cada uno tomó son completamente comprensibles.
Uno no
...more
Jamie
May 17, 2014 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, I am trying to clean out all of the books my mom has given me over the years, or I've bought at yard sales, in an attempt to get rid of some and placate my husband who doesn't read and hates how much space they take up. With that in mind, I am currently in the romance section ;)
This book, however, after the last of hers that I read completely disappointed me with its cheesy lines, unlovable characters and retold plot (First Impressions), I liked. Yes, it gets pretty far fetched (especially M
...more
Lindaquill58
I enjoyed this book more and more as i read on. Imagine having the opportunity to go back in time and change something, or everything. Would you do it? Loved the ending.
Nicole
Nov 01, 2015 Nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely one of my favorite books. I've read it for the third time and what I like about it is just what everyone else is saying - it makes you think. If YOU could go back and change something about your life and you only had three weeks to do it, what would you change? And without giving too much away, I like the idea that in some way things can work out in the end. That happy endings are possible. Sure, I could pick this book apart, but I don't want to. It makes me feel good to read it. I fe ...more
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Volusia County Pu...: Question 10 3 21 Jul 02, 2014 08:09AM  
Volusia County Pu...: Question 9 1 9 Jun 17, 2014 11:40AM  
Volusia County Pu...: Question 8 1 8 Jun 17, 2014 11:40AM  
Volusia County Pu...: Question 7 1 5 Jun 17, 2014 11:39AM  
Which of the three main characters was your favorite? 1 10 Oct 25, 2012 01:55PM  
the summerhouse 6 51 Jul 31, 2012 11:04PM  
Bernal Book Club: The Summerhouse (Deveraux) 1 8 Feb 29, 2012 07:49AM  
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Jude Gilliam was born September 20, 1947 in Fairdale, Kentucky. She has a large extended family and is the elder sister of four brothers. She attended Murray State University and received a degree in Art. In 1967, Jude married and took her husband's surname of White, but four years later they divorced. For years, she worked as 5th-grade teacher.

She began writing in 1976, and published her first bo
...more
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The Summerhouse (2 books)
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“Still smiling she carried the TV through the doorway; then she gave it the strongest heave she could manage... When it hit Alan's oversized brick barbecue and the glass front of the TV smashed, Leslie didn't think she'd ever heard a more satisfying sound.” 3 likes
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