Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Life Without Summer” as Want to Read:
Life Without Summer
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Life Without Summer

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  1,153 ratings  ·  168 reviews

Life Without Summer tells the story of Tessa, a mother who has just lost her four-year-old daughter in a hit-and-run accident and the grief counselor, Celia, who tries to help her to put her life back together. When their lives begin to intersect in powerful and unexpected ways, they discover that the answers one needs might be the other’s only chance for peace. Each woman
ebook, 320 pages
Published April 14th 2009 by St. Martin's Press
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Life Without Summer, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Life Without Summer

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Anne Broyles
I slogged through the first 50 pages and decided to finish the book to give it a chance. What I’d felt in those first pages still resonated after I read the last word. The characters are unsympathetic and one-dimensional. The plot is predictable and like much of Dickens, involves a lot of coincidence as the author tries to parallel the stories of a young mother whose 4-year-old daughter is killed by a hit-and-run driver, and the therapist who is supposed to help her through the trauma. The writi ...more
What a great book. It was definitely a tough subject to read about being a mother and I can't imagine how one would go through life after dealing with such a tragic accident but it's written so beautifully and poignant. There are some bright spots amidst the dark and troubled relationships which makes it all the more touching. I felt optimistic for the characters and how things were going to work out in some way. It really is a testament to the strength of the human spirit. I couldn't put this d ...more
"Life Without Summer tells the story of two women: Tessa, who's daughter was killed by a hit-and-run driver, and Celia,a therapist, who is struggling to make her new marriage to Alden work while trying to keep her teenage son Ian from feeling excluded. These two lives intersect as Tessa seeks counseling from Celia.

The beginning of this book was so intense that I didn't think I could finish reading it. The devastation of a child's death in one family along with the single-handed struggle of Celi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Some books are just so stinking sad. Tessa's world shatters when her young daughter is hit and killed by a driver outside the girl's preschool. She's obsessed with finding out who killed her little girl--was he drunk? high? What other excuse would someone have for hitting a little girl and not stopping? In the meantime, though, her marriage is falling apart, too.

Tessa begins seeing a therapist, Celia, and about half the book is from her point-of-view. Celia is remarried after divorcing a drunk,
Tessa's four-year-old daughter is killed in a hit-and-run accident outside her preschool. She is devastated and unable to cope, so she goes to a therapist at the suggestion of her husband.

Celia, the therapist, is having her own difficulties---she has an alcoholic ex-husband, a new husband, and a teenage son with his own share of attitudes and problems.

This is written in journal style, alternating between the two women. It is a wonderful story, woven together very well, yet is unpredictable and
Pamela Houlton
Once I realized the book was written with two people telling their stories, everything else fell into place.

Tessa had lost her 4 yr. old child in a hit-and-run accident and Celia was her grief counselor. Tessa is stuck in finding the driver who hit her daughter and Celia is in denial about the loss of her own daughter. It is very interesting how the writer brings them together to heal and how their lives actually affect one another to bring peace to both of them.

It was well written, made me wan
May 27, 2010 Amy rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one!
It took me reading over 100 pages (and other books in between) to finally commit to finishing this book. The only reason why I continued to give it a chance was due to the numerous four and five stars it received on goodreads....thinking, it had to get better, right? Not really. The characters in this book are extremely flat and not likeable. I found the two main characters' interactions with their family members to be frustrating, and particularly found the therapist to be weak as a mother, wif ...more
Missi Svoboda
Although I was a little concerned regarding the storyline of Life Without Summer where a mother has to deal with the hit and run death of her 4-year old daughter, I was still intrigued. Not only do you see the viewpoint from the grieving mother but you also see the side of the counselor that she enlists to help her with her difficult situation. Along with the counselor's narrative dialect you get pulled into her disfunctional family life. While reading the book you will see the mother become a v ...more
This was a great read. While it was a novel it was so poignantly written you would think it was an autobiography. I have never read this author but definitely hope to read more.
Sue (booknbeachbag)
This book was so disturbing to me on so many levels.
what a good book!
Life Without Summer
By Lynne Griffin
St. Martin's Press
304 Pgs.
ISBN 0312383886

Tessa Gray's life has changed greatly since after the death of her four-year-old daughter, Abby. Without her, nothing seemed to be the same anymore. And due to the car accident Abby had, Tessa never forgot about her responsibility of finding the driver who killed her daughter, and ruined her life. After the loss of Abby, Tessa has been held up in Abby's room, reminiscing all the things that belonged to her daughter. She
The beautiful cover art is what first attracted me to this book. I had no idea that I would become hooked after the very first page. I finished the book in just one day.

First Paragraph….

“There’s a thud as her little body collides with the steel fender. No scream. Just a soft sigh, a surprised breath inhaled as she’s lifted from the ground only to be returned there. I hear it happen. I see it happen. And I wasn’t even there”.

So begins Lynne Griffins amazing book Life Without Summer: A Novel.

Life Without Summer, is an amazing book about a mother who looses her, four year old daughter, Abby, in a hit in run accident. As the mother, Tessa goes through her grieving process she finds that she can't get over it. She want to hold on to every last memory she has of Abby. Her husband, Ethan, Talks Tessa into seeing a therapist.
Celia, Tessa's therapist is a very proper woman who is going through a hard time but won't let anyone know about it, because she doesn't want her personal life to in
Ana Mardoll
Life Without Summer / 0-312-38388-6

In "Life Without Summer", author Griffin has managed to convey the incredibly painful details of a child's death, a mother's mourning, and a family's quest for answers in a manner that is equal parts sensitive, tender, suspenseful, and gripping. "Life Without Summer" starts with Tessa, a grieving mother who has lost her only daughter in a hit-and-run accident. Tessa is shutting down emotionally, becoming distant from her husband, and is obsessed with finding an

Life Without Summer by Lynne Griffin deals with that most difficult of topics, the death of a child and brought this reader (and mother) through this most intense nightmare intact, though shaken. She begins her novel with this first line, which I read about twenty times before continuing:

There’s a thus as her little body collides with the steel fender. No scream. Just a soft sigh, a surprised breath inhaled as she’s lifted from the ground only to be returned there. I hear it happen. I see it hap
It only took a few sentences for me to wonder if I had made a mistake in selecting this book: a four year old little girl killed in a hit and run accident in front of her preschool. I avoided the book for a couple days...and then I couldn't put it down. While the first chapters are gut wrenching for any mother, the overall theme of the novel proves to be incredibly poignant and moving. There are two sides to EVERY story, even the most heart breaking, tragic ones.

I figured out relatively early on
I had gotten this one from the library. Having put it aside for others, I realized that I should renew the book before it became overdue. Alas, the book was on hold for someone else so it was not renewable. I began reading as fast as I could and once I began reading, I just couldn't put it down. Getting it back to the library on time was no longer a problem.
The story of two mothers who have both lost a child. One to a hit and run driver, one to cancer. One in need of therapy, one the therapist.
Two women, Tessa and Celia, struggle to find the balance between love, marriage, truth and forgiveness on their personal journey thru life. Tessa is trying hard to deal with the fact that her 4 year old daughter was killed outside her preschool in a hit-and-run accident that detectives tell her is unsolvable. She of course won't accept those words and seeks comfort from a grievance counselor named Celia. Celia finds that in trying to help Tessa, it causes her to face things in her own life...her ...more
Tessa and Ethan's little girl is killed by a hit and run driver outside of her pre-school. Both are as one would think devastated. This novel is about how they find their way back to each other and work to fight a system that seems so stacked against them. Running parallel to this story is that of Tessa's therapist Celia, her new marriage and trying to fit the pieces of a teenage boy, her alcoholic ex-husband and the haunting loss of their daughter all together. Eventually it becomes evident tha ...more
Life Without Summer is the debut novel written by Lynne Griffin. Tessa is a young woman whose life stops when her daughter is killed by a hit and run driver. Tessa isolates in Abby’s room, sleeps in her bed and slowly unravels as she tries to comprehend a life without her only child.

Celia is Tessa’s therapist. While working with Tessa, Celia realizes her new marriage may not be as stable as she thinks and learns her son is battling his own problems. Meanwhile, her alcoholic ex-husband is still p
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is a debut novel? Wow, I am so impressed! This book is written with the depth and feeling of a seasoned novelist. The main character Tessa's grief over the death of her daughter envelopes the reader from the first couple of pages. I could feel her moving through the stages of grief, however resistant and unwilling she was to move at all. The parallel storyline of Tessa's therapist Celia and her broken family was equally interesting and broke up the sadness in the novel. Without the alternat ...more
A difficult subject to read about. There is no way this story could be a happy one or have a happy ending. There was closure. I think it highlighted that even a therapist can need emotional therapy and support.

Another book I had trouble putting down. I hesitate to say it was enjoyable - maybe the better description is that I was captivated. The story begins with the tragic death of Tessa's 4 year old daughter at the hands of an unknown hit-and-run driver. In order to help cope with the loss, she begins therapy with Celia. Celia is struggling with her own issues of a tragic past and a hectic present trying to keep peace in her own family. Their lives end up intersecting in unexpected ways. I was drawn
the story of two mothers - tessa, who's daughter is killed in a hit and run accident, and celia, her therapist who's trying to cope with her own issues (an ex-husband, a teenage son, and a new marriage). as tessa struggles to cope with her daughter's death, we see her relationship change with her husband and her sister, we see celia's relationship with her son and husband and ex-husband change and we try and figure out what's going to happen and who exactly did run abby over. i was almost sure t ...more
My favorite part of this book was the fact that a social worker wrote it, and I think that really helped her bring alive the complexibity of each situation. She did a wonderful job exploring the conflicting emotions the characters faced. Their choices weren't easy, and that's what life is like.

What would we do if faced with those same choices? How would we respond?

The book forces you to reflect on those questions, and that's what I loved most about it.

I didn't rate it higher because I thought so
I liked the story better than I liked the writing style. It was a good book- one that I am glad I read. The plot line seems a little unrealistic but that didn't take away from the overall story line. I did not like that there wasn't a true resolution at the end. I felt like there was so much build up and then not really any closure. I really like closure in my books.
Mary Anne
I liked this book better than Griffin's other book SEa Escape, because I liked the characters better. This is a quick read but a sad story about a mother who loses her 4 year old daughter to a hit and run driver. The mother Tessa Gray cannot rest until she finds out who the driver is. As the story unfolds you meet her husband, therapist, a police officer, and a lawyer ...all who are helping her cope with her loss. When she becomes pregnant,
Tessa doens'know whether to be happy or even sadder as
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Kindest Thing
  • Driftwood Summer
  • After You
  • The Good Sister
  • Beach Trip
  • What Happened to Hannah
  • The Summer We Came to Life
  • Girls in Trouble
  • A Sister's Gift
  • Best Kept Secret
  • Mothers and Other Liars
  • The Slow Moon
  • Chosen
  • Second Time Around
  • Pieces of My Sister's Life
  • A Theory of Relativity
  • Secrets She Left Behind (Before the Storm #2)
  • Ten Beach Road (Ten Beach Road, #1)
LYNNE GRIFFIN is an acclaimed novelist and a nationally recognized expert on family life. She is the author of the novels, SEA ESCAPE (Simon & Schuster, 2010) and LIFE WITHOUT SUMMER (St. Martin’s Press, 2009).

Lynne is also the author of the nonfiction parenting guide NEGOTIATION GENERATION: Take Back Your Parental Authority Without Punishment (Penguin, 2007).

Lynne teaches family studies at t
More about Lynne Griffin...
Sea Escape Negotiation Generation: Take Back Your Parental Authority Without Punishment Ein Sommer Ohne Dich Dagen zonder Abby

Share This Book