JoAnne Pulcino's Reviews > The Summer Guest

The Summer Guest by Justin Cronin
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Apr 12, 11

it was amazing
bookshelves: adult-fiction, book-club-selection, adult-fiction-and-e-book, literary
Read in July, 2005

This is a stunning novel written in 2005. I think it is so breathtaking, everyone should be able to share in its beauty. The story takes place at a rustic fishing camp on the northern tip of Maine, and spans the eras just after World War II and continues through three generations of family and friends. The plot revolves around a wealthy entrepreneur who fell in love with the camp as a young man and revisited it for thirty years. The last trip he makes there is different in that he has come for his final visit - he is dying of terminal cancer. The camp itself serves as the physical and emotional center for the extended circle of family and friends. Each character tells their back story in alternating chapters that depict love, war, disease, loss, betrayal and redemption . These stories are told with such deep and touching sincerity of emotions that it’s hard to look away. The novel has a lovely timeless quality that remains constant even when dealing with the bedrock realities of family and place. Mr. Cronin has a superb ability to create tremendous beauty out of the everyday business of living, loving and dying. This is an extraordinary book peopled by fantastic characters and heartbreaking warmth. Do yourself a favor and become a summer guest in this beautifully created tale.
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