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Summer of the Loon

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Kindle Edition

Life can change in a heartbeat…

Ali Jenson's life changed forever the moment her mother died. The sixteen-year-old was suddenly swept away from the life she knew in California to live with her estranged grandfather in the deep woods of northern Minnesota. Ali's life has never been easy, but it seems her grandfather is trying his best to make it even more difficult. Her only hope is to get through the summer and her last year of high school so she can return to her old life in California. What she hadn't counted on, though, was slowly becoming attached to the grumpy old man and falling in love for the very first time.

Benjamin Jenson never planned on meeting his granddaughter, let alone having her live with him. He wasn't thrilled with the idea of a teenaged girl coming into his home or his life. He'd been down that path once before, and he didn't want to relive it again. But he is her only living relative, and he knew his deceased wife, Lizzie, would have wanted him to give Ali a home. Grudgingly, he figured he could put up with the girl for a year. He never expected Ali to find a way into his heart and make him face painful past memories and his worst fear. The fear of losing yet another person he loves.

Will Ben finally put away the past and give Ali the one thing she's always dreamed of? A home.

What readers are saying about Deanna Lynn Sletten:

"Love, love, love this book! I have now read 3 of Deanna's books and I think she just keeps getting better and better!" – Susan R. Schleicher of The Book Bag – From Maggie's Turn

"Author Deanna Lynn Sletten weaves a captivating tale of love and forgiveness that will simply pull at your heartstrings." – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – From Sara's Promise

"Deanna Lynn Sletten is absolutely amazing! I won't compare her to Nicholas Sparks (one of my favorites) because I believe she is even better!" – Billie J. Copas – From Memories

"Each book that Ms. Sletten writes is always better than the last one." – Dianna Kennedy - From Sara's Promise

Kindle Edition

First published February 16, 2014

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About the author

Deanna Lynn Sletten

29 books534 followers
Deanna Lynn Sletten is the author of THE ONES WE LEAVE BEHIND, MISS ETTA, THE WOMEN OF GREAT HERON LAKE, MAGGIE'S TURN, THE LAKE HARRIET SERIES, and several other titles. She writes heartwarming women's fiction and romance novels with unforgettable characters. She has also written one middle-grade novel that takes you on the adventure of a lifetime.

Deanna has recently begun a new murder mystery series, The Rachel Emery Series which includes THE TRUTH ABOUT RACHEL and DEATH BECOMES YOU.

Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her home with her beautiful Australian Shepherd or relaxing on the lake in the summer.

Deanna loves hearing from her readers. Connect with her at:

Her blog: deannalynnsletten.com
Twitter: @DeannaLSletten
Facebook: facebook.com/DeannaLynnSletten

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5 stars
685 (58%)
4 stars
331 (28%)
3 stars
124 (10%)
2 stars
17 (1%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 76 reviews
Profile Image for Susan's Reviews.
1,081 reviews493 followers
June 18, 2019
Nice romance set in rural Minnesota

A decent story with a sweet young girl and handsome young lad. nothing explicit. A light romance. For fans if this author.
Profile Image for Leona.
1,724 reviews18 followers
February 18, 2017
A nice story about finding your family and reconnecting. Young Adult romance.
Nothing really powerful.
Profile Image for Amanda.
222 reviews10 followers
March 11, 2014
I wish I could give this more than 5 stars because it deserves many many more!

I was told from a great friend to read this book, she made me add it to my wish list, to be read pile, etc and then she told me the second it was on Amazon to buy it and read it! Needless to say it was a great suggestion because it was a fantastic book!

16 year old Ali doesn't have the life of a normal teenager. Having to be the one to take care of her mother instead of the other way around has made her grow up a lot faster than she should have. When her mom dies, Ali is sent to live with a grouchy grandfather that she has never met.

Benjamin is a hard worker but haunted by his past of loosing his daughter, his wife and never having met his only granddaughter. Ben lives in a cabin just up from the lodge that he works at. He leads hunting and fishing trips for the tourists and doesn't think he has time or room in his life for someone else.

Ali and Ben will pull on your heartstrings and make you feel so much love and compassion and then make you want to yell and scream. It is such a wonderful story that shows you what family should really be.

I am so glad that I took the time to read this story, it was all I was told it would be and much much more. I do have to warn you though that there is a scene with a bear that scared me to death! I was sure Ali was a goners, lol!
90 reviews
February 27, 2014
I have had the privilege and honor of getting an advanced copy of Summer of the Loon by Deanna Lynn Sletten. I have enjoyed the stories that I have read by this author but this story was so much different. It was an amazing and a very powerful story. This was by far one of the best stories that I have read in a very long time. It touched on every emotion and definitely had me keep turning the pages. It was so difficult to put the kindle down every time I had to do some thing in “real life". I found myself very invested in the characters and the story. Summer of the Loon will for sure be in my mind for a very long time.

16 yr old Ali(Alison) has to move from her home & friends in California to live with her grandfather, who she has never met in Northern Minnesota. Ben, who thought he would never meet his granddaughter, finds himself with custody of Ali after her mother died. Ali had never had life easy with growing up with an alcoholic mother and no father. Ben was still living with so much pain from his past and was known to everyone who knew him to be a grouchy old man who is not easy to get along with.

As Ben & Ali go on a journey, that is not always easy, they discover things about them selves. They both have so much pain from their pasts that they need to learn to work though in order to move forward. The relationship between the grouchy old man and young teenager will tug at the reader’s heartstrings. This story does mainly focus on the relationship of a grandfather and granddaughter learning to be a family but there are other relationships that were fun to follow as they developed into more.

What I thought was the most fun when reading this story was the fact that it takes place in the state that I also live in, so I knew every “Minnesota” thing that was mentioned. It gives the reader an idea of what happens in other states. Some things that are “normal” for Minnesotans are completely strange concepts for people in other states which poor Ali found out very quickly that living in Minnesota was way different than her life in California

I would highly recommend this book to anyone!! You will not only find an author to add to you list of reading but you will go on a very powerful & moving journey with Ben, Ali and all the other characters in this story
Profile Image for Marianne Broccolo Bair.
166 reviews1 follower
August 15, 2017
Really enjoyed this book

Summer of the Loon was an unexpected surprise. . Wasn't sure if I would like it, but once I started reading I found this Book hard to put down. Loved it and will definitely be reading more by Deanna Lynn Sletten. Great storyteller.
Profile Image for Susan (The Book Bag).
809 reviews70 followers
August 9, 2016
I know when I start one of Deanna's books that I am going to enjoy the story so, so much. When I get one of her books, I drop whatever I am reading and doing so that I can dive into the new world she has created for us. And I am never disappointed. She writes such wonderful, down to earth, believable stories with very likable characters.

Summer of the Loon was the perfect book to read right now, in the dead of winter, with the cold and snow blowing around me. The story takes place during the summer on a beautiful lake in northern Minnesota. I really felt like I was there, enjoying the boat rides and watching the resident loons.

Ali moves to Minnesota from California to live with a grandfather she has never met, after her mother dies. The move itself is a big adjustment but then she is also thrust upon an old man who really doesn't want her to be there.

'At only sixteen years old, her former life was behind her, and she was walking toward her new life, meeting her estranged grandfather for the very first time.'

Ben has had his heart broken and is not ready to let anyone in and he now finds himself responsible for a teenager. He doesn't want to be hurt again and isn't able to open his heart to her.

'Her mother had been so affectionate and loving. How in the world had she come from this cold, hard person in front of her?'

I loved the setting of the story. Like I mentioned, it takes place on a lake in Minnesota which just sounds so peaceful and relaxing. It reminded me of the times I have spent in a cabin at a lake as I was growing up. It can be such a happy time.

'The ocean was always moving, rushing onto shore, wave after wave. The lake, however, moved in slower motion, making it peaceful and calming.'

I totally fell in love with Ali. She is such a wise, mature girl for her age and she doesn't take any guff off of anyone, even her grandfather. Especially her grandfather! She tells it like it is and doesn't let anyone get away with anything.

'This was the closest he'd ever stood next to her. Ali could smell his spicy aftershave. He smells like a grandfather.'

Deanna's books are always so wonderful to read and she is able to make the reader connect emotionally with her characters. I was brought to tears several times as the characters worked through their issues and emotions. That takes a special kind of writing to be able to get the reader so involved!

And if you haven't already guessed, I love to mark great lines as I am reading and add them to my posts, lines that spoke to me in some way. So that's what the blue sections are above, lines that I loved. I will leave you with one of my very favorite lines of the whole book.

'Sometimes, you just have to believe in a person no matter what.'

I love it!! Thank you Deanna, for writing another great story to add to my collection.
Profile Image for Tia Bach.
Author 70 books131 followers
March 11, 2014
Growing up is hard. For Ali Jenson, it was something she had to do at a very young age. With no father and a mother lost in regret and alcohol, Ali didn't have a typical childhood. When her mother dies unexpectedly, Ali goes to live with the grandfather long cut out of their lives. Did he sever the ties or did her mother? There's so much Ali doesn't know.

Ben Jenson lives with his own regrets and loss. He doesn't know his granddaughter. Suddenly, she is moving in. When he looks at her, he sees his daughter and that brings up a lot of pain and distrust. Then, Ali meets Chase. What starts as a much-needed friendship quickly grows into something more. But this further complicates her relationship with Ben, because he fears Ali will make the same mistakes his daughter did.

Can Ben and Ali be the family they both need?

Ali grabbed my heart right away. She's a young girl all alone, but she's wise beyond her years. Instead of throwing a pity party and playing the blame game, she picks up the pieces of her life and tries her best. Her grandfather is a hard man, but it's obvious he painfully misses the two loves of his life--his wife and daughter. Even though I wanted to strangle him for being so difficult with Ali, he never seemed like a bad guy. Just a guy in pain.

As much as I loved these two characters, the heart of the book was Jo, Ben's girlfriend and Chase's mother. She was the quiet force that kept pushing Ali and Ben together. And Chase was the kind of young man every girl should meet--sweet, mature, and giving.

I highly recommend Summer of the Loon. It's a poignant tale with endearing characters. From page one, you'll be rooting for these characters to find love and acceptance. If you are looking for romance, emotional investment, and a touching coming-of-age story, this one is a winner.

Note: I received a complimentary ARC for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.
Profile Image for Kerry Reis.
Author 2 books37 followers
March 16, 2014
Sixteen-year-old Ali Jenson, who was raised by her single mother in Southern California and is now dealing with the sudden death of her mother, is being forced to move away from her friends and former life to Northern Minnesota to live with her grandfather, a man she has never met nor was told anything about by her mother. Ben Jenson, still dealing with the loss of his dear wife four years ago and the estrangement of his daughter at the time she became pregnant with Ali, is determined to connect with the granddaughter that he has never met by having her live in his generator-powered home isolated from Internet and cell service next to a small lakeside resort. Over the course of a summer, it is through the help of and interaction with the resort owner, Jo, and her handsome and diligent seventeen-year-old son, Chase, that grandfather and granddaughter can find self-redemption and reconcile a fractured relationship and a broken family past. This well-written, well-edited story fits quite nicely into an earnest Hallmark Hall of Fame-style television movie. Adept readers will no doubt figure out secrets before the characters reveal them, but this is why many readers find comfort in this style of family drama and readily empathize with these characters. I have no problem with a tale where all is assured to end happily as long as the story is told well, like this one.
Profile Image for Dan Arndt.
Author 1 book5 followers
June 22, 2014
So, normally, I don't really read romance types of books. Even though I'm still considered a "hopeless" romantic, I try to stay away from those sappy love stories. I like action and strong characters that have to face some pretty hard things in order to survive. Yet, every so often I'll pick up a book that has some kind of love story attached to it.

Let me just say that this book was far from the sappy love story. It had a love story included in with the plot, but it took a backseat to an amazing protagonist that essentially had her entire life turned upside down. The other plus - it's still a young-adult novel because of the main character's age - can we say bonus?

I loved every minute of this book! Sletten has a true gift of talent in her prose. The characters were very believable and the settings were expertly crafted. The main character, Ali, starts off strong and ends even stronger. Even though I knew what the love story would end up like by the end, I still kept turning the pages (often screaming mind you) for the two main characters to finally get together. I also liked the aspect of the grandfather, Ben, projecting all of his hurt onto Ali. I think this happens a lot in different family dynamics even if we are too afraid to admit it.

I definitely recommend this book to others. It's a heartwarming story and delivers a great message.
Profile Image for Diana Hockley.
Author 9 books45 followers
March 21, 2014
Deanna Lynn Sletton's books are always good value and this one is superb! The story of Ali - orphaned grand-daughter of Ben, cranky father of Ali's mother - is set during the summer by a lake in Minnesota.

Ali's struggle to come to terms with the death of her alcoholic mother and with her Ben's part in Angela's departure seventeen years previously, is told in beautiful, calm prose. Jenny - Ben's partner and her son, Chase, support Ali in her efforts to get close to Ben, whose grief at losing his wife several years before and his guilt at driving his daughter away, prevents him allowing himself to become close to anyone.

Unfortunately, his quick temper and penchant for jumping to conclusions almost wrecks this relationship as well.

What intrigued me about this book, was the way the author used the calm and beauty of the lake - a piece of art in itself - to form an integral part of the story.

I am not going to give a spoiler, so, suffice to say, this book is a "keeper" - a worthy permanent member of my kindle's index.

Highly recommended!
Profile Image for Norma Budden.
Author 20 books57 followers
August 8, 2014
Summer of the Loon tells the story of a teenager whose mother died from substance abuse and how she was moved across the country - forced to leave her friends and everything familiar behind - to live with a grandfather she had never known, a grandfather whose love she questioned.

This is a wholesome story involving a young couple who meet and get along well together from the beginning. They work side by side at the lodge when required and talk about their hopes and dreams, among other things, later when they take a boat ride to see the loons or go for a walk.

I embrace the way Sletten draws me into her characters' lives, making me feel I am at the scene, not only witnessing events as they unfold but feeling the various emotions her characters feel...not to mention the serenity portrayed when she writes about the boat rides and fishing trips.

This is the third title I've read by Sletten and I'll be coming back for more.
Profile Image for Barbara Lohr.
Author 36 books148 followers
June 28, 2014
This novel offers a thoughtful journey into the deep woods of Minnesota...and the human heart. Ali loses her mother and is sent to her only living relative, a grandfather she's never met. Ben lives deep in the woods and has a generator in his garage. Lights out at nine each night, so a bit of a shock for the city girl. The story charts their relationship, along with a sweet romance with Chase, who works at a nearby lodge which Ben once owned and operated. The characters are good people with solid fundamental values. It's a thoughtful, refreshing read where family relationships are the focus and any romance progresses at a slow, sweet level. If you've ever spent time in the woods, especially during the summer, this book has the rich detail to bring it all back.
Profile Image for Kathie.
42 reviews3 followers
May 5, 2014
I received a free copy of this wonderful book through Goodreads first reader program. From the start I had to keep reading to know how life ended up for the main character. I thought this story was well written and kept me interested. I have read a lot of stories lately that I really disliked the endings however the ending of this story was upbeat and enjoyable. I will be looking for other books by this author.
Profile Image for Hal.
201 reviews7 followers
May 31, 2014
This has been described as a woman's book. I big to differ. It is an interesting, well written article about a grandfather and his granddaughter thrown together by tragedy and circumstance. The writer successfully pulled together how they finally came to accept each other and deal positively with the deaths of mother, daughter and wife. Romance plays a minor role in the story.
Profile Image for Dianna.
258 reviews
March 27, 2014
Once again, Deanna has a home run. I have read every book she has written. Proud to say I am a big fan.

Cannot wait for the next book.
Profile Image for Barbara Tobey.
2,149 reviews40 followers
August 12, 2019
Loved it. Wonderful eye wash material. Yes, I shed many tears. So many heartbreaking and heartfelt moments. Initially I did not think I could relate to a sixteen year old girl. She had to contend with her grumpy grandfather. I could see parallels with my father. I tried to savor the book. It is relatively short but oh so full. I would read a chapter or two and then stop. About three quarters of the way through I finally could not make myself stop reading. It did become difficult when my eyes would leak, but I just grabbed a tissue and continued. Terrific ending. I won the book in a contest. I was drawn to the cover, which encouraged me to enter. So glad I did. Must read more by this author. She knows how to pull at my heart strings.
Profile Image for J.R. Alcyone.
Author 2 books63 followers
December 15, 2018
I wouldn't really call this a romance; set in Minnesota, it's more of a coming-of-age story about a 16-year-old girl which focuses on her relationship with her grandfather. Although it touches on some darker subject matter (alcoholism, a parent's death, having a child out of wedlock), the story never becomes too dark or scary, and the story's main characters remain good and likable people throughout. The prose reads fast and would be appropriate for young adult readers. That said, I read it as an adult and enjoyed it, and I'd recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys light, clean, and wholesome stories.

May 19, 2018
This is a nicely written young adult novel. It's about a real kid in real life, facing real-life situations. Refreshing, considering what's out there! I gave it four stars because I felt like it was a little over the top hammering home the "don't have sex and screw up your life" message, which is not as realistic as the "be smart and use protection" message kids really need to hear. But I still liked it!
Profile Image for Jill Derrick.
254 reviews2 followers
May 13, 2021
Great read

Wonderful story of Ali meeting her grandfather for the first time as tragedy happened in her life. Now living in the middle of no where to her becomes a dream come if true. The reference to the Loon was special as it teaches her the beauty of their lives and all that now becomes part of her life as well. Great read and a story of restoration of a family life she always desired to have.
487 reviews9 followers
April 28, 2023
Starting a life with unknown famly

I loved the Summer of the Loon!!!!! A junior in high school loses her mother, and has to move from California to Minnesota, and live with a grandfather she never knew about. It took an entire summer on the lake learning how to trust and live with each other. This book is so easy to get into. This is the first time have read anything by Deanna Lynn Sletten. I will be reading more of her books. I`m so excited I discovered her!
3 reviews
September 28, 2019
What a great book. One of the best I have read in a very long time. The story was easy to read and all ages would enjoy it.

Characters were real. Ali and chase were great young people. No and the grandfather were great th with the grandfather being stubborn all his life with Ali having to show him the way. The story could have confined and seemed to end abruptly.
Profile Image for Terri Mastraieni.
113 reviews
December 29, 2019
A new beginning

This book tells the story of a young girl left all alone except for a grandfather that she never met.It tells the story of the struggle between two people who are living in the past, trying to start a new life together. There are a lot of roadblocks along the way before they finally connect. A good read!
Profile Image for Penny.
157 reviews1 follower
May 15, 2017
I typically don't read a lot of romance novels, but this one was a good choice. It wasn't too sappy. I enjoyed learning a little about the Minnesota North Country, where Cinda has roots. I liked the attention to nature in this story.
Profile Image for Jean Baxter.
Author 7 books27 followers
July 2, 2017
Sweet story I enjoyed. Maybe a little predictable yet held my interest with great characters and descriptions of the north woods making you feel like you were right there with them. Dealt with some tough subject matters but handled with honesty and compassion.
19 reviews
July 5, 2020
A bit corny and very predictable. I also found several spelling or grammar mistakes which always surprises me in published books...how were these not noticed? I liked to summer setting at the lodge which is why I gave it 3 stars
11 reviews
July 18, 2020
This was an enjoyable story of love, family and home. It is about people’s ability to rise up and become better versions of themselves. Although the ending was predictable that was okay because it still was a happily ever after.
Profile Image for Sharon Rudolph.
1,654 reviews
October 16, 2020
Great book

This is the 3rd book that I have read by Deanna and every one has been wonderful!! You fall in love with the characters from the very beginning. This book was about love and 2nd chances, I really enjoyed it and I look forward to reading more books by Deanna.
35 reviews
January 14, 2021
Book review

This was a awesome read. I read the book in one day. The story really captivated me. It was heart warning & beautifully written . I enjoyed it a lot , Allie got her happy ending & her grand pa got a second chance to make things right. I highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Christina•M•.
279 reviews1 follower
January 25, 2021
Lifetime movie quality

So predictable and yet so addictive. I really liked all the descriptions of the landscape and lake. The cheesy storyline with the lovable characters. The fishing trips and the information about the Loon were top shelf also.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 76 reviews

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