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The Book of Summer

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"Michelle Gable has moved in on [Elin] Hilderbrand's home turf with a humorous and smartly written story of two generations of love and vacations." --Wall Street Journal

New York Times Bestselling Author of A Paris Apartment

The ocean, the wild roses on the dunes and the stunning Cliff House, perched atop a bluff in Sconset, Nantucket. Inside the faded pages of the Cliff House guest book live the spellbinding stories of its female inhabitants: from Ruby, a bright-eyed newlywed on the eve of World War II to her granddaughter Bess, who returns to the beautiful summer estate.

For the first time in four years, physician Bess Codman visits the compound her great-grandparents built almost a century before, but due to erosion, the once-grand home will soon fall into the sea. Bess must now put aside her complicated memories in order to pack up the house and deal with her mother, a notorious town rabble-rouser, who refuses to leave. It's not just memories of her family home Bess must face though, but also an old love that might hold new possibilities.

In the midst of packing Bess rediscovers the forgotten family guest book. Bess's grandmother and primary keeper of the book, Ruby, always said Cliff House was a house of women, and by the very last day of the very last summer at Cliff House, Bess will understand the truth of her grandmother's words in ways she never imagined.

416 pages, Hardcover

First published May 9, 2017

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About the author

Michelle Gable

12 books1,387 followers
Michelle Gable is the New York Times Bestselling author of A PARIS APARTMENT, I'LL SEE YOU IN PARIS, THE BOOK OF SUMMER, and THE SUMMER I MET JACK.

Michelle grew up in San Diego and attended The College of William & Mary, where she majored in accounting, as most aspiring writers do. After a twenty-year career in finance, Michelle now writes full-time. She lives in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California, with her husband, two daughters, and what is quickly becoming a menagerie: one cat, one bunny, and a lab/jindo mix recently rescued from the dog meat trade in Thailand.

Michelle can be reached at www.michellegable.com or on Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest at @MGableWriter.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 507 reviews
Profile Image for Michelle.
Author 12 books1,387 followers
November 11, 2016
COMING OUT 5.9.2017!
Confession time: if novels are children, this is my favorite book kid by far.

I conceived of THE BOOK OF SUMMER after reading an article in Vanity Fair about the gorgeous, grand homes on the Sankaty Bluff in Siasconset (known as Sconset), the easternmost spot on Nantucket Island. Many of these homes have been in families for generations and are now in danger of falling into the sea due to erosion. I immediately pictured a home with ninety-nine years of history and memories packed inside, a home that will likely soon come down.

In the BOOK OF SUMMER, you’ll meet Cissy, a town rabble-rouser who’s happy to raise all kinds of hell to keep her beloved Cliff House standing. You’ll meet her grown daughter Bess, a physician from San Francisco, who’s given the unenviable task of forcing Cissy out of their family home. Cissy is but one of Bess’s problems, and it doesn’t help that her high school boyfriend is somehow still hanging around.

You’ll also meet the the people who’ve come before Cissy and Bess, like Bess’s grandmother Ruby, who arrives on the scene as an idealistic young bride in 1939, just before the United States enters WWII. Ruby will introduce you to her new friend Hattie Rutter, a flashy, bright, modern woman who rocks the house perhaps more than erosion ever could. There is also Ruby’s brother PJ and his wife Mary, a real wet sock, truth be told. And you’ll meet Ruby’s closest ally, her little brother Topper (oh, Topper! You might be my favorite of the favorites!), as well as her sweet husband Sam.

Through it all are excerpts from the home’s Book of Summer, its first entry written by Bess’s great-grandmother Sarah:

“We will greet each summer with expectant delight, Cliff House the reward for the winter and the toiling away. The deed bears Philip’s name but it belongs to us all. We’ll invite friends, we’ll invite family, and the friends of family. We will throw open the doors and shout, ‘All of you! Come stay a night or three! Leave your shoes in the basket, your worries outside the door. Together now, let’s pour ourselves a drink.’

“In lieu of rent we will ask our guests to make payment via words in this, the Book of Summer. We’ll do this so the memories will stick and so those who follow appreciate what came before.”


As with all my novels, I hope that THE BOOK OF SUMMER transports you and has you googling the real-life stories that made up the bones of my tale. Please enjoy this journey to Nantucket and the beautiful, magical Sconset.

Much love,
Michelle Gable
Profile Image for Diana | Book of Secrets.
797 reviews596 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
May 27, 2017
Unfortunately, I'm stopping at 20%. Everything about this book's synopsis and cover appealed to me, so I don't know what happened! Well, yes I do. The bantering between characters got on my nerves - a lot of dialogue, and too much waiting for the plot to get moving. I was curious about the erosion/cliff house conundrum, so I did have to peek at the ending to see what happened. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book.
Profile Image for Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews.
1,080 reviews1,412 followers
March 5, 2023
A summer home filled with years of memories, a book filled with years of written memories, and a home that is eroding away and about to fall off the cliff.

The Cliff House, appropriately named, has been the summer home on Nantucket for the Young/Packard/Codman family for over one hundred years. The women maintained the house, but now only Cissy is left, and she doesn't want to give up and face the reality that the house will be falling into the ocean before too long.

To help her mother come to the realization that she cannot continue to live in the summer home, Bess comes back home after four years. The memories are pretty strong for Bess and even more so when she finds the book containing the thoughts of the guests and family members who stayed there, but she can't convince her mother to leave.

THE BOOK OF SUMMER follows the family from 1939 to present day with flashbacks from entries in the memory book kept at the house. I actually enjoyed the present-day story more than the past.

THE BOOK OF SUMMER is a pleasurable read and a book I enjoyed because of the family drama, its secrets, and the characters. The characters are comical and lovable as well as stubborn. The reader gets to meet each generation of the women who kept the house going.

THE BOOK OF SUMMER was a bit confusing at first and didn't grab me right away like her other two books, but it definitely grabs your attention as you meet the characters and learn more about the history of Cliff House. That gorgeous cover draws you in as well.

THE BOOK OF SUMMER is delightful, thoughtful, and a book about families that has you focusing on your family history.

ENJOY when you read THE BOOK OF SUMMER. 4/ 5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,180 reviews30.5k followers
April 16, 2017
This beauty was a bookmail surprise this week! I was in the mood for a beach read, and this highly entertaining jaunt, with plenty of substance, was perfect. If you've ever fallen in love with a house; the history, the memories, the connections to generations of your family within those walls, there is much to relate to in this book. The Cliff House in Nantucket is in danger of falling into the ocean, and Cissy Codman is trying her best to not only preserve the physical house, but to preserve what she thinks of as her family's enduring legacy. Bess, Cissy, Evan, Ruby, Hattie, and even old grumpy Chappy; the characters were fun, amusing, and endearing. Due out May 9, 2017, The Book of Summer certainly lives up to its title. Thanks to the author and the publisher for the complimentary copy.
Profile Image for Cindy Burnett (Thoughts from a Page).
574 reviews993 followers
February 19, 2017
The Book of Summer takes place in Nantucket and focuses on the women of Cliff House, a beautiful home that is slowly falling into the sea due to erosion. The story is told in a dual timeline format with the inclusion of sporadic newspaper articles and entries in the Book of Summer, a book in which every individual coming to Cliff House writes an entry as he or she arrives at the house. The present day story revolves around Bess Codman and her mother Cissy, who refuses to leave Cliff House even as sections are eroding and falling into the sea on an almost daily basis. The 1940’s story focuses on Ruby Packard, Cissy’s mother, as she navigates family issues and the beginning of World War 2.

As the story unfolds, numerous family secrets come to light. As Bess spends time with her mother in Nantucket for the first time in a while, she comes to understand more about her family, including her mother, and the importance of Cliff House. My favorite parts of the book were the entries in the Book of Summer and learning more about the efforts in Nantucket to combat erosion. Gable’s descriptions of Cliff House were fabulous, and I felt that I could envision the house through her prose.

I really enjoyed this book and recommend it highly. I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews.
1,953 reviews277 followers
December 29, 2017
*https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com
The revelation of generation after generation of family secrets, all tied to an unforgettable summer home named Cliff House, is the focus of bestselling author Michelle Gable’s third novel. The Book of Summer is set over the course of two weeks in Nantucket but it also traces back to pre World War II. Gable expertly binds together fact and fiction, to produce a moving family tale of three generations of women who passed through the doors of the summer home, Cliff House.

Cliff House has been in Bess Codman’s family for generations. This once grand fixture, the site of many celebrations and opulent gatherings, is slowly descending into the sea, due to soil erosion. Bess’ mother Cissy adores the home and refuses to leave, despite the danger of total collapse. Bess returns home in an attempt to lure her mother away from Cliff House and save their family heirlooms from total ruin. Over the course of the two weeks in which Bess works to pack up Cliff House, memories from the past resurface. The discovery of a pivotal guest book, marks the beginning of a series of deep-seated family secrets that are revealed, all of which are closely tied to Bess’ grandmother, Ruby. Through the guest book, Bess travels back to the past of Cliff House, where she learns the shocking truth to a number of stories involving her grandmother Ruby and the female inhabitants of Cliff House. It is an eye opener for Bess, but also a turning point in her own life, where she learns a thing or two about herself along the way.

I am reader who loves covers and The Book of Summer immediately enticed me by its stunning and attractive cover. It features an antique bicycle on the front, with a basket full of flowers. My first thought was that this book was going to be a light and breezy summer holiday read. However, inside the book is a much weightier family saga, covering a range of serious issues, which Gable dissects well within the pages of this novel.

Gable blends fact with fiction in her latest novel. As The Book of Summer begins, we quickly learn that the main feature of this book, a once grandiose summer home named Cliff House, is on the cusp of complete ruin. The author, Michelle Gable, explains in her enlightening author note at the close of the book, Cliff House is based on a real life building, Bluff House, located in Sankaty Bluff, in Sconset, to the east of Nantucket Island. Gable makes the reader aware of the unfortunate soil erosion that has plagued this area for generations and how this has impacted on the grand homes situated in this area. Despite attempts to save the area with a sand replenishment program and geotubes (large jute bags filled with sand), the risk of ruin is still there. I found this real life inspired section of the narrative very interesting indeed. I will be honest and admit that prior to reading this novel, I had no knowledge of this problem. I also had no previous exposure to this part of the world. Nantucket is a new setting to me and I enjoyed being transported to a different location. I appreciated the picture perfect descriptions of this beach side locale.

The Book of Summer is a novel grounded in the past and the present, through Gable’s employ of a dual time frame narrative. Through Bess, our contemporary protagonist, secrets of the past come to light by the discovery of the all important guest book held at Cliff House. I love books that are focussed on the discovery of old letters, books or objects from the past. When Gable introduced this element to the novel, she had me hooked! I will say I enjoyed the World War II, grandmother Ruby based story thread much more than the contemporary storyline, which was still interesting. I found myself racing through the present day events, just so I could get back to the past with Ruby. The transitions from past to present were handled well by Gable.

Ruby’s narrative thread begins just prior to the outbreak of World War II. It is a full bodied narrative, defined by period and place specific dialogue, featuring a range of serious issues. These topics range from adultery, multiple miscarriages, death of loved ones and the impact of war on the home front. Most importantly, a thread involving the treatment of gay soldiers in the war by the US Military held the most interest for me. It is an occurrence in the war which I was unaware of until Michelle Gable brought my attention to this issue through The Book of Summer. It was both enlightening but shameful to read at the same time.

In the present day narrative, Gable covers a lot of ground. From marriage breakdown, divorce, unplanned pregnancy, abuse and rekindled love. These topics are carefully intertwined with the main focus of the novel, which is Bess’ mother Cissy’s attempts to protect Cliff House and the surrounding area. In the present day sections of the narrative, Gable’s characters are both flawed and spirited, culminating in a lively storyline for readers to enjoy.

The Book of Summer is a well crafted multi generational family saga novel that demonstrates the strength of the female spirit to overcome the roadblocks in life. It is a novel that serves up some hefty family secrets, a good dose of mystery, plenty of rich history and a touch of romance, all in the one book. The choice to present to reader with a blend of fact and fiction makes The Book of Summer a compelling tale to add to your reading list this summer.

*I wish to thank Pan Macmillan for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
1,507 reviews248 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
April 24, 2017
Read to about 50% but just wasn't feeling it or enjoying it. Got tired of Bess and Cissie and the house problem. Didn't like the language and in many parts of the book there was too much dialogue. While many readers have enjoyed this, it may be a case of "just not for me'. I was drawn in by the title and the cover.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
1,078 reviews27 followers
April 20, 2017
I started this day thinking I'd get some housework done, but I started reading Michelle Gable's new novel coming out soon and completely got sucked in! I spent the entire day reading! That doesn't happen often and I'm so glad it did!

"The Book of Summer" is a perfect read for me. It has a lot of family between the pages, an old house, family history and an island full of wonderful characters. Cissy was my favorite. She's an older woman who is about to lose her home to the ocean and is not accepting of that at all! The talk between her and her daughter made me laugh and cry at the same time! The storyline is full of family and moves back and forth between current time and the 1940's (mostly) and the author really plays on the reader's emotions in both time periods.

Unfortunately, I've read all of this author's books, so I guess I'll just have to wait until her next book comes out! I'll be looking forward to it! Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press/Thomas Dunne Books for the privilege of reading and reviewing this book.
Profile Image for TL .
1,875 reviews53 followers
April 2, 2017
I received this via Goodreads Giveaways in an exchange for an honest review.. all my opinions are my own :)
----

It may have been her first book and I don't know if it was on Amazon or Goodreads I saw this but I remembering seeing "Perfect for fans of Kate Morton".. not exact phrasing (it was a bit longer) but it got me excited since Kate Morton is one of my auto-buy authors so when the giveaway came up on Goodreads I jumped at the chance.

Maybe I set my expectations too high between the blurb/synopsis and the comparison to one of my favorites but while this was a lovely read, it ultimately missed the mark for me.

The writing was beautiful and the story was intriguing but 'something' just didn't click with me. It never pulled me into the story and people completely. 'The Book of Summer' was the only thing that succeeded somewhat (the concept is something I would love to just sit and read through).

This is a case of "its and me and not the book" Miss Gable has talent here, but she may not be an author for me. *shrugs*

I would still say give it a chance, I seem to be in the minority on this one.
Profile Image for Judy Collins.
2,675 reviews375 followers
May 10, 2017
Storyteller, Michelle Gable returns following I’ll See You in Paris and A Paris Apartment with her latest Nantucket summer charmer (her best yet): THE BOOK OF SUMMER — a multi-generational story of family, home, the courage of tenacious women and the special memories of Cliff House.

Rich in history and character, a scandalous, emotional, and witty tale of family and saving a home. The past, loss and loves, and all the lives which connect. A perfect mix of historic and contemporary.

Based on the real-life erosion of the Sankaty Bluff in Siasconset –known as Sconset—the easternmost spot on Nantucket Island, Gable was inspired by an article in Vanity Fair (very intriguing) about the grand homes, passed down between generations now falling into the sea.

Though the Cliff House bears the fictitious address of Baxter Road, it is based on Bluff House, formerly located at 87 Baxter Road.

The quintessential Nantucket manor known as Cliff House is near falling into the ocean.

However, town shaker Cissy Codman, owner of the home is determined to remain in the house, using every trick she has to keep up the fight to save her family home. She plans on going down the ship.

Cissy is a force to be reckoned with and determined to get the local government behind her to either move the house or continue with the erosion prevention efforts.

Her daughter has been sent from San Francisco, California by her father to ensure her mom moves out of the house before she dies left in the house.

Bess Codman, a physician is undergoing a messy divorce from a complete jerk (Brandon), plus she is pregnant (unplanned) and runs into her ex-high school boyfriend, Evan Mahew.

While tasked with the job of packing up her mom, Bess discovers the “Book of Summer.” A guest book filled with recollections of friends' and family's stay at the house. Entries in the book are highlighted throughout the novel, with difficulties and challenges faced by other residents.

From 2013 and the start of World War II, we hear from Ruby Packard, Bess’s grandmother, an idealistic young bride in 1939, just before the United States enters WWII and Bess.

Bess does not understand her mom Cissy’s obsession with this house; however, the more she reads she comes to understand similarities of present and past.

Three three generations of stubborn women who chained themselves to complex men like the house. Bess begins to understand the unspoken expectations placed on Cissy, being the only child in a troubled home. At the same time, she learns something about herself.

Loss is a part of life. Giving everything she had. A costly venture, "saving a bluff." The geo-tubes.

From family drama, lies, secrets, scandals, abortions, gays, alcoholism, betrayal, abuse, infidelity, hookers, divorce, marriage, life, relationships, security, and more – loss and love, mixed with tons of fun and humor and surprises (loved the part about the pecker-hilarious) and commentary and views from blogger— Corbie Tarbox, the Island ACKtion blog.

Loved Cissy! I related to her on some many levels. What a great cast of characters, from past and present. What is not to love about Nantucket? Have had many hotel clients over the years, and almost moved there full time to run a hotel. Always a good excuse to visit.

Michelle transports you to this charming coastal town by the sea, with an engaging story, resonating with the early writings of Erin Hilderbrand and Nancy Thayer (which I loved), before they changed, over the past few years.

The past and present were nicely done with many connections with highly charged topics. A perfect beach read and an ideal choice for book clubs and further discussion. Can you imagine losing your house to facts beyond your control?

Gable keeps getting better and better. I enjoyed reading the book; however when I discovered Cassandra Campbell was narrating the audiobook, had to pre-order. Love Cassandra Campbell (my favorite narrator).

She was exceptional and a perfect fit for THE BOOK OF SUMMER. Engaging, absorbing, and entertaining! The audio experience, actually bumped up my review another star, making this a 5-star reading experience.

Highly recommend the book and the audio. Love the subject material with the erosion problem which I am very familiar with highly relatable issues— residing in a coastal area.

Here in Palm Beach, (Breakers Hotel), as well as the Southern area of Palm Beach (Phipps Ocean Park and Beach), the continued erosion along the project area threatens upland structures & recreational beaches. The sand placement and groin & mitigation construction cost millions and designed to last only three years. Very costly, temporary and ongoing environmental issues.

Fans of Mary Alice Monroe, Dorothea Benton Frank, Joanne DeMaio, and Hazel Gaynor will enjoy THE BOOK OF SUMMER.

A special thank you to St Martin's Press and NetGalley for an early reading copy.

JDCMustReadBooks
Profile Image for Susan.
1,194 reviews199 followers
May 11, 2017
The Book of Summer

Michelle Gable

Received from Netgalley


Bess Codman has just returned to her family's home in Nantucket. She is shocked by the condition of Cliff House. It is just about to fall into the ocean and she can't believe her mother is actually staying inside of it. She tries to convince her mother, Cissy to leave, but she is having none of it. She wants to move the house back from the water, but it is huge and Bess just doesn't see this happening. THE BOOK OF SUMMER is all about these two women and Bess' grandma, Ruby who was living in the house back in the 1940's.



The dialogue between Cissy and Bess had me cracking up and crying, sometimes at the same time. Obviously, the house means everything to Cissy and she isn't going down without a fight. Bess doesn't want to force her mother out of the house but she feels as if she has no choice. The house is not safe to stay in and Bess feels like it is going to crash into the water before she can get her mother out! THE BOOK OF SUMMER is filled with family, hope, secrets, drama, and learning to let go. The characters are not perfect and each has their flaws which made them all relatable to me.



THE BOOK OF SUMMER by Michelle Gable is a story that is going to grab you right from the very first page and never let you go. I've never read this author before but I'm excited to find her older books now as I truly loved her writing. Learning about these three women and all the guests that signed the guest book was very enjoyable. Michelle Gable sure knows how to keep the reader engaged, trying to figure out all the family secrets. I think the aspect I enjoyed the most was learning about Ruby and all she had to endure during WWII. Michelle's writing and descriptions, had me feeling as if I were right there in Nantucket with these women dealing with their life struggles.
Profile Image for Hristina.
517 reviews80 followers
April 22, 2017
Copy received through NetGalley

Mrs. Gable is consistent with her writing. You always end up with an interesting story, told with beautiful writing, and masterfully executed dual storyline.
The Book of Summer it's a really entertaining read. Beautifully paced with characters that shine, and a great style. I loved the setting of the story, but I loved most was a certain summery atmosphere throughout. This might be the perfect beach read.
Profile Image for Sue .
1,700 reviews102 followers
February 13, 2017
I loved this book. All of the main characters were fantastic and so well written with all of their character flaws on display. The main characters are Bess - a physician from California who has returned to Nantucket to help her mom pack up her house; Cissy - Bess's mom who is a real rebel;
Ruby - Bess's grandmother who is long deceased but tells much of the story and The Cliff House - the magnificent house, build by Bess's parents that is now close to falling into the sea due to erosion of the cliffs. The story is told in alternating time periods - Cissy and Bess in modern day and Bess's narrative takes place in the 40s. It's a story of love and loss, family and forgiveness. But overall it's the story of a house and the women who lived in it and tried to live their lives as well as they could despite issues that were going on in the world outside their door. I have read all of Michelle's books and they are all fantastic.

Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Pamela.
470 reviews77 followers
April 11, 2017
Overall, this is highly enjoyable. I enjoy dual timeline stories, and find that I usually prefer the older timeline - this is no exception. Reading about Ruby and her life was entertaining and heartbreaking, but I just loved her.

The modern timeline is fine, but I found both females to be just a bit annoying at times. The concept of the "Book of Summer" was great and I'm sure I would love to actually read something like that. The entries in this one were intriguing. As I said, a highly enjoyable read.

**Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley in exchange of an honest review.**
Profile Image for Cindy.
1,498 reviews21 followers
June 18, 2017
Thank you goodreads for this win. Always exciting to get a book in the mail and hopefully give a positive review. I really wanted to like and finish this book and I tried up to page 90. For me the story started out slow and I quickly became tired of the bantering between Cissy and Bess. I kind of found Cissy annoying and unreasonable. I really cared about the house as I love old houses but I just didn't fall in love with any of the characters. Don't let this review dissuade others from reading and enjoying. Just not a book for me. I will pass this book on to others to enjoy and appreciate.
Profile Image for Nita.
477 reviews48 followers
December 13, 2017
I love stories of old houses and the family secrets! I was caught up in the history of Cliff House and was on edge as the edge of the cliff came closer. The story also drew me into the emotions and struggles of the men and families during the war.
Profile Image for Milena Tasheva.
397 reviews232 followers
August 10, 2018
Казват, че тази книга не може да се сравнява с "Парижкият апартамент", но аз така или иначе харесвам много повече "Ще се видим в Париж".

"Книга за лятото" е книга за нещо, за което не мога да намеря име на български - the art of letting go, изкуството да се признаваш за победен. Само когато приемем своите провали, можем да продължим напред. Или да не си го признаем и да живеем в руини, всеки сам избира.

Хубава с��мейна история, в която има хляб за още няколко. Остава ни да чакаме лятото - The Summer I Met Jack.
Profile Image for Angie.
1,117 reviews75 followers
May 5, 2017
3.5 stars

Enjoyable beachy read set in Nantucket with lots of family secrets and drama! It's also dual-timelined with stories in each period revolving around Cliff House, which is a marvelous, 99 year-old summer home slowly losing its life from erosion. It's so meaningful to each generation and Cissy, the eccentric matriarch of modern line, just doesn't want to let go. Her daughter Bess is going through a trying time of her own but grows to see the true feelings Cliff House invokes when she discovers a guest book -"the book of summer" - started with the home's inception. This aspect of the book was genius!! The historical parts were for me the most moving and interesting, but overall a good read that I would recommend!

**Many thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Dunne/St Martin's Press for an ARC for review purposes!**
Profile Image for Kathy.
3,414 reviews190 followers
July 28, 2020
erosion on Nantucket
weirdly constructed story with bizarre characters to tell the story of house on a cliff about to sink



Library Loan
Profile Image for Jennifer.
182 reviews73 followers
May 30, 2017
If a house could talk what would it say? What secrets would be hidden in its walls? What would happen if that house didn't exist any longer?

The Book of Summer is about such a house — Cliff House. Perched precariously on a bluff in Sconset, Nantucket, Cliff House and its 90 year history is doomed to wash into the ocean. Bess has returned to the house to help her mother pack up..... however her mother has other plans.

Gable's narrative unravels two stories -- that of Bess and that of Ruby, Bess's grandmother, when she was just a newlywed. What secrets will come to the surface? And what happens to a house that doesn't exist... are the memories stronger than the structure?
Profile Image for Jen.
435 reviews115 followers
March 6, 2017
The Book of Summer is an enjoyable read that takes place in one of my favorite places to escape to (when reading!), Nantucket. About to be divorced from her rat-of-a-husband, Bess is in Nantucket at the urging of her father, to get her mom out of their home. Cliff House, the family’s summer home, has been there for generations, but is about to become one with the ocean after it plummets down with the eroding bluff. Ciss, Bess’s stubborn, pain in the ass mother, refuses to leave. What follows is a pleasurable trip down memory lane as you read excerpts from the home’s “Book of Summer”, a guest book of sorts that all guests, friend or family, had to write in. While going through Bess’s time with her mother and old flame, Evan, you’ll be entertained with the house’s former life, pre and during WWII with Bess’s grandmother Ruby. The Book of Summer is great book to curl up with.
Profile Image for Susan Peterson.
1,630 reviews274 followers
April 25, 2017
The Book of Summer is an enchanting book about a house and the people who have lived in it for 99 years. Cliff House was built on a bluff in Nantucket 99 years earlier, but the bluff has given way to time and erosion, and Dr. Bess Codman has returned to convince her mother, Cissy, that it's time to leave the house, before the house literally falls down around her. Coming back to Cliff House stirs up so many memories for Bess, who is at a crossroads in her own life. While packing she uncovers The Book of Summer, a guest journal which was started by Bess's great-grandmother when the house first opened for the summer. The book is a a treasure trove of the people who lived in and visited Cliff House, and also a look back into the past. As Bess begins to read her grandmother Ruby's entries into The Book of Summer, we are transported back to the 1940's, before, during, and after WWII. The dual timelines add so many layers to the story, and the house itself is as much a part of the story as the characters. This book is as delightful as it is poignant, as light-hearted as it is somber; a fascinating book about the incredibly strong, resilient women who are at the center of this story.
Profile Image for Athena.
266 reviews13 followers
February 12, 2017
Loved this book. I really felt like I escaped to Nantucket! The house is a main character in this book and I loved that. The dual storytelling is fantastic and you go back in time and current time and it's filled with characters you will loathe and love. The Author keeps you guessing as to the mystery of family secrets. Their is some romance too so this book will be one of your favorites for the summer!
Profile Image for Vanya Prodanova.
706 reviews26 followers
July 11, 2018
Това май е най-депресиращата лятна книга, която съм чела някога. :Р Определено не беше това, което си фантазирах, а именно - лек, приятен и романтичен роман за лятото.
Действието в книгата определено се развива по време на лятото - няма спор. Заглавието още в първите двайсетина страници добива смисъл и е като свържваща линия на събитията, но не очаквах нищо от това за което реално се отнасяше книгата и от това как се развиваха събитията в нея.

Историята определено беше интересна, а и съм споменавала, че имам слабост към книги, в които се разказват две паралелни истории - една в настоящето и една в миналото, но тежестта на тематиката ми дойде доста по нагорнище, защото не се бях подготвила психически, че ще чета тежък роман. Това заглавие и тази корица определено навяват съвсем други очаквания у читателя. Като се замислиш обаче - няма нищо некоректно в тях, напълно си отговорят на съдържанието, освен... цялата депресия,която с всяка изминала страница става все повече, че до края съвсем откровено се чудех как тези герои са живи и въобще функционират при всичко, което им се е случило.
Profile Image for Booksandchinooks (Laurie).
731 reviews73 followers
July 10, 2017
This is a book about a book and a house and a family. The 'Book of Summer' is in Cliff House, the summer home of the family and is located in Nantucket. The house has been in the family for generations and each person who stays at the house writes about their stay in the book. Unfortunately due to erosion the house is now not stable and must be demolished. Bess has come home to insist that her mother, Cissy, move out before the house ends up in the ocean. Cissy is resistant, boisterous, and cantankerous. At times she really annoyed me with her over the top behaviour and at times it was endearing. As we are told about what is written in the book we follow the generations before and the lives they were leading. Secrets are revealed. It was interesting to learn of the other family members and about how the world was during their lives. This was a great summer read!
Profile Image for Evie.
386 reviews200 followers
April 10, 2017
The Book Of Summer By Michelle Gable Is A Beautifully Written Book That Readers Won’t Be Able To Put Down.
Gable does a fantastic job in taking the reader into the lives of Ruby (the grandmother) and Bess (the granddaughter) through the entries in The Book of Summer.

I love the way in which the reader is taken back to the 1940s and the real-life events surrounding Ruby’s family and how they dealt with them. Ruby, her family, and friends go from having everything, including hired help, to later doing everything themselves. Gable does a great job of showing the struggles people faced back then through Ruby and her family. The story even touches upon what it was like to be gay and how both the military and family treated it almost as though it was a “curable” behavioral health diagnosis.

As the story develops through the entries in The Book of Summer, Bess learns to face her fears and begins to understand her mom and the insane things she sometimes does. She also gets a second chance at love– or I’d like to think so because it’s not exactly clear where her relationship with her high school sweetheart is going.

I’ve read Michelle Gable’s “I’ll See You In Paris” which was another wonderfully written story, and I can’t decide which of the two is my favorite. But I am certain that readers who loved “I’ll See You In Paris” will love The Book of Summer.
Profile Image for Debbie.
1,751 reviews97 followers
April 7, 2017
Bess Codman returns to her childhood home after four years with one mission. To get her cantankerous mother Caroline (Cissy) out of the home that her great grandmother had built 99 years ago. It was built on a bluff high above the ocean in Nantucket. That bluff has been and is falling slowly away. There is about ten feet left before the house starts to go. Cissy is determined that she is going to save the house. The tennis courts are gone, the pool is gone, the yard is gone, everything is gone including most of the patio. Cissy continues to fight.

Bess recently leaving her husband (what a guy this turned out to be) is dealing with that issue and Cissy. While fighting with him and her, she decides to go ahead and start packing. The first thing she finds is The Book of Summer. This is a book that has been in the house since the beginning and everyone who has ever been at the house has signed it, some several times.

The book goes back and forth from present day and then to quips written in the book and then to the relatives that lived in the house, mostly Bess's grandmother Ruby. It is a great story about family, very emotional, tragic and everything centered around Cliff House. You can see why Cissy is fighting so hard to keep this house.

I just loved this book and when it was over, it was very hard to let go of. Cissy is a feisty character, but one that you grow to love. I got lots of chuckles out of her. There were definitely some emotional moments and some romantic moments. Some moments you won't believe. It's just all in all a family saga that leaves you feeling good in the end.

A very entertaining read and I thank St. Martin's Press and Net Galley for allowing me to read and review this book.
Profile Image for Jenni.
261 reviews224 followers
March 31, 2017
I am a big fan of Michelle Gable's writing style and I do think that think book was true to her style. I, however, was not a huge fan of this one. I didn't connect to the characters at all. I felt like they were held at a distance, except for Ruby who I thought had a lot of spirit.

I wasn't a fan of one of the things used a big plot point that was meant to be a dramatic realization that changed Ruby's life and those of her children and children's children. I find the use of this particular thing as a plot device, especially one that proves how strong another person is because they overcame it about the other person, to be mildly offensive. I understand in the time period of that plot line that it was dealt with in the way the author deals with it in this book, but I personally am not a fan the use of this in fiction.

Other than that, I did enjoy the book and the saga of Cliff House. Gable did a wonderful job describing the setting to make you feel like you are there, which I always think is a strong point for her. But overall, it wasn't her strongest book.
Profile Image for Christine Moore.
829 reviews31 followers
February 18, 2017
This is a beautiful story of a house and the women who have lived in it. The Cliff House was built by Bess's great grandmother in Nantucket. Due to erosion the beautiful old house is falling into the sea. Bess has returned to the Cliff House to pack up her mom Cissy and get her moved out before the house collapses. The house also has a guestbook, the Book of Summer, that the owners and the visitors write in. Through this book, Bess learns so much about her beloved grandmother Ruby. We learn of family secrets, their hopes and dreams, and a deep love of family. I truly loved this book. It is rich in family, love, redemption, and the house that was a home. Thank you so much to NetGalley and Thomas Dunne Books for allowing me to read and review this book. I was given and ARC for an honest review.
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