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The Summer That Made Us: A Novel

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  3,502 ratings  ·  439 reviews
Mothers and daughters, sisters and cousins--they lived for summers at the lake house until a tragic accident changed everything. The Summer That Made Us is an unforgettable story about a family learning to accept the past, to forgive and to love each other again. That was then... For the Hempsteads, two sisters who married two brothers and had three daughters each, summe ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by MIRA
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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,502 ratings  ·  439 reviews

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Book of Secrets
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Robyn Carr's books. She's one of my favorite authors, so it was a joy being a part of her new family of characters in THE SUMMER THAT MADE US, even though these women were dealing with some major dysfunction!

The Hempstead sisters (who married two brothers) were once very close, and they spent every summer with their daughters (three each) at the family's idyllic Minnesota lake house. Then during the summer of 1989, tragedy strikes. As a result, the family is torn apart; lives are turned u
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Robyn Carr weaves an engrossing tale of family bonds, hurt, betrayal and tragedy that touched me deeply!

At the center of the story is Meg and Charlie, sisters enduring their own crisis’, but Meg’s is more urgent. She’s been battling cancer for four long years and just had a bone marrow transplant after chemo and needs to recuperate. Her prognosis is not good, and Charlie wants to be there for Meg in whatever way she can. Life gave Charlie a great opportunity, freed up her time, because she just
Originally posted on The Book Nympho

Charlene (Charley) Hempstead is suddenly facing big changes in her life after her successful, long-running national talk show is canceled. Her younger sister, Megan (Meg) is fighting a tough battle with breast cancer and wants to return to their family’s lake house at Lake Waseba, Minnesota for the summer. She’s also inviting her cousins and their mothers, who haven’t spoken to each other in years. They all used to spend every summer at the lake until a tragic
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4000-books, sep-17
Once again, it is easy to see why Robyn Carr is one of my favourite authors!
The Summer That Made Us is a very touching story of mothers, daughters, sisters and cousins.
Every summer was spent at the lake house until a tragic accident changed everything. The lake house was then closed for good. Many years later, one woman is determined to bring her family back together again. She sets out to make this happen at the lake house, to face the truth with no more secrets and lies.
A beautifully written u
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley

Wow this book was such an emotional read, way more than I was expecting it to be! There were highs and lows, ups and downs and I loved every minute of getting to know the dysfunctional Hempstead family. When I say dysfunctional I’m not even sure that word accurately describes things, this is a family steeped in tragedy going all the way back to the summer of ’89 and to say the events of that fateful summer messed them all up something fierce is putting it mildly.

Megan’s dying wish is to reu
The Summer That Made Us

Robyn Carr

Received from Netgalley

Wow, what an emotional rollercoaster THE SUMMER THAT MADE US had me on. Megan has one crazy family and wants them all to get together one more summer at their lake house. Megan has cancer and she wants to try to get the family back as a whole like the good old days. It's been almost thirty years and Megan feels like it's time to let go of the past and be a family again. When I tell you this family is blistered, fractured, and blown to piece
Sherri Thacker
That Summer that Made Us is the perfect summer read!! This is my 3rd book by Robyn Carr and as with all the others, I enjoyed this book very much! Family feuds, an accidental drowning, a lot of drama, an ex-convict, all makings for a great dysfunctional family in a book. This one fit the bill!! I want to read other Robyn Carr books because I really enjoy her writing style!

Jul 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The Summer that made us didn't quite make it with me.

I have read most or Robyn Carr's books and this one is my least favorite of all of them. For some reason I didn't find myself as absorbed in the story. The premise is good. A family spent their summers at their summer home. They were happy and enjoyed each other's company. Then one summer everything changed. A young girl tragically drowned and the summer home was boarded up for what they believed would be for good. That summer changed their l
Dawn ♥ romance
This story was really chick-lit with a touch of romance that just pulled me in with all the dysfunctional people and relationships. I so like Robyn Carr's style of writing that feels like constant motion even when characters reminisce. Charley just lost her job and her cousin Megan who is battling cancer asks for help to spend the summer at their childhood vacation lake house.
Chris Mara
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well written story containing a vast array of dynamics in multi- generational family members over the years. Since the key characters are female, you might classify this as a kind of family love story between Grandmothers, Mothers, Sisters, Daughters and Grandchildren.

I actually had a tear fall from my eye as I read the last several pages and closed the book with a satisfied sigh.

Yeah, there were some instances where I was able to predict what was going to happen next, but overall, there wer
Earlier this year, I read Robyn Carr’s Any Day Now. It was the second book in the Sullivan’s Crossing series and I was instantly left wanting to read more of the author’s work. The Summer That Made Us is the result of that desire.

In all honesty, I did not enjoy The Summer That Made Us as much as I enjoyed Any Day Now. Both of the books are deeply emotional reads, yet I found myself more connected with the characters in Any Day Now than I was with the characters in The Summer That Made Us. In all
Ryley (Ryley Reads)
I think that this book had the potential to be a really great book and I think for many regular readers of this author will enjoy it, but I didn't really think it worked out for me personally - which is really unfortunate because I was expecting to love it, in kind of a This is Where I Leave You family reunion sort of book.

Thank you so much to Little Bird Press for providing me with an eARC of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

This book follows the story of a fam
As always Robyn Carr has written a well crafted story that fully engaged me all through the book The Summer That Made Us. It has many threads to it, many issues and themes that ebb and flow as the story unfolds.

This is a story about relationships mostly - that of sisters and cousins, plus some of the people that surround them. As it starts out it is rather obvious that you could put a capital D on dysfunctional for many but not all of the family members.

There is Lou and Jo, two sisters - once su
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook-arc
This is the very touching story of a family whose lives were all changed by a summer tragedy. Sisters Lou and Jo were each the mother of three daughters. They all spent summers together at the family lake house. After the tragedy, none of them visit again. Years later, Meg, one of the cousins who spent summers on the lake, has cancer and wants to get her family back together again in this place they all once loved. The family hasn't kept in good contact since that long ago summer, but now a sist ...more
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful. RTC
Kris - My Novelesque Life

(I received an ARC from the EDELWEISS in exchange for an honest review.)
(Review Not on Blog)

Since I first stepped into Virgin River, Robyn Carr has become part of my "mood" list. By "mood" list I mean a list of authors I can be guaranteed at least a 3.5 STAR read. As much as I read I do get into reading slumps (where every book I pick up I don't like, or can't get into, etc), can't decide what to read (usually feel overwhelmed) or just want a book I know I will love. Often at ti
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"My God, I’m forty-four years old and still afraid of my mother!"

I am a big fan of Robyn Carr's books and have read them all since she published THE HOUSE ON OLIVE STREET in 1999. This book is similar to that standalone women's fiction novel in many ways.

This story is an involved tale of mothers and sisters and children and cousins and aunts and uncles and husbands and boyfriends and an extended dysfunctional family - and staying at a family-owned lake house on Lake Waseka in rural Minnesota.

Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally published at Reading Reality

This is a story that will get you right in the feels. It certainly did me. And it will probably make you feel all the feels as well, as the story runs from tragedy to hope, if not to triumph, and hits every emotional stop along the journey.

Most of all, it’s a story about one particular extremely dysfunctional family, and their attempt to get to the heart of at least some of their dysfunctions and heal, before it’s too late.

And it’s about one final gift that
Kate Douglas
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been a fan of Robyn Carr’s since I read her first Virgin River book, and I’ve read everything else she’s written since, as well as all of her older titles I’ve been able to find—point being, I love the way this author tells her stories. They’re almost always about a community, or a family, or a group of friends who become like family, and I find the way she creates her characters and develops their interactions absolutely fascinating.

THE SUMMER THAT MADE US is no exception, though I have to
Scott Rhee
I don’t like the term “chick lit” for obvious reasons (but for those who don’t get obvious reasons and need everything spelled out for them: it’s a term that is derogatory, demeaning, and sexist), but in very rare non-ironic cases, it actually fits. This is the case with Robyn Carr’s novel “The Summer that Made Us”.

Carr is, according to her own bio, a “#1 New York Times bestselling author of more than sixty books”. It is the first book of Carr’s that I have read, and I am well aware that my asse
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THE SUMMER THAT MADE US by Robyn Carr is a layered tale of family relationships, tragedy, and heartbreak underpinned by deep connections and memories that remind the characters of better days.

Two sisters who married two brothers, and had three daughters apiece, used to spend idyllic summers together on the lake where they were as close and as happy as any family could be. But when tragedy struck, it tore them apart where bitterness and jealousy made sure that they would never reconnect again. U
See the full review at

The Summer That Made Us was a touching work of women’s fiction by one of my go-to authors, Robyn Carr. This journey she took us on followed a family surrounded by secrets and hard feelings finally getting the chance to turn over a new leaf and settle past issues.

Robyn Carr is an author who never fails to take me on an emotional adventure, with the tough but real life situations she puts her characters in, the heartfelt moments between the cast members, a
Jackie Lane
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is another wonderful book by Robyn Carr.

In this book, there are 2 families that are intermingled by two sisters marrying two brothers. This book is fraught with dysfunction, intrigue, mystery and a tough of romance.

Both families spend summers at the lake until the day the youngest of 6 children drowns. After that, the lake house is shut down tight and everyone is told not to go there any longer.

27 years later, Meg, wants everyone to go back to the lake house and as she has cancer, the house
Maureen ~Bitch Can Write A Book
Heartbreakingly complicated & so very brilliant.

As I have said so many times before AND I'll say it again. Robyn Carr is my favorite author and she just gets better and better.

Family...can't live with them...and you sometimes have to live without them. This is a story of family, the good, the bad and the oh so ugly. It's about forgiveness, loss and the beauty of finding something that was lost and maybe not fixing but moving beyond it.

One of my favorite things about this author is her abil
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book tells the story of sisters, mothers and daughters, cousins and dynamics of a family that after a very long period of time, come together at the summer house on a lake, where these woman spent summers over three generations and how tragedy, grief and betrayal and most of all secrets tore them apart. But when one of them makes a dying request that they all have one last summer at the lake to find the truth of what really happened when that tragedy struck 27 yrs ago. Can they put aside th ...more
Books and Spoons
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
A heartfelt look at a family, the drama, the tragedies, the joys, the bond, the troubles of it. Each character is drawn with a sharp pencil, with the place to grow and deal with their issues. The characters might seem like the stereotypes of each of the issues they have, yet most of them manage to break the mold they are set in and surprise the reader, and the rest of the family.
Slowly but surely the story pulled me in and I was mesmerized by the memories from the lake and the troublesome life
Deanna Sletten
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
A family torn apart by a past tragedy that slowly decends into a dysfunctional mess. That pretty much sums up the lives of the Hempstead women and their daughters. But how did this all happen one lovely summer by the lake? One moment, everyone was happy and carefree. The next, everything had fallen apart. The lake house is boarded up and left, forgotten.

Fast-forward to the present. Megan’s days are numbered as she battles cancer and her last wish is to bring her sisters, cousins, aunt, and mothe
4.5 "Making Amends for Family & Love" Stars for the story and narration. Review coming to AudioGals soon.
Namrata Ganti
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Summer That Made Us is a story spread across three generations of women, bringing them together once more in an attempt to make everything right again. The story introduces us to women who are mothers, daughters, sisters and even cousins. The tragedy that broke them apart, the lives they led before and after, and a journey towards healing.

What started off as tradition between two families (two sisters married two brothers) and their children, soon becomes a rather intriguing story as the tru
Stephanie Doyle
There was too much going on in this book and too much writing towards a happy ending, which should have made me not like it, but I found myself into it regardless.
Free ARC e-book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
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Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, eleven-time #1 New York Times bestselling author of almost sixty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series. The third novel (THE FAMILY GATHERING) in her fan-favorite new series, Sullivan's Crossing, will be released in April 2018. Robyn is a recipient of the Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award 2016 and in 201 ...more
“laugh.” Josephine looked at the scrawled note from her sister. A small huff escaped her, but she was not as overcome as Charley had been. “It will be hard to pass up an invitation like that,” she said. She passed the note to Krista. Krista did not laugh at all. “Good, I hoped you’d say that,” Charley said.” 0 likes
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