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Summer Light

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Roxana Robinson's great gift for the telling detail and strong sense of the emotional shoals lurking just beneath even the calmest surface have inspired comparisons to literary greats like John Cheever, Henry James, and Edith Wharton. In her first novel, we meet Laura, a 29-year-old wife, mother, sister, friend, lover, and erstwhile photographer whose life is painfully out ...more
Paperback, 212 pages
Published August 1st 1995 by University Press of New England (first published June 1st 1988)
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3.42  · 
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 ·  86 ratings  ·  13 reviews

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Nov 11, 2008 rated it liked it
Roxana Robinson makes me very happy that I have never been divorced. This novel makes a fine mess out of a summer spent with family in a rented house on an island in Maine. The central character is a beautiful woman whose biggest fear is that she is nothing more than that. She manages to allow her obnoxious ex-husband to visit their son and stay over the weekend at the summer house with her family and boyfriend, who is paying for the place. Terrible things happen! This woman does not deserve to ...more
Suanne Laqueur
Sep 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
A one-sitting read I neither loved nor hated. The ending was abrupt and open-ended, resolving little of the tensions between the protagonists. Well-written, but not much staying power.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I like Roxana Robinson's writing, she made me feel like I was sitting on the couch in that cottage playing summer games, I could see the fog, feel the cool breeze and the salt spray. Even though I found the main character, Laura, someone I wanted to shake, she was so annoying, I loved the character development and the interplay between family, and lets face it when is there not drama when a family is together. Perfectly acceptable summer read.
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked this book until the ending. The ending really riled me up.
Oct 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Laura is 29, mother of a 3-year old son and almost divorced from Nat. She has smoothly moved from living with Nat to living with Ward, an entertainment lawyer whose Jewish origins contrast strongly with her own WASP roots. Laura is unsure about everything, except her love for her son. Does she want to marry Ward? Does she have what it take to make a living as a photographer? Is she a serious or a frivolous girl/woman? Did she ever get over her youthful crush on the man who became her sister's hu ...more
Karen Kinsella
I gave this book two stars only for the lovely writing. However, I found the book so unpleasant and disturbing that I could not make it even half-way through. So I did not finish it. I found the characters mostly unpleasant and strange, as were their relationships with one another. I tried to discern what set my teeth on edge so strongly about this book, almost from the beginning, that I could barely stand to pick it up to read another chapter. As far as I could figure out, there is a kind of va ...more
Mar 09, 2009 rated it liked it
I found this book to lack the depth of “The Cost” by this same author which I also recently read. This was the first fiction by Ms. Robinson, published in 1980, and is a foretelling of the skills she now exhibits. That the author was almost 30 years younger is reflected by the immaturity and impulsiveness of the main character, but even so the writing is very good and the story held my interest. I want to read more of her work.
This story is about a 29 yr. old woman who is spending a month on the
May 12, 2010 rated it liked it
Laura, her gentleman friend Ward and son Sammy are sharing a large summer rental on the coast of Maine with Laura's older sister Sarah, husband Richie, and 2 teenaged daughters. Laura's almost divorced, philandering, sleazy husband Nat manages to inveigle himself into the group with amusingly awful events. Here's a comical look at 30/40 yuppie relations, teenaged angst, and a gorgeous, you-are-here, look at Maine's coast
Feb 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
this is a book about self discovery of a girl. she dislikes her father because he lives in this type of bubble (not literally). where he "owns everything and can take it away". most of the people who come to see her father worship him. but ian is differt, and kate knows that. after a while ian makes kate see her father in a differt light and it's a good thing
Nov 04, 2011 rated it liked it
Roxana Robinson's debut novel...filled with relationships, sisters, husbands, wives, lovers and all the dysfunction that builds up over the years comes unleashed at a cabin in Bar Harbor. Emotions run high and people change their minds about things they were once certain about. Roxana folds in those intense details that set the work apart from all others.
Lettie Cox
Jan 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Good, not great.
Ro Wilson
Apr 08, 2014 marked it as abandoned-do-not-wish-to-read
I did not actually read all of this book. I abandoned it on p. 86. I was not enjoying it, & I've lots & lots of books I want to read.
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Born in Pine Mountain, Kentucky, Roxana Robinson grew up in New Hope, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Buckingham Friends School, in Lahaska, and from The Shipley School, in Bryn Mawr. She attended Bennington College and studied with Bernard Malamud and Howard Nemerov. She received a B.A. degree in English Literature from the University of Michigan.
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