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Life Without Summer

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,648 Ratings  ·  209 Reviews
"Life Without Summer" tells the story of Tessa, a mother who has just lost her four-year-old daughter in a hit-and-run accident and the grief counselor, Celia, who tries to help her to put her life back together. When their lives begin to intersect in powerful and unexpected ways, they discover that the answers one needs might be the other's only chance for peace. Each wom ...more
Kindle Edition, 321 pages
Published May 25th 2010 by St. Martin's Press (first published April 14th 2009)
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Feb 09, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I slogged through the first 50 pages and decided to finish the book to give it a chance. What I’d felt in those first pages still resonated after I read the last word. The characters are unsympathetic and one-dimensional. The plot is predictable and like much of Dickens, involves a lot of coincidence as the author tries to parallel the stories of a young mother whose 4-year-old daughter is killed by a hit-and-run driver, and the therapist who is supposed to help her through the trauma. The writi ...more
Apr 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: character-study
"Life Without Summer tells the story of two women: Tessa, who's daughter was killed by a hit-and-run driver, and Celia,a therapist, who is struggling to make her new marriage to Alden work while trying to keep her teenage son Ian from feeling excluded. These two lives intersect as Tessa seeks counseling from Celia.

The beginning of this book was so intense that I didn't think I could finish reading it. The devastation of a child's death in one family along with the single-handed struggle of Celi
Apr 30, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
Primary cast of characters: Tessa [grieving mother]; Ethan [grieving father]; Celia [therapist]; Alden [Celia's priggish second husband]; Harry [Celia's alcoholic ex-husband]; Ian [Celia & Harry's teenage son]; and Caufield [policeman preparing for retirement].

I did not like this book. It is laden with grief. There is Tessa and Ethan who are grieving the loss of their daughter. It appears as if Tessa is the one who openly bears this loss while Ethan quietly grieves. [This couple is most symp
Jan 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a great book. It was definitely a tough subject to read about being a mother and I can't imagine how one would go through life after dealing with such a tragic accident but it's written so beautifully and poignant. There are some bright spots amidst the dark and troubled relationships which makes it all the more touching. I felt optimistic for the characters and how things were going to work out in some way. It really is a testament to the strength of the human spirit. I couldn't put this d ...more
May 22, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one!
It took me reading over 100 pages (and other books in between) to finally commit to finishing this book. The only reason why I continued to give it a chance was due to the numerous four and five stars it received on goodreads....thinking, it had to get better, right? Not really. The characters in this book are extremely flat and not likeable. I found the two main characters' interactions with their family members to be frustrating, and particularly found the therapist to be weak as a mother, wif ...more
Aug 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Life Without Summer, is an amazing book about a mother who looses her, four year old daughter, Abby, in a hit in run accident. As the mother, Tessa goes through her grieving process she finds that she can't get over it. She want to hold on to every last memory she has of Abby. Her husband, Ethan, Talks Tessa into seeing a therapist.
Celia, Tessa's therapist is a very proper woman who is going through a hard time but won't let anyone know about it, because she doesn't want her personal life to in
Jo (Bloomin'Chick)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 06, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Some books are just so stinking sad. Tessa's world shatters when her young daughter is hit and killed by a driver outside the girl's preschool. She's obsessed with finding out who killed her little girl--was he drunk? high? What other excuse would someone have for hitting a little girl and not stopping? In the meantime, though, her marriage is falling apart, too.

Tessa begins seeing a therapist, Celia, and about half the book is from her point-of-view. Celia is remarried after divorcing a drunk,
Jun 24, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
Tessa's four-year-old daughter is killed in a hit-and-run accident outside her preschool. She is devastated and unable to cope, so she goes to a therapist at the suggestion of her husband.

Celia, the therapist, is having her own difficulties---she has an alcoholic ex-husband, a new husband, and a teenage son with his own share of attitudes and problems.

This is written in journal style, alternating between the two women. It is a wonderful story, woven together very well, yet is unpredictable and
Missi Stockwell
May 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I was a little concerned regarding the storyline of Life Without Summer where a mother has to deal with the hit and run death of her 4-year old daughter, I was still intrigued. Not only do you see the viewpoint from the grieving mother but you also see the side of the counselor that she enlists to help her with her difficult situation. Along with the counselor's narrative dialect you get pulled into her disfunctional family life. While reading the book you will see the mother become a v ...more
Pamela Houlton
Oct 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once I realized the book was written with two people telling their stories, everything else fell into place.

Tessa had lost her 4 yr. old child in a hit-and-run accident and Celia was her grief counselor. Tessa is stuck in finding the driver who hit her daughter and Celia is in denial about the loss of her own daughter. It is very interesting how the writer brings them together to heal and how their lives actually affect one another to bring peace to both of them.

It was well written, made me wan
May 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beach-reads, novels
There were a few slow parts in the first half of the book, but it could have been slow to me and not to others.

There are a few mysteries in this book. The main one I had figured out early on (or thought I did. (I was correct.)), but there were other things the author chose to keep from us for some time. We were calmly led to assume/feel one way, then she'd drop in the facts and you'd see that the way you were passively led was a dead end.

It was a solid read for me. I will look for more from this
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am drawn to and really enjoy books whose characters wind in and out of one another's lives without revealing too early on how they are actually connected. This book deals with some heavy issues (addiction, fatal accidents, childhood illnesses, divorce, blended families, infertility, etc.) and does so in an engaging way without being so heavy that it's hard to wade through.
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got very caught up in this book and had hard time putting it down, it was a really good book with tragic storylines and I thought it was written very well. I look forward to other books by this author.
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, 2015-reads, lost
It's really hard to move on after losing a loved one.
Maria Grillo-Sallusto
very good but sad story
Sue (booknbeachbag)
This book was so disturbing to me on so many levels.
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Wendy
This book would be good if adapted for film and shown on the Lifetime Channel.
One of the best books I've read in a long time! I almost never give a book a 5 star rating...usually 4 is the limit...but this book was fantastic!!!
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the most heart-wrenching book I have read in a long time. It touched me to the core. It was extremely well-written. I finished it in two sittings, as I could not put it down.
Debbie Sweeney
Jan 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars-another excellent book. This is a debut for this author and it was very well written, and the characters came to life.
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an incredible story. I loved every minute of it! Should be a movie. The ending will totally is phenomenal!
May 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great read. While it was a novel it was so poignantly written you would think it was an autobiography. I have never read this author but definitely hope to read more.
Jun 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
what a good book!
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had me at the first page. Both love story and mystery, my favourite genres. Lynne Griffin's writing captivated me until the end and her characters had feelings anyone could relate to. The best part of the book is how real it is, which shows she's a pro about the human condition. I love that she shows life isn't tied up in a big pretty bow.
Maren Nelson
I found this book to be rather predictable. I listened to the audio book and the narrator didn't work very hard to distinguish between the two main female characters which made it confusing for the first half of the book. Possible a better one to read on your own.
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tessa's 4 yr old daughter is killed in a hit&run accident. Celia is her grief counselor. Really good (but sad) story told in Tessa and Celia's voice, of their interconnected lives.
Kristen Newbold
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read. Definitely kept my interest. It did feel a tad predictable at times. Overall I did like it a lot!
Ana Mardoll
Dec 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ana-reviewed
Life Without Summer / 0-312-38388-6

In "Life Without Summer", author Griffin has managed to convey the incredibly painful details of a child's death, a mother's mourning, and a family's quest for answers in a manner that is equal parts sensitive, tender, suspenseful, and gripping. "Life Without Summer" starts with Tessa, a grieving mother who has lost her only daughter in a hit-and-run accident. Tessa is shutting down emotionally, becoming distant from her husband, and is obsessed with finding an
Apr 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 11th-advisory
Life Without Summer
By Lynne Griffin
St. Martin's Press
304 Pgs.
ISBN 0312383886

Tessa Gray's life has changed greatly since after the death of her four-year-old daughter, Abby. Without her, nothing seemed to be the same anymore. And due to the car accident Abby had, Tessa never forgot about her responsibility of finding the driver who killed her daughter, and ruined her life. After the loss of Abby, Tessa has been held up in Abby's room, reminiscing all the things that belonged to her daughter. She
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LYNNE GRIFFIN is an acclaimed novelist and a nationally recognized expert on family life. She is the author of the novels, SEA ESCAPE (Simon & Schuster, 2010) and LIFE WITHOUT SUMMER (St. Martin’s Press, 2009). Her third novel GIRL SENT AWAY (SixOneSeven) will be published in November 2015, along with the companion guide LET'S TALK ABOUT IT: ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH.

Lynne is also the author of
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