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One Summer

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  22,070 ratings  ·  2,843 reviews
David Baldacci delivers a moving, family drama about learning to love again after terrible heartbreak and loss in this classic New York Times bestseller.

It's almost Christmas, but there is no joy in the house of terminally ill Jack and his family. With only a short time left to live, he spends his last days preparing to say goodbye to his devoted wife, Lizzie, and their
Hardcover, 337 pages
Published June 14th 2011 by Grand Central Publishing
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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  22,070 ratings  ·  2,843 reviews

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Aug 09, 2011 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“When you love someone, you love them forever.”

One of the best tearjerker novels of all time!

There have been many books that made me cry. But none of them could make me sob my heart out almost throughout the entire story like One Summer did.

This was such a heartbreakingly beautiful story with plenty of poignant and heartwarming moments that left me with tears of both sadness and joy streaming down my face.

Reading Jack’s story tore my heart out. I felt as if I was right there with him, as if
Aug 25, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daniel Audet
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Looking for a "read" the other day I noticed this book on the rack. A fan of Baldacci's for years, of his Camel Club Series and other titles, this book looked like a fun departure from what I've come to expect of him. Let me say this here: I'm pretty sure anything DB writes would sell well, even his grocery list, and this one should do well too.
"One Summer" is a heartfelt story of a guy, a decorated war vet, family man and all around decent guy - Jack Armstrong - who finds himself dying from a
Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, audiobook
I thought this book had a very interesting synopsis and therefore decided to listen to the audiobook. To start, I did not enjoy the fact that the audiobook uses different voices for the women vs the men (in terms of every single thing they say). I think it's a bit distracting and would much rather listen to one person who can "do" different voices depending on the characters.

As for the book itself, I was very disappointed. I felt the dad's illness was actually a bit pointless in terms of the
Jul 09, 2011 rated it did not like it
I kept asking myself throughout this entire book why I was still reading it. I don't like Baldacci's thrillers, not because they aren't well written but rather because they became too violent for me, personally. I have truly enjoyed his other departures from the genre but if this is the direction in which he is going, I'll just wave good-bye from here. I thought the premise was promising - a man dying and leaving his young family to cope, miraculously recovers and ends up being the one left ...more
Ashley Daviau
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had a major sense of déjà vu while reading this book but it was making me feel all kinds of feels so I kept with it. I'm really glad I did because despite having felt like I've read this before, it was an absolutely beautiful story. I felt so many emotions while reading this, I even shed a few tears. Okay okay, more than just a few tears. xD The story was truly moving and I feel like I grew along with the characters throughout. And the ending was just so perfect and touching! I'm still ...more
Jul 31, 2019 rated it did not like it
Just a syrupy sentimental mess of a story, full of cliched situations and stock characters. When the miracle that occurs in this book is the most believable part of the story, you know that something is very wrong with a novel.
Recommended only for Nicholas Sparks fans.
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Jun 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: amelia-reviews
Honestly, if I wasn’t so cold-hearted that it takes a volcano to melt the ice in my veins, I would have been bawling through more than 50% of this book. There is tragedy from beginning to end! There are happy parts in the middle, of course, but there are such dark travesties in the first and last chapters that I wondered if I would ever see the light. Was it worth the heart-ache? In a way, I did appreciate having my heart ripped out and then flung back in my chest again, but not masochistically ...more
Jul 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
I greatly disliked this book. I bought it out of desperation in the Hamburg, Germany airport where I had to wait for six hours. This filled the time but I wouldn't have kept reading it if it wasn't for the boredom. I can't believe I paid 10 Euros for this book but it was the only English book available that wasn't about vampires or a murder mystery.

It started out with a pretty great story: A man with an untold rare and fatal illness miraculously recovers when his wife is killed in a tragic
Dec 11, 2011 rated it did not like it
If you ever find yourself driving on I-95 from North to South Carolina, you encounter garish billboards announcing the approach of one the kitschiest, tackiest, most embarrassingly banal totems to Americana ever conceived: "South of the Border". You can see the garish 100-ft neon'd sombrero'd "Juan" from several miles away from the N-S Carolina border, beckoning weary road travelers to its promise of, in full Las Vegas splendor, a slice of Mexican Nirvana in Nowheresville, SC.You pull off the ...more
Oct 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have been a fan of David Baldacci since I happened to pick up TOTAL CONTROL in an airport right before moving to Charlottesville, VA, where the book essentially takes place. Baldacci had me hooked, and I've been a fan ever since. I've met him at several of his book signings, and he's an incredibly likeable guy and an engaging speaker.

As an author in the women's lit genre, I was really happy to see Baldacci expose his softer side with ONE SUMMER - the side I knew was there from having met him
Aug 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Have the tissues nearby. I think I went through two boxes by chapter twelve. It's a different book for fans, but a good book on grief and family .

Jul 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
Baldacci should stick to what he writes really well ... the thriller. I know authors like to change up their genres, but this book was a mess. It's a hash of emotional drivel. It tries to evoke the emotion of Patterson's Letters to Jennifer and Sparks' Last Song, but fails. Sparks' writes this type of genre very well. Even Patterson does a decent job with Letters, but Baldacci's attempt is stiff and awkward at best ... and annoying ... really, can anyone write a realistic teenager?!
ɑƨħŵɑɡ ♥Team Magnus Damora FOREVER♥
Nothing beats the feeling of reading the right book at the right times. It's a feeling this book made me live. One Summer is certainly one of those books that make difference.

In short, the story of One Summer revolves around Jack Armstrong. He is an ex-military who served in Afghanistan and ME and received many medals during his service. He's also a loving husband of Lizzie O'Toole and the father of three kids. Jack is diagnosed with a terminal illness that absolutely no one recovered from, so
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My review of One Summer is up on Twitter.
Aug 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, chick-lit
Jack is terminally ill with three children that need parental guidance at home. Knowing his time on earth is limited, he agrees with his mother-in-law as he watches his children being separated to live with various family members, while he lies alone in a hospice center just waiting to take his last breath. He ends up spending a lot of time in the hospice center when he not only lives longer than expected, but suddenly seems to recover. When he is finally given a clean bill of health months ...more
Feb 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: family-drama
"One Summer" by David Baldacci is a novel that I was totally gripped from the first page. I couldn't put it down.This is a story of a guy, a decorated war vet, family man and all around decent guy - Jack Armstrong - who finds himself dying from a mysterious disease. Family members, including his darling wife and 3 kids, prepare for his departure from their lives and this world. He accepts his fate and makes his peace, though he doesn't want to go.

For me, the hallmark of a great book, whatever
Jun 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
By David Baldacci. Grade: A

David Baldacci is without a doubt one of the finest writers of edge-of-your-seat thrillers. He has taken a departure from the norm with his novels Wish You Well and The Christmas Train in the past, both of which I enjoyed a lot. With One Summer, he stretches himself further as he delves deeper into relationships and the mystery - and miracle - that life is.

A moving story of love, second chances and the importance of family from the Number One International
Jun 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It’s days until Christmas and this year in the Armstrong home they aren’t waiting for Santa, they’re waiting for dad to die. Jack Armstrong gave it the good fight and in the end it’s the kids and especially Lizzie that he’ll miss when the light finally goes out. He spends his final days with what little strength he has to write Lizzie a letter a day in which to pour out his heart and his love. Then on Christmas Eve the unthinkable happens and Lizzie is killed in an accident. Left with no choice ...more
Maria Ulery
Feb 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes you can BEAT THE ODDS!!!! Great Read!, September 12, 2013

This review is from: One Summer (Mass Market Paperback)
Wow is what I can say about this book and if you gave it less than 4* I just cannot figure out why!!! No this is not typical mystery/suspense Baldacci it is his other side and don't knock it till you try it. Jack, husband and former army ranger, and Lizzie, wife and mother etc. etc., are soul mates and have been together since they were young and they are perfect for each
Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Jack lay in bed in the den dying. His three children each reacted differently to his illness. Liz, his soulmate and wife, took care of him, the children, the house, and worked. He loved her with all his heart. His days were numbered and he was hoping to make it to Christmas when someone knocked on the door to give him bad news and he found himself burying the girl of his dreams rather than the other way around which he felt was the way that it should have been.

His in-laws place him in hospice to
Jun 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a definite detour from Baldacci's usual legal thriller genre in the same vein as was James Patterson's Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas (2003). I almost forgot that I wasn't reading a Nicholas Sparks book at times. And, as I enjoy Baldacci in his most edge-of-the-seat thriller, I also enjoy Nicholas Sparks, so this was a fun combination and I enjoyed this as a change of pace. The characters were well-drawn, but could you really expect less from an author who has had 15 number one best ...more
Sep 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Jack, a young 35 year old man is lying in bed dying. He has survived combat in Afghanistan and Iraq but a rare disease has left him weak and helpless. His wife, Lizzie is his full time caregiver, while she also is the mother of their 3 children. 16 year old Mikki, cannot face her father's terminal illness so she has pulled away. His two sons, 11 year old Cory and 2 year old Jackie spend time with their father. Jack has written 6 letters to his wife, one for each day before Xmas. He hopes to last ...more
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is a very emotional and yet inspirational. Baldacci (the author) got me grabbing for tissues the very first page of Chapter 1. It’s a touching story about a father with a deadly illness and a mother who’s trying to take care of him, a teenager, a middle schooler, and a toddler all at once. She is holding on hope and trying to help her husband while still trying to be “mom.” This novel has a twist in the story line and becomes very inspirational. For anyone who needs a book just to have ...more
Dale Harcombe
Mar 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
I loved this bopk and if I could have figured out how to do it I would have given this four and a half stars. This is the first David Baldacci book I have read. My husband has read several but I gather they are a different type of book to this. I picked this up on the strength of the cover, which shows how important covers are. If you can suspend disbelief and allow for miracles that include recovery from cancer, then you will have no trouble getting involved with these characters. I have no ...more
Jul 10, 2011 rated it did not like it
Are you sure this was written by David Baldacci? It has Nicholas Sparks written all over it. Sicky sweet and SO very predictable. Hated it and am disappointed in myself for not stopping after the first couple of chapters and picking out something else to read. BLAH ....
Vannetta Chapman
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a great summer read - light with a little mystery.
Baldacci is a very skilled story-teller and he has you from the first page in "One Summer."
Nicely done - with little or no language.
Great character development, and I loved the beach setting.
Sheryl Sorrentino
Jul 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Listened to the audio version. The narrator was awful. No matter how sensitive the subject matter (and it certainly was a tear-jerker, especially in the beginning!), he sounded like a gruff, throat-cancer survivor. The female voices and accents weren't much better. There was plenty of violence and action in this tale, which caught me a bit by surprise. And the teenage daughter's repeated missteps grew taxing by the end. But all-in-all, it was entertaining for a long holiday weekend drive and ...more
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
I tend to rate books on the high side, since I respect the amount of work it takes to finish a book, but even I cannot muster up more than two stars for this one. I've never read anything by David Baldacci but I can only assume his thrillers are better than this story about a single father who takes his three kids to an old beach house to recover from the death of his wife, and then mostly ignores them. None of this rings true. The kids don't behave like kids, and the sentimentality is over the ...more
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David Baldacci has been writing since childhood, when his mother gave him a lined notebook in which to write down his stories. (Much later, when David thanked her for being the spark that ignited his writing career, she revealed that she’d given him the notebook to keep him quiet, "because every mom needs a break now and then.”) He published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996; it was ...more
“Because life doesn't work that way. You can do everything perfectly. Do everything you think you're supposed to be doing. Fulfill every expectation that other people may have. And you still won't get the results you think you deserve. Life is crazy and maddening and often makes no sense.” 15 likes
“I want you to know that if I could've stayed with you I would have. I fought as hard as I could. I will never understand why I had to be taken from you so soon, but I have accepted it. Yet I want you to know that there is nothing more important to me than you. I loved you from the moment I saw you. And the happiest day of my life was when you agreed to share your life with mine. I promised that I would always be there for you. And my love for you is so strong that even though I won't be there physically, I will be there in every other way. I will watch over you. I will be there if you need to talk. I will never stop loving you. Not even death is powerful enough to overcome my feelings for you. My love for you, Lizzie, is stronger than anything.” 3 likes
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