Sharon's Reviews > Summer's Child

Summer's Child by Diane Chamberlain
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it was ok

This is a perfect beach or holiday read. It was published back in 2000 but had a re-release in 2010. I found it on the Amazon Kindle charts for less than a pound, so that's why I got it.

On the morning of her 11th birthday, Daria Cato finds a newborn baby on the beach. She takes her home and with a little help, her parents adopt the baby and call her Shelly. 22 years later, Shelly writes a letter to Rory Taylor, who used to live near the Catos but is now a successful TV host. He specialises in True Life Stories, and Shelly wants him to find out about her birth mother. Rory agrees, and comes back to Kill Devil Hills (yes, that's the name of the place) along with his teenage son for the summer to do a little digging and find out who left Shelly on the beach all those years ago.

(view spoiler)

Throw in a tragedy, a storm, a back story involving Daria and her unwillingness to do the job she loves, a big accident, a couple of broken hearts, lots of secrets, and you get a pretty easy read.

I got sick of it about 150 pages in when there were still no real developments in the Shelly case. Some things really, really annoyed me too - Polly (Rory's sister) who had Down's Syndrome was referred to twice by locals as "retarded" - the use of that word makes my skin crawl and I don't think it should have been left in there. Also, it's stated more than once that Shelly suffered minor brain damage as a result of being neglected at birth - this causes her to act more childlike and speak without a filter. Only - she is perfectly capable of concealing information when the plot calls for it, such as her friendship with one of the men, her discussions with the Priest, and Daria's feelings. So which is it, does she have a filter or not?!?!

Regarding Grace: (view spoiler)
Considering how long and drawn out the rest of the book was, the actual resolution of both Grace and Shelly's situations were rushed.

As for the reaction of the father - (view spoiler).

MAJOR SPOILERS: (view spoiler) Having just finished Jodi Picoult's "The Storyteller", I think comparisons to Picoult are both inaccurate and insulting.

Altogether I wouldn't bother reading it again, and if someone had put a spoiler up I probably wouldn't have finished it, which is why I've tried to add as much detail as possible.

Bring it on holidays and leave it on the beach!
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Reading Progress

May 8, 2014 – Started Reading
May 8, 2014 – Shelved
May 9, 2014 –
May 10, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by Abby (new)

Abby Garcia Thanks for the review, saved me wasting my time buying it on bookbub even if it was very cheap!

Joyce Kelly Your MAJOR SPOILERS paragraph had me laughing out loud. You summed up the entire book right there. Ha!

message 3: by Melody (new) - added it

Melody Kemble Thank you for your spoilers. Your review helped solve my issue of trying to remember "that one book I read years ago". All I could remember was a baby found on the beach, an affair with a priest, two sisters, and a hurricane. So thank you for all the details in your review.

Sharon Melody wrote: "Thank you for your spoilers. Your review helped solve my issue of trying to remember "that one book I read years ago". All I could remember was a baby found on the beach, an affair with a priest, t..."

I'm glad you found what you were looking for, I hate when I can't think of the name of a book! Thank you for commenting on this, because I wrote this review 5 years ago and really did put too much in it without spoiler warnings, so I cleaned it up a little. So thanks!

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