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That Summer | [Lauren Willig]

That Summer

When Julia Conley hears that she has inherited a house outside London from an unknown great-aunt, she assumes it’s a joke. She hasn't been back to England since the car crash that killed her mother when she was six, an event she remembers only in her nightmares. But when she arrives at Herne Hill to sort through the house - with the help of her cousin Natasha and sexy antiques dealer Nicholas - bits of memory start coming back.
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Publisher's Summary

It is 2009: When Julia Conley hears that she has inherited a house outside London from an unknown great-aunt, she assumes it's a joke. She hasn't been back to England since the car crash that killed her mother when she was six, an event she remembers only in her nightmares. But when she arrives at Herne Hill to sort through the house - with the help of her cousin Natasha and sexy antiques dealer Nicholas - bits of memory start coming back. And then she discovers a pre-Raphaelite painting, hidden behind the false back of an old wardrobe, and a window onto the house's shrouded history begins to open....

In 1849 Imogen Grantham has spent nearly a decade trapped in a loveless marriage to a much older man, Arthur. The one bright spot in her life is her step-daughter, Evie, a high-spirited 16-year-old who is the closest thing to a child Imogen hopes to have. But everything changes when three young painters come to see Arthur's collection of medieval artifacts, including Gavin Thorne, a quiet man with the unsettling ability to read Imogen better than anyone ever has. When Arthur hires Gavin to paint her portrait, none of them can guess what the hands of fate have set in motion.

From modern-day England to the early days of the Preraphaelite movement, Lauren Willig's That Summer takes listeners on an un-put-downable journey through a mysterious old house, a hidden love affair, and one woman’s search for the truth about her past - and herself.

©2014 Lauren Willig (P)2014 Macmillan Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (204 )
5 star
 (75)
4 star
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3 star
 (49)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.0 (190 )
5 star
 (68)
4 star
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3 star
 (42)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
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Story
4.2 (189 )
5 star
 (90)
4 star
 (63)
3 star
 (31)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
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  •  
    A. Merritt Island, FL, United States 06-27-14
    A. Merritt Island, FL, United States 06-27-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    97
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    117
    106
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    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I liked it"

    Because I read a lot of books, I tend to encounter very similar plots. However, this one kept me guessing and I, like the main characters, enjoy a good puzzle, so it was fun following them through their logic and research as they fitted the pieces together.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Freeport, NY, United States 02-11-15
    Susan Freeport, NY, United States 02-11-15 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    105
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "History, Mystery & Romance"

    A captivating and entertaining read, capturing the suppression and hypocrisy of Victorian England as well as the insecurities and complexities of life and relationships today.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Toby Portsmouth, NH, United States 06-04-14
    Toby Portsmouth, NH, United States 06-04-14 Member Since 2014

    Anglophile. Prefer only British fiction and mysteries. Good translations of Italian, too.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    147
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    78
    78
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    13
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An interesting puzzle initially, but ..."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes, in the beginning, but then I lost interest and did not finish. The opening had so much promise, but then it faltered. Too much back history and not enough character development of the main character If she was so smart as a financial analyst, let us learn why she is so naive and stupid in her interpersonal relationships.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Mostly expected. Again, I did not read all the way because I like smart heroines to be smart heroines.


    What about Nicola Barber’s performance did you like?

    It was okay enough. I thought the voice used for the americans was pretty lame and shrill. The British voices were better performed.


    Could you see That Summer being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    I was sad that this book just petered out in a slow and boring way. There was so much promise in the beginning. I wish some of the peripheral characters had been more fully developed to add a richness to the plot and prose. Natalie was interesting, despite the set-up scenes, but ...
    It stretches credibility that the main character would be so smart and yet she can't talk straight and then lets "the man" take over. This is not realistic or even pleasing to read. If you set a book up as having a smart woman, then follow through. The era of the stupid female must surely be almost over.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail PASCO, WA, United States 01-24-15
    Gail PASCO, WA, United States 01-24-15 Member Since 2008

    I love Sci-Fi, Fantasy Adventure, ...

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "That Summer"

    It is not the same depth of a Pink Carnation story. But I liked it. A quick read (listen). I liked the characters in both time lines.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Salena 09-01-15
    Salena 09-01-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "could not put it down"

    I am looking forward to reading more of this authors books. I stumbled across this book and was hooked. from the first word to the last...it kept me wondering what's to happen next. bravo...thank you

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    debi 09-01-15
    debi 09-01-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    61
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    612
    43
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
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    Story
    "EXCELLENT!"
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I love Julia, the author made her a real life person


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    keep my interest from beginning to end!!! That is an accomplishment for any author.


    Any additional comments?

    This was purchased on sale with no expectations BUT did I get a surprise. It was a great historical and modern book that was easy to keep up with what year they were in. I love history and how the author brought it to the present to be solved! Had just enough mystery to keep some guessing going on!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tammy 08-28-15
    Tammy 08-28-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent Narration"

    Story was cute but the book seemed to end unexpectedly. I really enjoyed the genealogy context.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L S 08-28-15
    L S 08-28-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    21
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "Really lovely"

    The story was creative, bouncing back and forth between the distant past and the present. I would like to for it to have continued with the story a bit longer. The narration was very good. Glad I listened to this one. It was sweet and sad and happy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan 08-27-15
    Susan 08-27-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A few hours light entertainment."
    Would you try another book from Lauren Willig and/or Nicola Barber?

    Yes


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Didn't tie up loose ends. Would have liked to have seen more of Julia's English family.


    What does Nicola Barber bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Accents. Different voices. Great reader.


    Could you see That Summer being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    In some ways, it is typical Lauren Willig writing although without the hook that reaches out and grabs you like her Pink Carnation series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KC 08-26-15
    KC 08-26-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ok..not my favorite"
    What did you like best about That Summer? What did you like least?

    It's a fun listen. Take it or leave it.


    What didn’t you like about Nicola Barber’s performance?

    I have listened to performances by Nicola Barber before and they were good, but I nearly stopped listening to this because of her American accent. It was very stiff and reminded me of a high school play where the kids are concentrating hard on getting the lines right. It didn't flow like a natural person speaking. It could have been the book though and the way it's written.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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