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Publisher's Summary

When a shocking family secret is revealed, 20-something journalist Cat Coombs finds herself falling into a dark spiral. Wild, glamorous nights out in London and raging hangovers the next day become her norm, leading to a terrible mistake one night while visiting family in America, on the island of Nantucket. It's a mistake for which she can't forgive herself. When she returns home, she confronts the unavoidable reality of her life and knows it's time to grow up. But she doesn't know if she'll ever be able to earn the forgiveness of the people she hurt.

As the years pass, Cat grows into her 40s, a struggling single mother coping with a newfound sobriety and determined to finally make amends. Traveling back to her past, to the family she left behind on Nantucket all those years ago, she may be able to earn their forgiveness, but in doing so she may risk losing the very people she loves the most.

Told with Jane Green's keen eye for detailing the emotional landscape of the heart, Summer Secrets is at once a compelling drama and a beautifully rendered portrait of relationships, betrayals, and forgiveness, about accepting the things we cannot change, finding the courage to change the things we can, and being strong enough to weather the storms.

©2015 Jane Green (P)2015 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"Gripping and powerful." (Emily Giffin)
"The quintessential beach novel, complete with juicy drama and characters you fall madly in love with. You will devour it!" (Elin Hilderbrand)
"Warm, witty, sharp and insightful. Jane Green writes with such honesty and zing." (Sophie Kinsella)
"The perfect summer read.... You'll be hooked." (Kristin Hannah)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    39
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Performance

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    57
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    35
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Story

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

This book almost drove me to drink.

My heart goes out to anyone who struggles with an addiction especially alcohol, drugs, promiscuity or anything that truly can kill you and/or ruin your life. Although an interesting story which could have been Jane Green's most brilliant, her main character Cat is selfish, self-centered, narcissistic and focuses on her own needs her entire life. Cat and those who love her think drinking is her problem which that is certainly part of it. But aside from apologizing to everyone she knows and cooking one
Luscious meal to entice her ex- husband back to her, that is the extent of her doing for others.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

narration awful

Love Jane Green the author. Jane Green the narrator, not so much. Love all her books. Will get from library, can't get past the first hour and a half.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Narration painfully slow

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I enjoyed listening to this book commuting and on the beach. It was light and entertaining even though it is about an alcoholic.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The story would have been better if the main character could have explored her relationship with her father and her father and sisters' relationship to alcohol more.

What didn’t you like about Jane Green’s performance?

The narration was painfully slow. So painful, I had to put the speed to 1.25 and then it sounded normal. I thought it sounded like she was literally on opiates herself at the 100% speed. I almost thought there was a technical problem.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Probably not.

Any additional comments?

Good beach read, if you like Jane Green novels.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Narration unbearable. Needs a professional!

What disappointed you about Summer Secrets?

The authors sloooow monotone made it hard to listen. Variation in tone, giving each character a personality by giving them a unique voice, deepening tone for males etc.. are all things a professional can provide that the author unfortunately did not. And those gasps mid sentence ugh.
The storyline was ok (not her best- I've read them all) but the narration really detracted from the whole experience. There was another book performed by her about which I felt the same. She should stick to writing.
I wish I'd taken another reviewers advice and increased the speed.

How could the performance have been better?

See above.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Did not even finish :(

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I think this book is for people in recovery...the focus was VERY AA and alcohol driven...not what I expected.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Definitely a romance, or lighthearted comedy :)

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I realize she is the author...perhaps she should have a professional read? While she has a great voice and accent...maybe someone with more range?? Just a thought.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment..shame on me, I should have read reviews, and it's been so long since I have ordered an audible (one month) I neglected to do so.

Any additional comments?

I wish I had that credit back.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Gloria
  • Carmichael, CA, USA
  • 03-10-18

It's a good book with a nice twist

I enjoyed the story and it's insights into the curse of alcohol from which so many suffer.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Depressing

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This book is a depressing account of an alcoholic's journey and it drags on and on. I kept thinking I would get to a happier time but after 13 chapters I had to stop listening.

Has Summer Secrets turned you off from other books in this genre?

no

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

sadness, disappointment

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

a must for AA women; great "beach book" for others

I loved this book. I also thought the author did an excellent job as a narrator. Her voice is nice and she handles the different voices and accents well.

This total chick lit, a great "beach read" so if that's what you're looking for, this is a great book. What sets it apart from all the other novels in that genre is that this one covers alcoholism perfectly and deeply.

The novel is rich in AA traditions, so if you are familiar with AA, the steps, the slogans, meetings, alcoholism as a family disease, etc. You will love and devour this book. I am going to recommend it to any woman early in her sobriety. In many ways, this novel is long speaker meeting.

Those who are not living a sober life might not find the story as endearing, and they may miss some of the more subtle points, but the skeleton of the story is one most people can relate to:

The story starts with a 20-something woman who notices her life has stayed the same while her friends are all getting married and having babies, which is what she wants too. She decides to make a change to get what she wants... and does! She meets the man, has the baby, has it all, becomes too confident and takes it for granted, forgets that what it takes to get there is what it takes to stay there, and one little slip leads to another, until she's frustrated that she let this happen, that she let bad habits in, and it was worse this time, so there's an even bigger mess to clean, and is it too late? Can she even get back what she lost?

As for Jane-Green-the-narrator, I want to listen to her again, I'm buying another of her books because I liked this one, and I liked her reading. I've listened to over 300 books and she is definitely in the top 25%.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Very good

The powerful journey into Cat’s world is not a happy-go-lucky story. Sad but has its “Jane” way of finding warmth and connection throughout.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • JG
  • IL
  • 07-17-17

Slow narration, intriguing story, not always easy to listen

I will echo the comments of others: the narration was painfully slow. I changed the speed to 1.25x, which made it enjoyable.

The story is heavily accented with AA slogans and concepts. The main character is terribly selfish and sometimes very hard to care about. But then, she is an active alcoholic, with only herself and her drinking as priorities. I'm glad we saw some growth in her, or else it would have been even more depressing than it already was.

I'm not sure I'd recommend this book as light reading, but it is very "real" feeling for someone who has been in AA or even Al-Anon. Sometimes we need to hear a story of someone improving their lives when it doesn't seem possible... for that reason this story could provide hope for someone in a similar situation.