Sunday, April 17, 2011
It's the holiday season and Jack Armstrong is dying from an unspecified, incurable terminal illness. He's determined to hang on until the holidays for his wife Lizzie and their children, but he's totally bedridden. He makes it all the way to Chrismas Eve only to have his wife die in a car accident on her way to pick up his medication.
In the blink of an eye, Lizzie's parents spring into action, farming the children out to Lizzie's family. They sell the Armstrong family home and Jack is placed in a Hospice facility to await death, alone.
Suddenly, there is a miracle! Jack has totally recovered and rehab brings him back to the man he used to be, albeit one without a home or income. Lizzie's plan for the summer was to take the children to her childhood home on the beach in South Carolina; a place her family has avoided since the death of Lizzie's twin years earlier. The rest of ONE SUMMER has Jack and his children facing the future in typical chick lit fashion.
I've been a longtime fan of David Baldacci and have read all of his books except for one. I have a personal aversion to my favorite mystery and thriller writers venturing into the realm of sappy chick lit, so I skipped THE CHRISTMAS TRAIN published in 2002 (the cover was enough to send me to another shelf in the bookstore). After reading multiple solid thrillers or mysteries by the same author, it feels fake when they decide to take a stroll down primrose lane.
When I received the ARC for ONE SUMMER, I decided to give it a try. My earlier mentioned aversion proved to be true, this novel from Baldcci is a sappy formulaic tearjerker, but I'm sure it will be a big beach read this summer. The cover alone is cute enough to sell it and it would look great on the end table in your beach house.