Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Summer We Came to Life by Deborah Cloyed

Every summer, Samantha Wheland joins her childhood friends – Isabel, Kendra and Mina – on a vacation somewhere exotic and fabulous. This year, it’s a beach house in Honduras, but for the first time, their clan is not complete. Mina lost her battle against cancer six months prior, and the friends she left behind are still struggling to find a way to move on without her. Before the trip ends, the bonds of friendship with her living friends, the older generation’s stories of love and loss, and Samantha’s glimpse into a world far removed from the one in which she belongs will convince her to trust her heart.

At first, I thought this was another friendly beach read, but I couldn't be more wrong.  Don't misunderstand me, this book is perfect for a beach read this summer! There is just so much more packed between the covers than I had anticipated.

Mina, Sam, Kendra and Isabel are four friends who grew up together.  When Mina passes away from her fight with cancer, her best friend Sam is beyong distraught.  She escapes to Honduras to try and get herself together.  But Kendra and Sam decide to join Sam, even though she doesn't believe they should vacation together without Mina. 

Soul searching and the bonds of friendship are the anchor in this realistic story full of memorable characters.  The journals between Mina and Sam , their life after death experiences, cultural experiences, love and loss are the key notes, but by no means least.  When the women's parents join in on the vacation, we get another glimpse at a time past and how their relationships, love and loss affect their offspring's lives.  Memorable and written seamlessly, if you read one book this summer, read The Summer We Came to Life!

Deborah Cloyed lives in Los Angeles, in Humphrey Bogart’s old room with a view. A photographer, travel writer and curious nomad, she has previously resided in London, Barcelona, Thailand, Honduras, Kenya and New York City. In addition to her diverse travel history, she was also a contestant on CBS’s The Amazing Race. She runs a photography school for kids, teaches writing to teenage girls, and is happily working on her next book.

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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