July 2, 2018

Book Review: The Summer List by Amy Mason Doan

A breathtaking secret that will change everything…

As young girls, Laura and Casey were inseparable in their small California lakeside town, playing scavenger hunts under the starry skies all summer long. Until one night, when a shocking betrayal shatters their friendship seemingly forever

But after seventeen years away, the past is impossible to escape and Laura returns home. Tthis time, a bittersweet trail of clues leads brings back her most cherished memories with Casey. Yet just as the game brings Laura and Casey back together, the clues unravel a stunning secret that threatens to tear them apart.

The title pretty much encapsulates the mood and flavor of this novel.  It is a story set in summers past and to be read in the long, languid days by the beach or pool. 

When we first meet Casey and Laura, they are estranged adults who have not seen each other in many years. It is a tense and awkward meeting with troubling undercurrents.  Once close and inseparable childhood friends, they are now estranged.  What happened in the intervening years is unspoken and through the following narrative, with flashbacks of summers past and different points of view, we discover the complicated story or, rather, stories. Not just a story about friendships, the novel also delves into the girls' relationships with their mothers. 

What most touched me and remained with me after the last page were the parts set in the past summers when Casey and Laura were young and close. Doan perfectly captured the special and magical bonds of friendship. 

Put this book in your summer reading list.

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