Lindsey McDermott is devastated by the loss of her family. She retreats to the family cabin in the Texas hills, gets a puppy and tries to just get through the days. In the next property over Hannah Larson is recovering from the death of her husband. She decided to take a year out, selling the family home and, against her better judgement, she has brought her son Jack to Texas to let him get to know his father’s family.
Jack and Lindsey meet by the creek that divides their properties, and slowly a deep friendship forms between the grieving child and the devastated woman. When Hannah gets over her jealousy the three spend an awesome summer fishing, swimming and laughing. Exactly the right tonic for all three to heal. But the summer wont last for ever and when Jack goes back to school Lindsey and Hannah are left to deal with their own friendship and growing feelings for each other.
This is an absolutely wonderful slow burn romance. Starting from a place of intense grief, we see Lindsey emerge under the gentle and understanding friendship of a boy who is dealing with his own grief over his father’s death. Between them, their puppies and a lots of summer fun, they find a way to heal and find the joy in life, joy that Lindsey never thought she would feel again.
Gerri Hill has an amazing ability to tell a deep and emotional story in an unpretentious way. She uses everyday life, triggers memories that will resonate with many, and, with the lightest of brushstrokes, takes us to a pace where things seem stripped down and simple without ever being simplistic. The emotions in this book are heartfelt and intense, yet not overpowering despite the seriousness of the subject and particularly Lindsey’s overwhelming loss.
The backdrop of the Texas Hill Country is vividly drawn. Cabin life with days spent fishing in the creek or tubing down the river, a child learning to swim in the secret pond and teaching the dogs to jump from the jetty. All evoke a simple life full of nothing more than enjoyment of the moment and the long lazy days of summer.
I thoroughly enjoyed this, it tugged on my heartstrings from beginning to end, first hoping Lindsey would emerge from her grief and later hoping Hannah would let them come together. Despite the seriousness of the premise there is little angst, just a gentle flow of change as life moves forward. A tale of friendship and love extremely well done.
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(publisher review copy received)
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