Rowan Coleman is one of my very favourite authors, and whenever I receive a pre-release copy of a new book by her – I’m so lucky being a blogger! – it takes iron willpower to ignore it for a while so that I can read and review it rather closer to publication. Things went a little awry for me with The Summer of Impossible Things – published by Ebury Press on 29th June – because I read it with impeccable timing on a glorious afternoon in the Madeira sun, but haven’t found a moment to pull a review together since. Now, I’m sure it won’t have adversely affected Rowan’s sales – especially when you can pick up the hardback for just £6 in quite a few places, and I’ve yet to see an unenthusiastic review – but I do think it’s about time I shared my thoughts.
Isn’t this cover information just perfect?
If you could change the past, would you?
How far would you go to save the person you love?
Luna is about to do everything she can to save her mother’s life. Even if it means sacrificing her own.
A beautiful lush novel about family, courage, sacrifice and love in all its guises from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Memory Book.
Before reading this one, had you pinned me in a corner and forced me to choose my favourite book by Rowan Coleman, I’d have had to say The Memory Book (you’ll find my review here). It’s a close run thing, but if you asked me today I think I’d have a new number one. Heavens above, it’s about time travel, going back to change the future… how totally preposterous. But you see it isn’t really “about time travel” (well, it is… but stick with me!) – it’s all about what you’re willing to do in the name of love when all the usual constraints are removed, it’s about love within families, how a mother is the most special person in the world, and how love makes you brave.
The framework it’s all set against is just perfect – Brooklyn in the 1970s and present day (a few different “present days” really), drawn in such meticulous detail that it breathed on the page. The characters are just wonderful too – I took Luna to my heart on first meeting, and ached for Pea as she struggled to hold things together. I loved the little period touches too – the 70s music, the shadows of Saturday Night Fever. The whole construct of the story was such a brave one to try – but not only did she try, she achieved something very different and so very special. The twists and turns of the story had me rapt… and the tears weren’t far away on so many occasions.
What an imagination, what a story – and what an exceptionally accomplished story teller, whose books just get better and better.
My thanks variously to the author, Ebury Press and netgalley for my special proof copy and for my reading e-copy.
About the author
Rowan Coleman worked in bookselling and publishing for seven years before winning Company Magazine Young Writer of the Year in 2001. Her first novel Growing Up Twice was published in 2002 and was a WHS Fresh Talent winner. Since then Rowan has written twelve novels, including The Accidental Mother, The Baby Group and Runaway Wife, which won The Festival of Romance Best Romantic Read 2012, The RoNA Epic Romance novel of 2013 and was shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year 2013. It inspired Rowan to release Woman Walks Into A Bar as an ebook (published 10th September 2013) with 100% of her royalties going to Refuge. Her Sunday Times bestselling novel The Memory Book was a Richard and Judy Bookclub selection 2014, and Love Reading Novel of the Year, as voted for by readers. Rowan now lives in Hertfordshire with her husband, and large family of four children, including surprise toddler twins. Rowan is often quite tired.