Wednesday, September 28, 2011

One Summer

Title:  One Summer
Author:  David Baldacci
Publication Information:  Hachette Book Group. 2011. 335 pages.

Book Source:  I read this book based on the publicity for the author.

Favorite Quote"You should respect the past. You should never forget the past. But you can't live there."

One summer is true departure for David Baldacci. From the world of action, adventure, espionage, and thrills to the world of family story and romance. The book tells the story of the Armstrong family - Jack, Lizzie, and their three children. Christmas is coming. Jack is terminally ill and hoping to making to Christmas and hoping to complete his goodbyes. On Christmas Eve, Lizzie is killed in a care accident. Over the next few months, Jack miraculously recovers and tries to put his family back together.

The story is one of loss, love, and guilt. How do you prepare for a loss of a loved one? What happens when the loss you face is not the one you expected? How do you regroup? Does love end with death? How do you deal with survivor's guilt? Jack was the one who was supposed to die. Yet he is alive. Lizzie was supposed to be there, and yet is gone. How do you allow yourself to move on?

The book has a predictable story line - Jack's guilt, the children's reactions, the move, the sympathetic neighbors, and the prospect of new relationships. As such, the characters do not appear dynamic and do not spark sympathy or emotions. The plot and end seem contrived. Not a really bad story but not a memorable and interesting one either. A quick summer read more in line with the books of Nicholas Sparks and Danielle Steel rather than David Baldacci.

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