Saturday, November 9, 2013
Single mom Grace Mason doesn’t believe in miracles, magic, or love at first sight. She likes the quiet life, complete with her eight-year-old son, their tiny house, and her teaching job. For Grace, happiness means that nothing much ever changes in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Then, one thousand miles away, tragedy strikes. A massive heart attack leaves Grace’s estranged father comatose in an Upstate New York hospital. While a team of doctors fight to keep Henry Mason alive, Grace and Evan rush to his bedside to say their final goodbyes. Henry’s passing brings little closure for Grace, but she finds herself inexplicably drawn to her new surroundings. What begins as a short trip results in an entire summer spent with Henry’s second wife, Kathleen, and her next-door neighbor, Ryan Gordon, the town doctor. When a series of unlikely events lead to Evan’s disappearance, Grace must face her worst fears to find her son and bring him back home. Stardust Summer explores the complexities of forgiveness, what it means to be a family, and the fabulous possibility of falling in love—again My thoughts on STARDUST SUMMER Grace Mason and her eight year old son Evan live in Mississippi. Henry, her estranged father, lives in upstate New York with his second wife Kathleen. Henry calls every week and sends gifts every month but for years Grace has kept him at a distance. They’ve made their choices and she refuses to budge. When Henry suffers a major heart attack Grace and Evan travel to New York but will she be in time? STARDUST SUMMER is fast paced with a lot of dramatic events and well developed characters that reads easily, quickly and gently. Despite the pace, drama, and emotion I didn't experience the tension that often accompanies tumultuous reads. It felt buffered, a bit distant. I put this down to the fact that I didn’t connect to Grace. She struck me as childish and selfish, pettily clinging to an old resentment, refusing to deal with or truly acknowledge it. Her behavior costs her and Evan dearly. It was Kathleen I connected with, her experiences and story that affected and drew me. Kathleen had greater depth, was much stronger, more courageous, and by far more appealing to me than Grace. Dr. Ryan Gordon is Henry and Kathleen’s neighbor and doctor. Married to his work Ryan’s devotion to his budding practice cost him his first marriage. When he meets Grace he finds himself attracted to her in a way he hasn’t been to anyone since his ex-wife. I liked Ryan a lot. He was quicker to admit his fault(s), acknowledge the role he played in the death of his marriage, and recover from his denial. Ryan also enjoys Evan and makes an effort to include and do things with him. In some ways I felt he deserved better than Grace. Henry is the catalyst that brings everyone together and everything about. We meet him through the other characters thoughts and memories. STARDUST SUMMER is about family, love, letting go, growing up, moving on and if we’re lucky a second chance. Reading it simply reinforces the old adage that time is precious and tomorrow isn’t guaranteed so don’t waste today.