The bit on the back…
They say there’s always one summer that changes you.
For Faith the one summer she can’t forget is when she fell in love as a teenager – only for her sister, Casey, to steal her man. Now, at the request of her beloved ninety-year-old Grandmother, Faith has agreed to a family holiday – at their childhood beach house, where it all began.
Faith hasn’t seen her sister in years but is finally ready to forgive and forget, enjoy the sunshine and relive happy memories. What she’s not ready for is meeting Jake Buchanan – the owner of the beach house – or the long-forgotten feelings he ignites in her.
Can Faith overcome the hurt of the past, rekindle the close bond she had with Casey and make this summer THE ONE to remember?
Firstly thank you to Bookouture for approving me for a copy of Jenny Hale’s new book Summer by The Sea on NetGalley! This is Jenny’s second summer novel and it’s all about main character Faith.
Will I ever get enough of Jenny Hale’s writing?! One word – NO! Before I even started then book I knew I was going to love it. I absolutely adored Jenny’s debut novel Coming Home For Christmas! She even read an excerpt of it for me in her beautiful accent as part of our Scottish/Virginian accent challenge – yes that is on YouTube!
Onto Jenny’s latest offering then! Faith is travelling to Outer Banks to celebrate her grandmother’s 90th birthday with her family. She is our narrator throughout and quite an easy character to relate to and imagine. I actually found it really easy to picture Faith and Jake because before I’d even started reading Jenny and I had played our favourite game of dream casting her handsome book boyfriends and I managed to come up with someone to play Faith too. In my mind’s eye Faith and Jake were Silver and Ethan from 90210!
Her grandmother’s 90th birthday trip also sees the reunion of Faith and her sister Casey after years of distance and not speaking with one another. I could feel the stress Faith was feeling about their meeting and the potential altercation between them from the start of the book. Faith is a little insecure because of how Casey has acted in the past but I think she really needs a dose of confidence because when she becomes more comfortable in her own skin her confidence seems natural almost like it was just hidden before! There was one particular part of Faith that made me think of Jenny so much! Jenny’s a teacher (in her spare time ha ha), something she has in common with Faith and there is this really cute bit in the story about kids walking back to class and I just picture Jenny doing the same as Faith!
Jake was a funny one! He was gorgeous, as described by both Faith and Casey but he was a little bit lost and caught up in his business, losing sight of what mattered. His relationship with Faith is quite uppy-downy and I felt like I wanted to give him a good shake to make him see what was right in front of him. For the most part he was an absolute gentleman though and I especially liked his grand gesture towards the end of the book! The epilogue is a perfect fit for their story after everything we learn that Faith and Jake have in common.
One of my absolute favourite things about this was the setting. It’s set in Outer Banks, North Carolina – google it because your imagination will go wild. I was reading through the book getting a feeling of de ja vu, getting that sense that I’d been in this place in my imagination before. I had a think about it and I was imagining much the same location as I had when I was reading Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks – googled that too and lo and behold it’s just along the coast from Outer Banks! I love the old charm that the setting had and that feeling of a slow and steady pace to life. Jenny’s description of the place made me want to step out of my living room and straight onto the beach!
The story is a little bit of self-discovery for Faith but it’s also about the importance of family and the importance of taking chances in life, particularly taking every opportunity to tell someone that you love exactly that. I love the message from the book and I am desperate to visit a holiday cottage on the beach now!