Books & Literature

Book Review: One Summer Between Friends, by Trish Morey

CONTEMPORARY FICTION: A compelling and moving story about broken friendships and the rocky road of forgiveness.

A superb choice for your summer reading list that will pair well with a refreshing poolside cocktail.

Sarah’s marriage is over, her dream career in tatters, and now she must return to Lord Howe Island to run the family store and help her sick mother. This is the last place Sarah wants to be. She is surrounded by memories of her childhood which have been tarnished by the ultimate act of betrayal. Sarah is desperate to avoid her two ex-best friends, Floss and Jules.

Meanwhile, Floss is living the life she has always wanted, married to her high school sweetheart, raising five children and running a holiday guesthouse on an island paradise. But when her husband becomes emotionally distant, Floss longs for the emotional support only a best friend can offer.

With just her ageing mother and four-year-old daughter to support her, Jules is struggling to deal with the news that has turned her life upside down. Convinced her terrible luck is a result of bad karma, Jules is determined to make things right whether or not her ex-best friends are ready to forgive her.

Each chapter switches between these three protagonists. We are given an insight into their current lives and the events that lead to their falling out. While they are all well-rounded characters, they didn’t have distinctive voices. They all seemed to have very similar ways of talking and acting. This may have been intentional as they grew up together as close friends.

The story touches on a range of topics relevant to so many women, including fertility issues, medical conditions, the struggles of balancing caregiving with personal goals, self-care and nurturing a romantic relationship, through to career dreams, dysfunctional relationships and betrayal. Morey handles each topic with care and understanding, offering different perspectives and insight into the struggles so many endure daily.

The story is engaging and Morey’s writing style, enjoyable. This is an easy and relaxing read, with likeable characters who were, for the most part, easy to empathise with. The resolution is a little rushed and unconvincing however.

Morey’s strength is her ability to describe Lord Howe Island. The story isn’t just set on the island for the sake of it. Morey describes the scenery and entwines island life into her story in a realistic way, despite not having grown up on the island herself.

One Summer Between Friends is a superb choice for your summer reading list that will pair well with a refreshing cocktail while soaking up some poolside sun.

Reviewed by Jessica Incoll
Twitter: @littlejadventur

Distributed by: Harper Collins Publishers Australia
Released: December 2020
RRP: $29.99

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