The Summer We Came to Life

Deborah Cloyed. Mira, $14.95 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-7783-1291-8
Cloyed's scattered debut spans two generations, four countries, and even parallel universes, as Samantha Wheland comes to a crossroads in her life after the death of her friend, Mina, with a proposal of marriage from her wealthy Parisian boyfriend, offering instant glamour and romance—but at a price. As Samantha looks for answers at an artists' residency in Honduras, her childhood friends, Isabel and Kendra, along with their parents, show up to help. The girls bring levity, and their parents bring issues, sharing defining moments from their lives: the civil rights movement, the Iranian revolution, a brief marriage to an aristocrat. The connections between these reminiscences and the modern day feel forced, but is somewhat offset by Samantha's pursuit of self-discovery. Finally, a cancer treatment journal that Mina kept, to which her friends contributed, illuminates their attempt to outsmart death by studying physics and parallel universe theories, and takes the novel in a fresh direction. While Cloyed tackles grand issues, she impatiently pulls from a hodgepodge of styles, but her heart is in the right place. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/25/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4592-0591-8
Paperback - 376 pages - 978-1-84845-101-8
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