The Summer Season by Julia Williams

P1010089Heartsease House is in desperate need of renovation. Its owner, widower Joel, is struggling with life as a single dad. His plans to refurbish the house and garden suddenly seem like one burden too many.

Mum to twin girls, Lauren’s life is a constant juggling act. When her ex, Troy, turns up wanting to see his daughters, she’s determined to keep her distance. But it’s a lot harder than she’d imagined…

Then guerilla gardener Kezzie bursts into their lives, with her infectious enthusiasm to restore the gardens. But who is Kezzie? And what is she running away from?

As the warm days of summer draw on, Heartsease House ad its love-knot garden are transformed. But will Joel, Kezzie and Lauren be able to restore their own hearts?


It’s actually been a while since I read this book, but I thought this would be the perfect time to review it; up here in the Netherlands we’ve had non stop rain for four or five days, with today being the first sunny day again. I’m looking forward to summer tremendously, so I figured looking back on a wonderful summer-y read would be a nice way to take a break from studying.

At first glance The Summer Season seems like just another chick lit novel, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but that was what I was expecting from it. Turns out, there is a bit more to it than that, since this novel goes back and forth between the present time and the end of the 19th century/start of the 20th century. In other words, it’s a combination of a chick lit and a historical novel (mostly chick lit, though, to be fair). This historical aspect gave the novel just that little bit of extra depth to get me hooked on the story. Also, there’s a family tree and a plan of the town in the front of the book. That’s always a plus for me! I love looking at family trees, and plans of fictional places.

Like I said, the story alternates between the intertwined stories of Joel, Lauren and Kezzie and the story of Edward and Lily, about hundred years earlier. Edward and Lily are Joel’s great great grandparents and the reader finds out about their love story very gradually. It spans over thirty years and part of it takes place during the First World War. It’s quite an interesting reading experience to change between the present day modern problems of the three main characters and the war time problems of Edward and Lily. You come to love these two characters and I found it hard to stop reading because I wanted to know how their story would continue and end.

While the present day story was very fun to read as well, I think the strength of The Summer Season lies in the historical love story, or perhaps in the combination of the two. Williams has a very nice writing style and gives only bits and pieces of information about every character and their back stories which makes it hard to put down the book.

If you’re looking for a fun read for the summer, this is certainly a good pick, especially if you like small town, feel good stories with a little bit of depth.

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