summer secrets. New York: St. Martin's Press. 308 pages. ****
"For as long as I can remember, I have always had the feeling of not quite fitting in, not being the same as everyone else." Throughout her life, Cat Coombs discovered that alcohol was the equalizer that helped her fit in and made her feel beautiful. Having spent her teenage years with a cold, distant father and a mother in a deep depression, did nothing to dispel Cat's feelings about herself. After her father's death, Cat's mother comes alive again and drops a bombshell on Cat, which changes her life forever. Cat takes stock of her life, decides to quit drinking and meets who she believes is the love of her life, Jason. Determined to discover the father she never knew and the sisters she didn't know she had, Cat travels from London to Nantucket. Convinced she has control over her drinking and one won't hurt, Cat shatters her fantasy life in one night. Fast forward to a sober, divorced, single mother with a thirteen-year-old daughter. Determined to make amends, Cat and her daughter, Annie, travel to Nantucket to confront Cat’s past and earn forgiveness.
Green spins a story on many levels that delves into the life of an alcoholic masking her feelings of inadequacy with the struggle to understand family secrets, betrayal and the need to be accepted. I enjoy Green's style of writing and really enjoyed reading this book. Cat has so many issues as do many of the characters in this book, but she is so likable that you will find yourself cheering her on and groaning when she screws up. Her tenacity is what is so endearing and her honesty about who she is carries the story until the end. It's a great beach and summer read.
Jane Green is the author of sixteen previous bestsellers. Originally from London, she now lives in Westport, CT, with her husband, children and a menagerie of animals. Visit her website at http://www.janegreen.com or join her Facebook at facebook.com/authorjanegreen.