Thursday, June 2, 2022

The Summer Daughter by Colleen French

The Summer Daughter
Book Summary

Summer fiction at its page-turning best for fans of Elin Hilderbrand, Holly Chamberlin, and Nancy Thayer! Colleen French, acclaimed author of The Summer I Found Myself, brings readers to Albany Beach, Delaware, where one woman must decide whether to seek out the daughter she gave up for adoption.

Each year, the start of summer brings bustle and much-needed tourist dollars to the little town of Albany Beach, Delaware. For Natalie Sullivan, this season is proving more stressful than others. It’s make-or-break time for the Irish pub her husband, Conor, recently bought with his brothers. Their two children are thriving, but she’s experiencing pangs of loss at the end of her childbearing years.
When sixteen-year-old McKenzie starts gushing about Bella, the new coworker at her summer job, Natalie suddenly finds her past and present in conflict. Bella, two years older than McKenzie, looks so similar that a customer remarks that they could be sisters. And when Natalie learns that Bella was adopted, she is propelled back into a heartbreaking decision. As a college student, Natalie became pregnant and put her baby up for adoption. Now, the more McKenzie talks about Bella, the more Natalie wonders: could Bella be her daughter?
Conor insists it’s a mistake to pursue the matter. Natalie’s child belongs to another family now; that was the agreement in the closed adoption. Still, Natalie can’t resist spending time with Bella. As their bond deepens, McKenzie accuses her mother of caring more for a stranger than for her, and Natalie begins imagining what it would be like to have Bella as a second daughter. What will the impact be if Bella really is her biological child? And if she isn’t, can Natalie embrace the joy and potential in her own family, without always wondering about what could have been? 

My Thoughts

The Summer Daughter by Colleen French has Natalie Sullivan living with her husband and two children in Albany Beach, Delaware.  Natalie learned some devastating news from the doctor.  It has her looking  at her life and the choices she made.  When her teenage daughter, Mackenzie introduces her new friend, eighteen-year-old, Bella to Natalie, she is shocked by the resemblance between the two girls.  When Bella mentions she was adopted, Natalie wonders if it is the daughter she gave up for adoption while in college.  Despite protests from her husband, Natalie spends time with Bella over the summer.  Natalie wonders if she made the right decision giving up the child and what will her other children think when they learn they have an older sister.  It is a summer of reflection for Natalie.   

The Summer Daughter introduces us to Natalie Sullivan who is upset after receiving news from her doctor.  It has her questioning different aspects of her life.  I was not a fan of Natalie who is an intense character.  She became obsessive about the daughter she gave up for adoption to the point of neglecting her husband and other two children.  McKenzie acted out frequently (lots of teenage angst and drama).  Natalie’s husband, Conor is a little too perfect (I am surprised there was not a halo over his head).    I found it hard to complete the book.  I found the ending to be a letdown especially after all the drama.  I was not a fan of the mother being labeled as crazy and nuts. Natalie did become focused on Bella and the idea that she was her adoptive daughter.  Natalie needed understanding from her family, and she was not getting it.  She is at the point in her life (late 30s) when you begin to wonder if you made the right choices.  Natalie’s medical issue is one of the driving forces in the story along with adoption and DNA testing.  I did not like some of the ageist comments regarding Natalie’s surgery.  I found The Summer Daughter to be just okay.  The Summer Daughter was not the right book for me.  I always suggest that readers download a sample so they can see if the book suits them.  The Summer Daughter is a family drama with surgery unease, pub pangs, daughter drama, genetic quandary, beautiful beaches, and an unexpected conclusion.

The Summer Daughter is available from Amazon*.  You can find Colleen French's other novels here (many of her novels can be read for free with Kindle Unlimited).  Thank you for joining me today.  Tomorrow I am featuring Clause of Death by Lorna Barrett.  It is the 16th A Booktown Mystery and it comes out June 7.  I hope that your day is filled with happiness.  Take care and Happy Reading!


The Avid Reader 

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