Judith D Collins
Under a Summer Sky
By Nan Rossiter
ISBN: 13: 978-0758283917
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Publication date: 4/29/2014
My Rating: 4 Stars
New York Times bestselling author Nan Rossiter transports readers to Cape Cod with a warm, compelling story of family, new beginnings, and finding the courage to love honestly and well…
The old Cape Cod house that Laney Coleman shares with her minister husband Noah and their five boys is usually brimming with cheerful chaos. There’s nothing fancy about the ancient kitchen or the wooden floors scuffed by the constant parade of activity and the clicking claws of their two Labrador retrievers. It’s a place to savor the sea breeze wafting through the windows, or sip coffee on the porch before another hectic day begins. This summer, life promises to be even busier than usual, because Noah’s younger brother, Micah, wants to hold his upcoming wedding on their property.
Though thrilled that Micah has found happiness after past heartache, Laney is apprehensive about having her home turned upside down. She has other concerns too—her youngest son is being bullied at school, and Noah’s father is not the robust patriarch he once was, in mind or body. As the bride and groom’s large, close-knit families gather, there will be joyful celebration but also unexpected sorrows and revelations, and a chance to store up a lifetime of memories during the fleeting, precious days of summer.
UNDER THE SUMMER SKY is a beautiful and compelling story about the bonds of family and faith, set in the idyllic Cape Cod coastal area.The story begins with a back story of Noah’s father, a complicated family (which I found very intriguing). His father had an affair with an older woman (his grandfather’s best friend), which left him the beach house.
He meets a gal Laney, from Georgia (Pacey's Peaches and Pecans) during college and later Noah (from New England), and Laney marry. He a minister and Laney a school teacher—with five boys and two labs.Their life is pretty much filled with everyday drama and life with a house full of boys. (I know as I raised five boys, and a golden retriever as well, so can relate—turns into 10 on the weekends when they have their friends over).
At the same time, Noah volunteers their home for his younger brother Micah’s) upcoming wedding---causing some drama, as there are things in the home which need updated, one being the kitchen.This heartwarming novel addresses many highly-charged subjects, and one being bullying. Their youngest son is experiencing bullying at school and on the bus—with serious consequences. In addition, Noah’s father (Asa) has a serious health scare, as does another family member, which causes a careful look at what life is all about, as well as some questioning their faith.Maddie and Asa keep things quiet about his illness, as they do not want to upset the upcoming nuptials and planning.
Nan Rossiter has a way of intertwining family, faith, grief, illness, love, cooking, and pets into her books ---- for a take away about the importance of family, honesty, new beginnings, and treasuring those you love and hold dear.Rossiter raised the question, “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?” –death, bullying, illness-----as Noah’ sermons addresses through the novel, inviting us to believe that even though life is filled with tragedies, God is there to sustain and guide us. “Life is messy-there’s no doubt about it. It’s hard and it often sets us back on our heels. But that still doesn’t mean it isn’t glorious. God gave us this glorious life to see what we would do with it, and he gave us resilient spirits and a promise to always be with us through every struggle”.
I enjoyed MORE THAN YOU KNOW, Rossiter's previous book, and chose the audiobook for UNDER A SUMMER SKY, read by Jennifer Van Dyck (good job). The audiobook started out slow; however, as all the players were put in place, began to take shape ---for an inspiring, heartwarming light summer read.