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Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite
When readers hear the name David Baldacci they think of intrigue and thrillers. Baldacci’s "One Summer" will leave readers with mixed emotions. Die hard Baldacci fans that cannot deal with change will be disappointed. However, my reaction was one of great excitement. Baldacci offers readers a plot that is completely different from anything he has published before. For me, "One Summer" brought out a wide variety of emotions. I laughed at the antics of little Jackie; I felt the pain of Jack, Mickie and Bonnie; I cried; I laughed; and at times I became angry.
Our story began on a sad note. Former Ranger Jack is very ill and has no hope of surviving. His goal was to survive until Christmas. With only five more days until Christmas, each day he wrote a letter to his beloved wife Lizzie. A tragic auto accident took Lizzie’s life and left three children motherless. Family members separated the children and left Jack alone to die. Miracles do happen, Jack is healed. He works hard to regain his strength and his children. Against the wishes of his angry and grieving mother in law, the family is reunited. Jack moves his family from Ohio to a place in South Carolina, where Lizzie grew up.
There is so much more to this story but I do not want to give away too much of the plot. Baldacci has created a tale that kept me enthralled to the very end. This review is on the audio format. The music that was used to heighten the sense of danger was magnificent. I could see the hint of bits of mystic happenings in this tale. I felt as if Lizzie was looking down from heaven and watching over her family. I liked the characters. If you have ever raised a teenage daughter you just might see a bit of your child in Mickie. Jack and Lizzie had a unique relationship, a marriage made in heaven. Readers grieve alongside him and cheer him along. Cory and Jackie had smaller parts in the plot but they also had distinct personalities. I loved the characters Liam, Susan and Sam. Bonnie was a unique character; I could understand her anger and her grief. I believe Baldacci captured the essence of a mother grieving for her adult daughter.
I cannot say enough about this book in such a short review. I loved it and hope David Baldacci will write more books along this line. I was reminded of Nicholas Sparks. I highly recommend placing a box of tissue next to you before beginning this wonderful book.