Review: The Summer Without You by Karen Swan

I had the privilege of meeting Karen Swan when she came for a visit last winter to chat about her holiday book, Christmas at Claridge’s. Karen has written three wonderfully charming holiday books, but had some exciting news for us: she was working on a summer book for Summer 2014.

Now, I love my Karen Swan Christmas books, but I just couldn’t wait to see what happens when she replaces Christmas trees and perfect presents with beautiful beaches and patio cocktails. So I dove into The Summer Without You as soon as I possibly could.

The Summer Without You is completely charming, light and funny at times, but also really moving, AND on top of all that it touches on environmental issues and even has a mystery to solve. It’s the ultimate summer read.

Here’s the premise: Rowena’s long-term boyfriend decides he needs to take a 6-month adventure… without her. Ro, naturally, is thrown through a loop and heads to New York to photograph a wedding. While there she is offered the chance at a house share in The Hamptons; her own little adventure. She takes it and throughout the summer meets a quirky cast of characters, gets involved in The Hamptons drama, and figures out who she is without her boyfriend.

I loved The Summer Without You because it really is about defining yourself and figuring out what makes you happy. Rowena’s journey is one that I think everyone can relate to, and really emphasizes the importance of having your own passions and goals, and a good support system around you too. I loved the characters Karen chose to surround Rowena with and I hope they’ll pop up in more stories. I also loved learning a bit more about The Hamptons and that glamorous lifestyle. Overall, this book was a total escape and made for a perfect read on a sunny afternoon. It reminded me a bit of Emily Giffen’s Something Borrowed or Under the Tuscan Sun. Highly recommended!

I can’t wait to see what Karen Swan writes next!

Shannon

Follow me on twitter @shanparsons & @HarperCollinsCA.

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