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One summer can change a family forever


What if one email could change everything, altering everything you know to be true in ways you never could have imagined?


That's exactly what happens to the family at the centre of Jamie Brenner's The Forever Summer.

At 28, Marin Bishop's life has taken exactly the trajectory she imagined for herself: She has a promising career at a fancy Manhattan law firm, she's engaged to a man who would turn most women's heads, and she's the apple of her father's eye. Everything is going as planned until, after a moment of weakness, she finds herself unemployed and single, the circumstances of both developments inextricably intertwined. Just when Marin thinks things couldn't get any more complicated, she is contacted by a woman claiming to be her half sister. In a moment of uncharacteristic spontaneity, Marin agrees to travel with the woman to meet "their" grandmother, a woman Marin didn't even know existed. They start the summer at their grandmother's beachfront bed and breakfast, and over the course of the weeks and months that follow, more and more secrets begin to unfold and everything Marin knows to be true comes crashing down around her.

I will admit that this is not the kind of book that I would immediately be drawn to, but I'm glad I gave it a go. It was an interesting exploration of the meaning of family, and how secrets, when they finally come to light, can change everything in unimaginable ways. The Forever Summer is the kind of book that should be read in a beach chair, under the shade of wide-brimmed hat, while sipping on something tall and rocky with ice. It's a beach read with substance, the kind of book that makes you miss the people and places within its pages once you have devoured the last word.

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