A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Friday, September 26, 2014


The Summer WindThe Summer Wind by Mary Alice Monroe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Summer Wind by Mary Alice Monroe is a 2014 Gallery Books Publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Full disclosure: I have not read the other book in this series and I am going out and immediately rectifying that gaff. Having said that, this book obviously can be read as a stand alone. Naturally, reading in order is always the best way to go, but you can dive right in with this and get the gist of the situation.
I love stories like one. I was there on Sea Breeze, enjoying the stellar company and living through the transformation Dora goes through right along with her. There is a lot going on in this story and it's much deeper than what appears on the surface. I loved the dolphins and the emotional attachment Nate and Carson had to them. Animals are simply wonderful and I thought the dolphin story was a life lesson and cathartic as well. Dora and her marital home seem to be a parallel to one another. Her marriage is over and work has begun on dismantling all that remained of it.
When Dora's beloved grandmother invites her three granddaughters to visit Sea Breeze for the summer it's more than just an invitation. Maw Maw is thinking of selling and this could be the last chance to spend time there. Over the years the three half sisters, Dora, Harper, and Carson have drifted apart. Maw Maw hopes to bring them closer together and is not above using some mild manipulations to do so. In this second book of the series the main focus is on Dora and her special needs son, Nate. Nate is autistic and has Asperger's Syndrome. When Dora has a medical scare she is forced to make some changes in her life and her Maw Maw and two sisters are determined to encourage her the best they can.
Carson is sober now, but still not as mature as she should be by this time, but she does a really wonderful thing for Nate and Dora. A shocking development though could bring things into focus for Carson once she manages to accept it.
Harper is a few years younger and has a cold mother and wealth which brings many suitors, none of them really interested in Harper, but more in her royal lineage and money. Maw Maw will also learn her best friend Lucy is going through a health crisis and not only will her granddaughter's need her, she will need them as well.

This is the perfect book to take to the beach but it's a good book to just curl up with in the afternoon with big glass of iced tea. I enjoyed watching Dora come alive for the first time in her life. She slowly blossoms with the help of an old boyfriend and her sisters. She learns to give her son a little breathing room and stop living her life “by the book” and doing what is expected of her. There is drama, romance, laughter and tears, human frailties and emotional twist. Overall a very compelling and thought provoking read. This one is recommended to those who enjoy Women's fiction of Chick lit especially. 4.5 stars

New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe found her true calling in environmental fiction when she moved to coastal South Carolina. Already a successful author, she was captivated by the beauty and fragility of her new home. Her experiences living in the midst of a habitat that was quickly changing gave her a strong and important focus for her books.

Mary Alice Monroe writes richly textured books that delve into the complexities of interpersonal relationships and the parallels between the land and life. Monroe’s novels are published worldwide. She has achieved many lists, including the New York Times, USA Today and SIBA. She has received numerous awards, including several Readers’ Choice Awards, RT Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2008 South Carolina Center for the Book Award for Writing and was featured at the National Festival of the Book. In 2011 THE BUTTERFLY'S DAUGHTER won the International Book Award for Green Fiction.

Mary Alice is an active conservationist and serves on the Board of the South Carolina Aquarium, The Leatherback Trust, and Charleston Literacy Volunteers. She is a frequent speaker at book festivals, conferences, and private events.

Monroe lives with her family on a barrier island outside Charleston, South Carolina. Her new novel, BEACH HOUSE MEMORIES (May 2012), is the prequel to her bestseller THE BEACH HOUSE and completes her first trilogy.

For more information, videos, contests and more, visit her official website: www.maryalicemonroe.com.

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