Review

Still Summer

by Jacquelyn Mitchard

STILL SUMMER opens with unknown criminals stealing a boat
and killing the captain. A young American man works with
Spanish-speaking Ernesto and Carlo. He hopes to earn enough money
running drugs to start a new life but meanwhile is disgusted with
his partners.

Next we meet Tracy, Holly and Janis, who are greeting high school
friend Olivia. Twenty years have passed, and while the other three
women have enjoyed staid, steady lives full of family and helping
careers, Olivia is a glamorous and wealthy widow who has been
living in Italy. Olivia is treating Tracy, Holly and Janis to a
luxurious Caribbean cruise during which they plan to gossip, drink,
sunbathe and eat.

Michel and Lenny are the co-captains of the Opus, a
gorgeous 53-foot sailboat. They work hard to make their ship worthy
of the huge sums of money passengers pay to cruise in it.

Tracy is both delighted and apprehensive when her college-aged
daughter, Cammie, agrees to fill in when Janis backs out of the
cruise. Tracy's fingers are crossed that she and Cammie can smooth
over their recently tumultuous relationship and become close once
again. Yet Tracy feels jealous over Olivia's friendship with Cammie
before they even set foot on the boat. Olivia has the money to buy
Cammie jewelry and other luxurious items.

Olivia is not the only person enamored of lovely Cammie. Michel can
hardly take his eyes off her, although he knows she is clearly off
limits. But Cammie is far from oblivious of Michel's charms. At the
same time, Olivia wonders if she won't make a connection with the
handsome sailor. Tension rises among the three, fraught with
jealousy and spite, as a love triangle develops. It is true love
for one of the women and Michel; lust only for Michel and the other
woman.

But the romantic maneuverings turn out to be nothing in comparison
to what happens next. The ladies' wonderful vacation turns into a
nightmare when they find themselves in the middle of the ocean
without Michel and Lenny. Although it is unimaginable that anything
could be worse than inexperienced women lost at sea with
malfunctioning equipment, when a strange boat approaches the
Opus, the terror intensifies. As their troubles continue
and grow worse, the true colors of each begin to be apparent.

Some may find the beginning of STILL SUMMER to be a bit
slow and bogged down with backstory. However, it's worth
persevering because Jacquelyn Mitchard is skillfully weaving a net
to catch the reader; halfway through the story, the book becomes a
true page-turner, nearly impossible to put down. Mitchard walks a
fine line between setting forth a multilayered story and juggling
too many characters and plot lines, but she manages to knit the
subplots together into an exciting, satisfying and enjoyable
whole.

Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon (terryms2001@yahoo.com) on January 23, 2011

Still Summer
by Jacquelyn Mitchard

  • Publication Date: August 23, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 0446578762
  • ISBN-13: 9780446578769