Title: A Summer to Remember
Author: Erika Montgomery
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: May 11, 2021
Page Count: 320
My rating: 3 stars
About the book:
Best Debut Novels of Spring and Summer Library Journal
For thirty-year-old Frankie Simon, selling movie memorabilia in the shop she opened with her late mother on Hollywood Boulevard is more than just her livelihood―it’s an enduring connection to the only family she has ever known. But when a mysterious package arrives containing a photograph of her mother and famous movie stars Glory Cartwright and her husband at a coastal film festival the year before Frankie’s birth, her life begins to unravel in ways unimaginable.
What begins is a journey along a path revealing buried family secrets, betrayals between lovers, bonds between friends. And for Frankie, as the past unlocks the present, the chance to learn that memories define who we are, and that they can show us the meaning of home and the magic of true love.
Experience the salty breeze of a Cape Cod summer as it sweeps through this sparkling, romantic, and timeless debut novel tinged with a love of old Hollywood.
A Summer to Remember by Erika Montgomery is a women’s fiction title that has a touch of romance. The story is told by switching timelines and narrators. The main characters is thirty year old Frankie Simon who has never known her father and it follows her on her quest for information about who he may have been.
Frankie had grown up with only her mother as family in her life with the two running a Hollywood memorabilia shop. Frankie’s mother always had her own rules of how to handle the merchandise which included never opening a letter meant for someone else. When Frankie finds letters tucked away in her mother’s things that seem to be from a famous movie star couple along with a photo of them and her mother she begins to wonder how her mother knew them.
As Frankie looks into when and where the picture was taken that could lead her to who to return the letters to she finds that it seems to be from the year before she was born. Frankie wonders if anyone involved would be able to shed some light on who her father might have been so she decides to visit Harpswich, Massachusetts to see what she can find in the small beach town.
I have to say normally when reading a novel with old family secrets to be uncovered I find myself completely intrigued with the drama unfolding. However with A Summer to Remember I never felt that swept away by the past or the present of the book. This one seemed to be very slow moving and didn’t really catch me up in the story the way I prefer and I couldn’t quite put my finger on the why. The characters were nice enough and I understood the pull Frankie had to the town but I just didn’t feel that myself which is unusual with this type of setting so that made this one just a so-so read to me.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
A card-carrying cinephile and native New Englander, novelist Erika Montgomery lives with her family in the Mid-Atlantic where she teaches creative writing and watches an unspeakable amount of old movies. A Summer to Remember is her debut novel.