By Nan Rossiter
ISBN: 13: 978-0758283917
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 4/29/2014
Format: Other (Audio)
My Rating: 4 Stars
UNDER THE SUMMER SKY is a beautiful and compelling story about the bonds of family and faith, set in the idyllic Cape Cod coastal area.
The story begins with a back story of Noah’s father, a complicated family (which I found very intriguing). His father had an affair with an older woman (his grandfather’s best friend), which left him the beach house. He meets a gal Laney, from Georgia (Pacey's Peaches and Pecans) during college and later Noah (from New England), and Laney marry. He a minister and Laney a school teacher—with five boys and two labs.
Their life is pretty much filled with everyday drama and life with a house full of boys. (I know as I raised five boys, and a golden retriever as well, so can relate—turns into 10 on the weekends when they have their friends over).
At the same time, Noah volunteers their home for his younger brother (Micah’s) upcoming wedding---causing some drama, as there are things in the home which need updated, one being the kitchen.
This heartwarming novel addresses many high charged subjects, and one being bullying. Their youngest son is experiencing bullying at school and on the bus—with serious consequences. In addition, Noah’s father (Asa) has a serious health scare, as does another family member, which causes a careful look at what life is all about, as well as some questioning their faith.
Maddie and Asa keep things quiet about his illness, as they do not want to upset the upcoming nuptials and planning. Nan Rossiter has a way of intertwining family, faith, grief, illness, love, cooking, and pets into her books ---- for a take away about the importance of family, honesty, new beginnings, and treasuring those you love and hold dear.
Rossiter raised the question, “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?” –death, bullying, illness-----as Noah’ sermons addresses through the novel, inviting us to believe that even though life is filled with tragedies, God is there to sustain and guide us. “Life is messy-there’s no doubt about it. It’s hard and it often sets us back on our heels. But that still doesn’t mean it isn’t glorious. God gave us this glorious life to see what we would do with it, and he gave us resilient spirits and a promise to always be with us through every struggle”. God knows the big picture, and we do not always know his ultimate plan—we have to Trust Him.
In today’s society, we need faith—and many authors are integrating light spirituality within fiction books---as just recently read book, Distortion by Terri Blackstock (a well know fiction best seller of thriller, crime, and suspense novels) crossing over, as Christian publishers were showing interest in the suspense genre and Christian publisher Zondervan has picked up a number of her books.
I enjoyed MORE THAN YOU KNOW, Rossiter's previous book, and chose the audiobook for UNDER A SUMMER SKY, read by Jennifer Van Dyck (good job). The book started out slow; however, as all the players were put in place, began to take shape ---for an inspiring, heartwarming light summer read.