Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Life Without Summer by Lynne Griffin

Title: Life Without Summer
Author: Lynne Griffin
ISBN-13: 978-0312383886
Pages: 310
Year Published: 2009
Genre: Fiction
Date Finished: May 3

From the dust jacket: Tessa Gray's life changes forever when she loses her four-year-old daughter, Abby, in a hit-and-run accident outside her preschool. Once a vivacious, joyful mother and wife, Tessa now spends her days holed up in Abby's room, sleeping in her bed, clutching Abby's Tootsie Rabbit stuffed animal—anything to keep her memories close. As Tessa grapples with a terrible grief, made worse by the police’s insistence that the case is unsolvable, she finds solace in Celia Reed, the therapist her husband has pushed her to see, and in the journal she’s keeping, where she compulsively counts the “days without Abby” and maps out her plan for catching the driver who tore her family apart.

As Celia struggles to keep Tessa from getting caught up in a bleak crusade for answers, she finds that their sessions open the door to emotions that she’s spent years ignoring, forcing her to face the rising tensions in her life—her troubled teenage son, her alcoholic ex-husband, and her fragile new marriage. Celia begins to realize that she must come to terms with the tragic mistakes of her past and the choices that have led her family to their own brink of destruction.

A haunting portrait of two women whose lives converge unexpectedly when the answers one needs turn out to be the other’s only chance for peace, Life Without Summer illuminates connections between love, marriage, truth, and forgiveness no reader will forget.

First sentence: There's a thud as her little body collides with the steel fender.

Life Without Summer is the debut novel written by Lynne Griffin. Tessa is a young woman whose life stops when her daughter is killed by a hit and run driver. Tessa isolates in Abby's room, sleeps in her bed and slowly unravels as she tries to comprehend a life without her only child.

Celia is Tessa's therapist. While working with Tessa, Celia realizes her new marriage may not be as stable as she thinks and learns her son is battling his own problems. Meanwhile, her alcoholic ex-husband is still present in her life and her feelings towards him further complicates things.

Life Without Summer is written in journal entries. The narration alternates between Tessa and Celia. The reader is privy to each woman's struggle and pain as she tries to heal and move forward. I highly recommend this book.


  1. I just saw this book today on Amazon and thought it sounded good. Now I'll definitely put it on my wish list.

    As an added bonus - the author spells her name the same way I do!

  2. Lynne-

    I think you will enjoy this book.