Friday, May 6, 2011

Summer's End-Kathleen Gilles Seidel

Summer's End
Kathleen Gilles Seidel
Morrow, May 3 2011, $12.99
ISBN: 9780062004673

Fifty-eight year old Widow Gwen Wells (mother of two) and widower Hal Legend (father of three) meet at a community dinner and begin dating. Both are lonely as each was married for a long time to a spouse who died. Thus the two lonely souls soon marry.

However, their adult children have doubts about this merger. The two families gather at a lakeside cottage with plans to meet and mingle. No television is in this remote place in order to force the brood to comingle. Fighting and fussing, the kids are disappointed with their respective parent. Gwen’s thirty year old single lawyer daughter Holly has doubts. Hal's daughter Phoebe (mother of four) and his son Ian (father of three) have a difficult time accepting a replacement for their beloved mother while Gwen’s other offspring Jack is attracted to the third Olympic gold medal ice skater Amy.

This reprint of an engaging 1999 tale focuses on the mixing of two families due to the respective maternal and paternal leaders marrying. The ensemble cast (to include his grandchildren) comes together in a terrific summer of squabbling and bonding. Each person is different with flaws that make them seem real. Although there is no earth shattering tension, contemporary fans will enjoy Kathleen Gilles Seidel’s deep look at relationships when two families become one by Summer’s End.

Harriet Klausner

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