REVIEW: One Summer Between Friends by Trish Morey

In brief: Sarah, Floss and Jules used to be great friends. But after a series of events, they are no longer on speaking terms. When Sarah is forced to come home to Lord Howe Island, will things change?

The good: Interesting stories for each of the main characters.

The not-so-good: Sarah’s mother knows how to wound with words.

Why I chose it: Thanks to Harlequin for the copy.

Year: 2020

Pages: 348

Publisher: Harlequin Mira (Harper Collins)

Setting: Lord Howe Island and Sydney, Australia

Rating: 7.5 out of 10

I’ve really enjoyed Trish Morey’s category romances, so I was pleased to receive a copy of her latest novel about three ex-friends, their problems and the island they’ve called home. It’s a sold summer read that screams to be read with an iced coffee!

Sarah, Floss and Jules all grew up together on Lord Howe Island and were the best of friends until an unforgiveable moment turned them into bitter enemies. Now they can hardly stand the sight of each other, but recent events find them back on the island. Sarah thought she’d escaped the island, but after she is passed over for a promotion and her mum has an accident she returns home to look after the family store. Floss and Jules never left. Floss has everything she wanted – marriage to Andy and five children. But now Andy is acting distant and both she and her kids are moving in different directions. Jules is happy with her unexpected daughter, but a shock diagnosis means she needs to confront the ‘what ifs’ in regard to her family.

The story is told from the perspectives of all three women, gradually filling in the background of their pasts and the events that caused the destruction of their friendships. It also reveals how each woman is grieving for something she feels she has lost – motherhood, health, love and youth. What I enjoyed was just when I thought I had their histories straight, there was a nice curveball thrown into the plot and I had to think again. Seeing their fractured relationships slowly come back together (with realistic setbacks along the way) was also a highlight. The subplot involving a romance with a relieving policeman, Noah, is also good fun as he’s a cute character!

I did find it harder to relate to Floss and Jules than Sarah
in One Summer Between Friends. For me, I found their choices to remain on the island from childhood to adulthood a bit puzzling. I could relate to Sarah more, who had studied and chosen a career and life away from the island due to a multitude of factors. I just wondered why they hadn’t chosen to expand their horizons in one way or another. But possibly the biggest character of all is Lord Howe Island itself. It’s written beautifully as a tranquil but fascinating place that opens its arms to tourists (not an easy thing to do). The inconveniences of its residents are also portrayed well, such as having to travel to the Australian mainland for medical procedures and waiting for supplies.

A fun light read, perfect for a lazy day.

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