First she gave up dreams of college to care for her parents who had been injured in an accident, then when her grandmother retired Summer willingly took over the small children's bookstore that had been her grandmother's dream. Despite being a delightful place, the bookstore barely eeks out a living, and it certainly isn't the social spot for twenty and thirty somethings. But Summer has never complained about her circumstances. Summer's grandmother, who has just found out her heart condition has worsened, realizes that Summer has become too complacent in her tiny life and she intends to push Summer "out of the nest" before it is too late. Granny creates an odd list of things she wants Summer to do before the elder woman's death, and naturally, Summer cannot refuse.
First on the list is a request to find Martin, who as a young boy had been Summer's constant companion. When his mother had died, Martin had been adopted and then left the neighborhood. Granny is sure that the smart, but quirky boy has become a man who would see Summer's merits, and she hopes Martin will aide Summer in completing her list.
Everything I've described so far sounds like the preparation for a light hearted romance, perhaps laced with a little self discovery. That there is a small chihuahua who takes a prominent role makes the likelihood of a fluffy story even more likely. But Anita Higman's newest novel can't be easily pegged. Yes, there is a summer romance; yes, Summer does experience some awakening; and yes, the dog adds a fun element. Martin's story isn't as easily explained. He's a little odd and brings with him a complicated family story and two brothers who seem to be as cruel and empty of love as ever witnessed. While I expected a realistic contemporary romance, what I got had almost the element of a magical fairy tale - one in which we see why the "wicked step brothers" are wicked, and where love changes all.
I received a copy of Summer's List from LitFuse for my honest review.
Here is a link to more information about Anita Higman and her newest novel, including more reviews by readers. http://litfusegroup.com/author/ahigman