Cicada Summer


Thank you to the author, Maureen Leurck, for a free finished copy to review. All opinions are my own.

“Some people don’t believe that houses have souls, but I know they’re wrong. Every person who lives in a house leaves an imprint on it, like a ghost that won’t ever leave. The tears, laughter, and smiles are all soaked into the surfaces of a house. The wood, the tile, the paint, all absorb the energy of those who live there. The house is forever witness to the peaks and valleys of those who live there. It knows the deepest sadness and the greatest pleasures of a family, and will always keep their secrets.”

When Alex buys a house in need of some serious repair, she may have gotten more than she bargained for. One thing after another continues to go wrong and before long it seems as if she’s bought the ultimate Money Pit. But her love for the house runs deep and she can’t give up on her vision of the finished product.

As she goes through the renovation pains of the house, she is also healing the pains of divorce within herself. Her husband, Matt, and her have been divorced for five years, yet every time they see each other to exchange their daughter, Abby, there still seems to be something there. As the house blossoms into it’s original beauty, will their love also rekindle? (Read official synopsis here.)

I thought this was a great beach read – it’s engaging, quick, and makes you feel good when you’re finished. It gives the reader hope that everything always works out just exactly as it’s supposed to. It makes the reader believe in love – even in circumstances that don’t deserve a second chance.

“Things and decisions are never as simple as they appear from a distance.”

And for all of those same reasons, the book didn’t work that great for me. I’m not always a fan of stories that can be perfectly packaged up in a pretty red bow. Yes, I want to believe in the fairy tale and the happy ending. But I hardly ever find them to be that realistic. This story was just too simplistic and predictable for me. I thought the characters and their interrelationships were flat and it didn’t make me care about a single one of them. I knew early on that Alex and Matt were going to end back up together, but it wasn’t in a redemptive sort of way. Honestly, how many women are going to still be pining after their ex-husband five years after they cheated on them? And if they are, it’s just not a character I can relate to in any quality sort of way.

If you’re a fan of Nicholas Sparks (I, generally, am not), this is the perfect book for you! It’s the beautiful story that proves true love can conquer and overcome all obstacles. Some people enjoy that plot, but as I get older and continue to get to know myself better, I’m realizing that I like the conflict and growth of characters more than I like the happy ending.

How about you? Do you want books to wrap up perfectly by the end, or are you ok with messy and difficult endings?

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