Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Review: One Summer by David Baldacci

I was surprised to find another new David Baldacci release on Audible so soon after the release of "The Sixth Man". Upon reading the publisher's summary for the new release "One Summer" it was clear that this was not a typical Baldacci novel.

The Audible Publisher's Summary

From number-one New York Times best-selling author David Baldacci comes a moving family drama about learning to love again after heartbreak and loss.
It's almost Christmas, but there is no joy in the house of terminally ill Jack and his family. With only a short time left to live, he spends his last days preparing to say goodbye to his devoted wife, Lizzie, and their three children. Then, unthinkably, tragedy strikes again: Lizzie is killed in a car accident. With no one able to care for them, the children are separated from each other and sent to live with family members around the country. Just when all seems lost, Jack begins to recover in a miraculous turn of events. He rises from what should have been his deathbed, determined to bring his fractured family back together.
Struggling to rebuild their lives after Lizzie's death, he reunites everyone at Lizzie's childhood home on the oceanfront in South Carolina. And there, over one unforgettable summer, Jack will begin to learn to love again, and he and his children will learn how to become a family once more.

I have to admit that after reading the publisher's summary I was pretty skeptical about "One Summer".  I like the conspiracy and drama aspect of Baldacci's novels - tough characters, busy DC life, good guys, bad guys and some thrill. It was obvious that One Summer was not going to be that kind of book.

The Audiobook version of One Summer contains a forward written by David Baldacci (read by Ron McLarty) explaining the source for his story: Baldacci's son attending communion, getting older, life changing. And that the novel while out of his usual realm came to him quickly and had to be written.

One Summer is by and large predictable, but a soft summer read (or listen) nevertheless. Like Baldacci's "Deliver Us From Evil", had I not seen the author ahead of time, I would not have guessed One Summer was written by David Baldacci - for all of the same reasons, this time with a much more positive result.

I would definitely recommend this novel for a beach vacation - light enough not to take itself - or it's characters too seriously, but with enough depth to be compelling enough to keep picking the book up again and again. The characters are warm and sympathetic and the net result was a novel I thoroughly enjoyed. I'd imagine hardcore Baldacci readers (or perhaps Baldacci readers with a Y chromosome) might be disappointed with the lighter (and perhaps a bit feminine) nature of  the "One Summer" Baldacci.

A note of humor: You can't really take the Baldacci entirely out of the novel - One Summer was missing the conspiracy of the Camel Club and Maxwell series, but Baldacci did "get his drama on" in a couple of fight scenes - classic Baldacci.

One Summer was written by David Baldacci and published by Hachette Audio. One Summer was narrated by Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy. One Summer has a runtime of 8 hours 15 minutes and a release date of June 14th, 2011.

1 comment:

Ceska said...

I really enjoyed this but I honestly had to keep checking the cover of the book to verify that it had David Baldacci's name on it... It was so sad and emotional, I kept thinking it very like one of Nicholas Sparks works.