‘A Sweethaven Summer‘ by Courtney Walsh was a delightfully refreshing story, full of mystery … and eventually forgiveness. I have to admit that I was drawn to this story initially because one of the main characters is named Suzanne and it mentioned scrapbooking in the promo text. While reading the story I found out the character and I shared a love for art, scrapbooking, and middle names too! But that’s about where the direct similarities ended.
However, one of the overarching themes in the book is one I think most adults can relate to – the regret of not staying in touch with someone we were once close to. In the case of this story the main characters mother (Suzanne) has died suddenly and the three other young women pictured with her mother in numerous old scrapbook pages she finds in her mother’s house are her only hope to finding out who her father is. What she discovers along the way to discovering her father will change her life for the better – in more ways than one!
This debut novel was an enjoyable discovery. I look forward to seeing what this new author writes next.
Book Cover Review
The photos and colors chosen for this cover are perfect. The story is closely tied to a beach town and the connection between 4 teenage girls who scrapbook. So a beach photo and usage of a rich blue and sandy beige are very appropriate. However … I do wish that the cover artist had added a few more elements to the cover to simulate actual scrapbooking which is a major part of the story. It could easily have been done, and just seems like a lost opportunity to draw in scrapbooking fans to this story. As it is right now, the cover just appears to be a beach read about one summer captured in time on a single photo.
I do like the font choices though. They have a modern flair to them that helps to ground the cover as a contemporary novel, allowing it not to be mistaken by potential readers as a historical.
* This book was received by the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for review. More information about the book and it’s author are below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Courtney Walsh is a published author, scrapbooker, theater director, and playwright. Her debut novel, A Sweethaven Summer, will be followed by two additional novels in the series. She’s also written two papercrafting books, Scrapbooking Your Faith and The Busy Scrapper. Courtney has been a contributing editor for Memory Makers Magazine and Children’s Ministry Magazine and is a frequent contributor to Group Publishing curriculum. She works as the PR Manager for Webster’s Pages from her home in Colorado, where she lives with her husband and three kids, who range in age from 4 to 10. Courtney drinks entirely too much coffee.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Suzanne’s daughter, Campbell, journeys there in search of answers to her questions about her mother’s history.Suzanne’s three friends-Lila, Jane, and Meghan-were torn apart by long-buried secrets and heartbreak. Though they haven’t spoken in years, each has pieces of a scrapbook they made together in Sweethaven. Suzanne’s letters have lured them all back to the idyllic lakeside town, where they meet Campbell and begin to remember what was so special about their long Sweethaven summers. As the scrapbook reveals secrets one by one, old wounds are mended, lives are changed,
and friendships are restored-just as Suzanne intended.