Chanticleer Book Review: Summer Girl, A Novel

Summer Girl by Linda Watkins – Coming of Age Fiction, Women’s Literature & Fiction, Romance Fiction

Summer Girl Cover


Title: Summer Girl

Author(s): Linda Watkins

Genre(s): Coming of Age FictionFriendships and RelationshipsRomantic Fiction

Publisher: Gatekeeper Press (2017)

Buy the book now at:Village Books, Amazon

Blue and Gold Somerset First Place Winner Badge for Best in Category

Visit an idyllic island off the coast of Maine, long before the days of the internet and social media, in Linda Watkins’ romance novel, Summer Girl.

Jake, a local teenage boy on Cutter Island meets Andi, who visits for the summer with her mom and stepdad. In this summer of 1965 the two hit it off almost immediately, spending every moment they can together.

But not long after they profess their love for one another, tragedy strikes, forcing them apart with little hope of ever seeing each other again.

Twenty years pass until the summer of 1985. Jake, now a successful writer, returns to Cutter Island with his wife and kids for the first time in many years. Andi also arrives with her husband and young son. Once they learn of each other’s presence on the island, all the memories of that summer long ago come flooding back. And so do the unanswered questions of what happened on that fateful night. But a different question burns in their hearts and demands to be answered. Does first love, true love, ever really die?

Watkins’ writing flows elegantly.

Andi and Jake look back on their past with nostalgia, heartbreak, and regret. Cutter Island and the characters on it feel immediately familiar, like old friends in a place we’d like to visit. This summer vacation on a quiet island community off the coast of Maine, with all the fresh seafood at an arm’s reach, comes to life. Past and present in Summer Girl take place in a time before the internet became ingrained into everyday life. Readers can take a momentary break to disconnect and truly get lost in the story.

Jake and Andi show their impressive amount of depth, and accurately portray the simple naivete of youth during the fateful summer in which they meet. Their romance stays grounded and realistic. Watkins’ beautiful writing paints a picture of inexperienced teenagers with honesty and vulnerability that makes their parting even more emotional.

Summer Girl tells a story of love against all odds.

True love leaves an infinite effect on someone’s life, for better or for worse. This story stands on love, hope, and perseverance. Accept the invitation to the remote Cutter Island and smell the mouthwatering preparations of the summer night’s lobster bake. Keep an eye out for Jake and Andi among the hungry locals and vacationers.

Summer Girl by Linda Watkins won 1st Place in the 2018 CIBA Somerset Book Awards for contemporary literary novels.

5 Star Best Book Chanticleer Reviews round silver sticker
Somerset Literary and Contemporary Chanticleer International Book Awards 1st Place Winner oval Gold Foil sticker

By Sarah Hinrichs

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