That was then…

For the Hempsteads, two sisters who married two brothers and had three daughters each, summers were idyllic. The women would escape the city the moment school was out to gather at the family house on Lake Waseka. The lake was a magical place, a haven where they were happy and carefree. All of their problems drifted away as the days passed in sun-dappled contentment. Until the summer that changed everything.

This is now…

After an accidental drowning turned the lake house into a site of tragedy and grief, it was closed up. For good. Torn apart, none of the Hempstead women speak of what happened that summer, and relationships between them are uneasy at best to hurtful at worst. But in the face of new challenges, one woman is determined to draw her family together again, and the only way that can happen is to return to the lake and face the truth.

The Summer That Made Us was a multilayered treat filled with family history and drama.

As we dig into the stories, we learn about a lifetime of family pranks and mistakes. Along the way, we get to watch the family enjoying one last summer in the place where so many of their childhood adventures took place. It was also where some bad things happened, but in the final summer, they get to put some old issues to rest, too.

The animosity between some of the family members was sorted…and there were answers to some of the questions of their lives as well.

A delightful story that wrapped up nicely, even though there were sad parts. A 4.5 star read.


  1. I read this right after it came out it and it was one I really forced myself to read even though I wasn’t really in the mood for it. Even then I remember enjoying it so I should go back and reread it. I think I would really love it.

    Liked by 1 person

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