An Endless Summer
by C.J. Duggan
Published July 11th 2013
Sean looked out over the lake, squinting against the sunlight. He turned to me, his expression sobering as his eyes flicked over my face in a silent study.
“Come on Amy, I saved you once, I’ll save you again.”
I met his stare unflinchingly. “I don’t need saving.”
A wicked grin formed slowly. “Don’t you?”
After a rebellious summer night that almost claimed her life, Amy Henderson – the Onslow publican’s only daughter – is sent away to suffer a fate far worse than any other punishment:
Three years on, a now nineteen-year-old Amy returns to Onslow for the summer. What once was a cauldron of activity with live bands, hot meals and cold beers, the Onslow Hotel now lies dark, deserted and depressing. All fond childhood memories of loitering on the hotel stairs and eavesdropping on customers’ colourful conversations are in the distant past.
How had her dad let it come to this?
With the new threat of putting the Onslow up for sale, Amy reluctantly turns to a local tradesman for help: Sean Murphy, the very same Onslow boy who saved her life all those years ago. With his help and that of some old friends, the task is clear: spend the summer building the hotel back up to its former glory or lose it for good.
In an endless summer, Amy soon realises that sometimes in order to save your future, you have to face your past, even if it’s in the form of a smug, gorgeous Onslow boy.
It's four years on from when Tess and Toby stole our hearts, and Amy Henderson, after being shipped off to boarding school, is back in Onslow and ready to return to her home that is the Onslow Hotel. But her once home is no longer the same, run down and seemingly missing its soul. Amy's plans of a relaxing summer soaking up the sun take an unexpected turn as she fights to restore the hotel back to its former glory. With the unexpected, and annoyingly ever present, Sean Murphy, Amy fights for her childhood home as she tries to convince her parents that it is worth keeping.
I really like the way that Duggan made the jump in the timeline and fast-forwarded it ahead 4 years. Other than bringing Amy out of her awkward early teen years, it also enabled the characters from The Boys of Summer to grow and have new back-story behind them for us reader's added enjoyment. Choosing one of the lesser characters from book one to continue on the story of Onslow, was a bit of a surprise to me at first, and I wasn't sure how I felt about it. By the first few chapters I understood the creative genius behind Duggan's decision. This way, she allowed us to hang onto all of our favourite characters and continue to see them grow, whilst bringing forward new characters with their own unique story-line. Props to Duggan!
I think what I loved most about An Endless Summer is that Amy's ultimate goal wasn't to win over a guy or that she was in love (read lust) with a guy she'd barely spoken to. No, Amy's story isn't focused on the fluffy dribble that most seem to be these days, but on a goal of holding onto her childhood home and community icon. She fights for something that is real and important to her that not only benefits her, but her community too. Now don't get me wrong, I adore the love story that goes on between Sean and Amy and there are plant of adorable - and a-dork-able! - moments between them, both the amusing kind that will make you laugh out loud, and the touching kind that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Duggan takes the Summer Series to a whole new level in An Endless Summer that grips you. It's a clear-your-day-because-you-won't-want-to-put-it-down kind of book that I just love, love, LOVE!
5 out of 5