Cover Image: The Start of Summer

The Start of Summer

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Member Reviews

So, so not the read I expected.  I wanted light, fun, friendships and maybe a bit of drama/romance.  I got a very heavy read about domestic violence, unwed mothers and the heartache of being a first time Mom and the trials that go into having a newborn.  Super heavy stuff for a summer read.  I ended up putting this down and then forcing myself to finish.  I am glad I did.  I needed the see the characters come full circle and they did.  No one got a happy ending, but they flourished in their circumstances and I needed to make sure that happened.
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I really enjoyed this book!  A great story line that kept me hooked and excellent main characters.  I would highly recommend this book.
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I must have started this book 10 times and couldn't get into it.  I finally stuck with it and found that the characters were all newish mothers, still recovering and learning how to deal with motherhood.  A worthy subject but not the summer reading romance I expected.

Thanks to Hachette Books - Ireland and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I enjoyed reading this book. Its a good summer read and I recommend it to others. You will enjoy it.
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A lovely story I was drawn right in love the setting the characters the friendships.A special read an author I will be following recommending.#netgalley #hatchetteIreland
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The Start of Summer by [Walsh, Alison]This is my kind of summer reading. I like to read books in the summer that I want to pick up and read again at any time.
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Gracie,  Jane and Lina are three friends that met at antenatal classes and now meet up in a Dublin park with their babies.   Elise is lonely and sees the three women and longs to be able to join their little group but will she upset the balance of friendship and will they all welcome her?

A good story told by each girl in alternating chapters, so were get all of their backgrounds and the problems in their home lives and how that affects the interactions between them
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Not sure what I expected but definitely got more than I bargained for. I expected just a typical chick lit type read but this was much more. 
Different characters each bringing their story in one novel. Such brilliant characterisation it’s a great read about how people struggle to know where they fit. It’s wonderfully written, though provoking and captivating. 
A very interesting read.
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More than just a beach read ! Unique characters , with unique stories. I was  pleasantly surprised by how deep this book was! Enjoyed it thoroughly.
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I had read another of this author's books while in ireland and loved it so couldn't wait to read this. She did not disappoint! Sailed through this charming story set in Dublin.
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Whilst this is not the most exciting book I’ve ever read, it was a nice easy read. Told from the point of view of 4 friends, the story is very much about self discovery. The characters were realistic and the scenes well described. A great summer read.
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I thought I would enjoy this book when I started reading it but, unfortunately halfway through I started to get a little irritated it’s the characters and found it quite a slog to get through it.
It is a shame because I thought this would be a lovely summertime book to read which I do like to r ad this time of year.
I will look out for other books by this author and give them a try but, this one was not for me.
My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to r ad this book in return for an honest review.
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The Start of Summer by [Walsh, Alison]This is my kind of summer reading. I like to read books in the summer that I want to pick up and read again at any time.

This book revolves around four women who are each trying to find out who they are after having a child. I like how each character evolves throughout this book which is set in Dublin. 

In the beginning of the book three of the women had already formed a tight group, Gracie, Jane and Lina. Elise sees them at the park and tries to join the group. The others know each other from antenatal classes so Elise has some mountains to climb to become a part of the group.

I feel that the author is able to keep the book moving by following each character and adding unexpected twists throughout. This book tugged at my heartstrings as I could relate to each and wanted to make their stories part of me, even though each woman's story was unique.

This is the first book by Alison Walsh that I have read but I will look forward to reading more in the future. 

I received this book from NetGalley and Hachette Books Ireland in exchange for my honest review.
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Wow! What a fantastic read. I enjoyed the unusual setting for a mommies club book (Ireland!) and really liked the characters. A quick fun read. 


Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for my ARC. All opinions are my own.
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I felt this was a bit hard to read. Some chapters were written in third person and others in first. I know this isn't uncommon but for some reason it threw me off in this instance. 
Story was relatable and I connected with a few of the characters but it just fell a bit flat for me.
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I have to admit to a sense of apathy to this book as the author didn't seem to understand the power of true women friendship. Who always boost each other up. They seemed to backstab each other and didn't support during times of turmoil (abuse) Not my favorite summer read.
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Being a mom is hard.  One of the hardest things imaginable.  Which is why it is so important to have a group of women who understand your struggles.  When Elise, a lonely mother sees a group of women in the park, she approaches them.   The women all met while in antenatal class, and share the common bond of motherhood.  When they allow Elise to enter their circle, she must come to terms with her own identity. 
In this group, we also meet Jane, who at first appearances has it all together.  The wife of a prominent attorney, we find that her life isn't as perfect as it seems.  As the book learns more about her life, their friendship becomes strained as they try to figure out how to help her.
The next mother in the group is Gracie, a single-ish mom who must balance between the pressures of her job and the demands of motherhood.  She does not like that Elise has joined the group.  In fact, she finds everything about Elise to be annoying.  
The last mother is Lina, a struggling single-by-choice mother. Having been raised by only her mother growing up, she doesn't think she needs a man to help her. She is struggling to find her place in the comedic showbiz world.

First of all, I have to say that I do not feel the cover of the story matches the storyline.  The beach is only referenced in two sections of the story.  I must admit, the cover is part of what drew me to the story, so I was mildly disappointed to see that it didn't take place there.  I think a more accurate book cover would be one that shows a group of women in a park, as this was the main setting of the story.  

As for the actual story, it took me a little bit to get sucked into the storyline.  Part of that was the narrative in which it was written.  Each woman has their own chapter, but Elise is the only one whose story is told in the first-person point of view. The other women's stories are told in third-person.  Once I was able to switch my thinking between characters, I felt more drawn to the story.  

The situations and dynamics of the story were relatable.  There were parts of each character's story that I felt drawn to, and that I could connect with.  Overall, the story was enjoyable.  It was the first story that I had read by Alison Walsh, but I will be reading more.

I received an advanced digital copy of this book from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Great read. The author wrote a story that was interesting and moved at a pace that kept me engaged. The characters were easy to invest in.
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When I picked this up, I anticipated a light-hearted, chick flick, summer read. However, this novel offers something more as we discover how four different women struggle to maintain (and even rediscover) their identities, after giving birth.

The cover of this novel really appealed as I do like a good story set on the beach. Yet, this does not feature massively in the plot and, whilst it is a significant setting within the story, the novel is more about character development and understanding their backgrounds. Set in Dublin, I loved the infrequent references to Irish culture and I feel that this helped ground the novel to its setting. Overall, it’s a decent, winning combination as the backdrop to four different characters.

The readers follow four women who have just given birth. Three are already friends - Gracie, Jane and Lina. Elise joins the group after spotting them meeting in the park. The three women already know each other from antenatal classes and Elise expresses an intense desire to make friends and fit in. Her desperation at making a connection with these women is recognisable; not wishing to rock the dynamics of the group but also desiring a friendship with each of them.

I could really relate to Elise’s narrative and also the struggles that Lina and Gracie experience. At the same time, the writer adds unexpected curve-balls into the narrative and this helped to add extra depth to the story. Moving this beyond a typical chick flick novel, Walsh shows that there is more to this book than initially meets the eye. It was this factor that made the book most enjoyable because it felt like Walsh was doing something different.

The main feature of this novel is characterisation. We follow the different women as they struggle to find their place again in life and society. This “coming of age” drama meant that this was certainly not a funny novel but instead one that encouraged me as a reader to internally reflect on my own experiences as a mother. I really liked how contrasting all the women were and believe this will broaden the narrative’s appeal; readers will recognise different elements of themselves in the four mothers.

The different stories are captivating and simply that: different. As their relationship as a group is tested, you can still see how they are growing as individuals. I really enjoyed seeing how each of them blossomed as a result of the group friendship and delighted in learning about their backgrounds. The ending is satisfying and feels like it comes “full circle”. I like how it concludes on the beach as I feel that this justifies the cover, and even title, of the novel.

My first read by Alison Walsh and I am really glad to have had the opportunity to discover her as a writer. This was an interesting read and I will certainly look for more of her books in the future.

I received a free copy of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

When a new mom comes across an already formed mom group who met while pregnant will she be able to join in and feel accepted? All 4 of them have their own secrets and as they embrace the challenge of motherhood  will their group remain? 


A well written book with lots of real aspects of life & motherhood.
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