Cover Image: One Summer in Savannah

One Summer in Savannah

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Terah Shelton Harris writing is fluid, descriptive, and well developed. Her words cut deep into my soul, weaving deeply rooted pain into a beautiful story. Bravo!

Was this review helpful?

Thank you sourcebooks landmark for the eARC of this book! This is a viscerally complex story amid a beautiful setting, rich with interesting characters. Ultimately, I did struggle with the concept a bit in terms of believability of the plot, and it became distracting. A well written book that ended up missing the mark.

Was this review helpful?

Book Review: One Summer in Savannah
Stars: 3 x 5
Author: Terah Shelton Harris @terahsharris
Publisher: Source Books @sourcebooks
Thank you @netgalley for this ARC

Sarah Lancaster and her daughter Alana live a quiet life in Maine.
Sarah is from Savannah but left there years ago after a brutal sexual assault.
Sarah is a poet and lyricist and her daughter is pretty much a math genious. Sarah and Alana are living a wonderful life when Sarah receives news that her father is ill.
He has a brain bleed and she needs to heads home to Savannah to say goodbye.

Jacob is also back in Savannah. Jacob had testified at his twin brother’s trial for assaulting Sarah. His testimony help put his brother David in jail. Because of this his relationship with his family is not so great.

Sarah stays to help her Dad at his book store and this allows him to get to know his granddaughter. During this time Sarah runs into Jacob and their two worlds collide.
Jacob soon realizes that Alana is his brother David’s son.

Sarah and Jacob both have to deal with the past and learn forgiveness. Slowly Sarah and Jacob start to become closer and they will learn love is greater than all.

The author writes about a difficult subject which was hard to read about at times.
The subject of rape, resentfulness along with forgiveness is hard for any woman. This was a well written story. The one problem I did have was the relationship between Sarah and Jacob as Jacob is his brother’s identical twin. I had to come to the realization much like Sarah did that just because two people look alike they are very often different.

#bookstagram #instabook #bookphotography #bookporn #igbooks #ilovereading #bookhaul #bookhoarder #bookaddiction #bookstoread #whattoread #fortheloveofbooks #bookblogging #bookpics #weekendreads #bookrecs #booknerdproblems #bookpictures #bookstagram #amreading #booksbooksbooks #instablog #booknerds #bookphotos #bibliophile

Was this review helpful?

This was a very difficult read, I think, for personal reasons. I'd had high hopes but soon realized this was going to be a personal struggle. I just couldn't imagine the struggle to separate what you see with the physical instinct I would think your body would have (whether you want it to or not). But I did like the characters and the story otherwise. I can see the potential here and will look for more from this author, this one just hit me personally and put me in a tough spot to enjoy it.

A huge thank you to the author and publisher for providing an e-ARC via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book

Was this review helpful?

I was finding it difficult to connect with the writing style, which felt contrived. Then we got to the romance aspect, and ick. There's just no way I can conceive of a woman falling in love with the identical twin of her rapist.

DNF

Was this review helpful?

This was a deep, thought-provoking book. This was an interesting story about forgiveness and evolution. I was impressed as I believe this author was a debut author. It kept my interest as to how the characters’ lives would intertwine. I have this book as a 3.5 stars rated down because there seemed to be one too many convenient coincidences. All in all, a solid book.

Was this review helpful?

I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley. This one is going to stay with me for a while.

Sara Lancaster left her home in Savannah, GA to keep her child safe. The child was a product of a rape and laws in that State would protect her. Eight years have passed and now Sara needs to go back to Savannah. Her father is dying and she needs to go home to see him and introduce her daughter to him, in person. While back in Savannah, Sara needs to keep herself and her daughter out of sight. The wealthy family who's son committed the rape, still lives in the city and wields power.

Jacob Wyler is the twin brother of the rapist. After the trial - he left town also. Received his college education and took work for jobs that would keep him far from Savannah. One night in Alaska, he "sees" his dead sister and she tells him it is time to go home, back to Savannah.

As their two worlds collide, Sara has to learn to trust again and Jacob needs to learn how to be part of his family.

This book was amazing. I did not like the poetry, it slowed me down as I have never been a fan, but I get what the author was trying to do. Amazing read - I want to read whatever comes next!!

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed this unique take on a romance. I felt pulled into the story and it was a very thought provoking premise. I had difficulty buying into one characteristic of the father but by the middle of the book I was able to look past it. The book is memorable and I find myself thinking about it even though it has been months since I read it. 4.25 stars. Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley, Sourcebooks Landmark, and the author for sharing this ARC with me in exchange for my honest feedback!

WHAT A DEBUT.

Sara’s life was changed forever at 18 years old and
she had to leave home to find peace and escape all of the small town gossip. Eight years later, Sara gets a call that changes everything - her Dad is dying and he needs her to come home to Savannah to spend one last summer together.

Sara makes the trip back but she’s not alone - her daughter Alana is with her and finally gets to spend time with the family she’s never met. Back at 18, Sara was sexually assaulted and became pregnant as a result. After the trial, her attacker was found guilty and sent to prison. Ever since, Sara has been raising her daughter in secret far away from her small town, in fear of her assailant’s wealthy and powerful family finding out and trying to fight her for custody.

Then there’s Jacob - the twin brother of Sara’s attacker. He has come home to Savannah after years of being away for work and wants to try and make amends with his family. He’s been on the outs with his mother and brother in jail ever since he testified against him during the trial, resulting in the jury reaching the guilty verdict.

Over this special summer in Savannah, Sara and Jacob reconnect. Even through all of the pain they’ve been through, Sara allows Jacob to spend time with his niece that he’s just now meeting for the first time.

As their relationship deepens, loyalties are trusted and each character is trying to find forgiveness in their heart for multiple people in their lives. Can they get through their traumatic past and pave a new way forward?

One Summer in Savannah is absolutely beautiful and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a thought-provoking and deeply emotional read. Of course this incredibly sensitive subject matter won’t be for everyone, but this story is ultimately one of forgiveness, hope, and redemption.

Was this review helpful?

The Author's note at the beginning of the book was so well thought out and considerate that I didn't expect the story to involve the victim falling for the identical twin brother of the man who assaulted her. Having never been through this trauma I cannot imagine what life would be like in the after, but I have a very hard time believing I would be able to look at the man's identical twin and want to be around him. When I separate this fact, I liked the overall story line and the building romance between Sara and Jacob. The book has a very large forgiveness theme, so unfortunately you cannot separate the assault from the romance. Like most romance books, the ending tied up nicely with a bow, which I liked however I found it to be completely unrealistic. Not to mention the book ends before we find out what happened with her father's health, so the ending felt incomplete.

Alana is a lovely, quirky, highly intelligent child and she was by far my favorite character in the book. Sara's father speaks only in poetry and I found myself skipping over all of his speaking parts as I could not relate to the poetry.

Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

The story behind this book was a very interesting concept to consider. How would you handle it if you had been raped, gone through a very painful lawsuit where your rapist was convicted and sent to jail, and then you find out you are pregnant. The main character in the story decides to leave her hometown and move far away and never let the rapist or his family know that there was a child. Then 8 years later she has to go back to help care for her ill father and face the demons she left behind. A very good thought-provoking story.

Was this review helpful?

“𝑭𝒐𝒓𝒈𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒏𝒆𝒔𝒔, 𝑰’𝒗𝒆 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒏𝒆𝒅, 𝒊𝒔 𝒍𝒊𝒌𝒆 𝒂 𝒅𝒐𝒐𝒓. 𝒀𝒐𝒖 𝒄𝒂𝒏 𝒐𝒑𝒆𝒏 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒇 𝒖𝒑 𝒕𝒐 𝒊𝒕 𝒐𝒓 𝒄𝒍𝒐𝒔𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒔𝒆𝒍𝒇 𝒐𝒇𝒇 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝒊𝒕 𝒂𝒕 𝒂𝒏𝒚 𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆. 𝑾𝒆 𝒄𝒂𝒏’𝒕 𝒓𝒆𝒘𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒆 𝒉𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒚 𝒐𝒓 𝒄𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒈𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒐𝒖𝒕𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒆. 𝑳𝒊𝒇𝒆 𝒊𝒔 𝒂 𝒔𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒄𝒉𝒐𝒊𝒄𝒆𝒔. 𝑨𝒏𝒅 𝒘𝒆 𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒊𝒏 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒕𝒉𝒐𝒔𝒆 𝒄𝒉𝒐𝒊𝒄𝒆𝒔 𝒘𝒆 𝒎𝒂𝒌𝒆.”

If Ashley Winstead puts it on my radar, I’m going to read it! Terah Shelton Harris’ debut novel exceeded my expectations.

This story won’t necessarily be for everyone. Part of the narrative is from the perspective of a woman whose child was born as a result of sexual assault. Harris writes that she wanted to explore a topic rarely covered in fiction and that there is a person who lives Sara’s story every day. It is a difficult read in many ways that presents a reflection that it isn’t just a criminal and a victim who pay the price for a crime. Told in two point of views, Sara and Jacob (who grapples with his brother’s actions), I found the story equally compelling from both perspectives, especially as they are pulled together by their shared trauma and search for belonging. Harris’ prose is gorgeous, both descriptive and full of emotion. Sara’s father only speaks in poems, mirroring his own granddaughter’s giftedness and not always being understood by the world. The characters are unique, and they have own traits that make them memorable; I especially loved Sara’s daughter, Alana, and the idea of found family. Do you have to suspend some belief for the redemption arc? Yes; does said redemption come quickly in a few places? Also yes, however that didn’t take away from the complexity of forgiveness, and moments of love between the characters.

One Summer in Savannah is a story of motherhood, forgiveness, mortality and family. Terah Shelton Harris creates a nuanced and complex story that I have been thinking about long after the last page. Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark for the ARC!

Was this review helpful?

OH wow I really enjoyed this one. The story was crafted so well. All the characters felt so realistic and their emotions were so great.

Was this review helpful?

This is a charming debut that had me interested in the characters and curious about the story. I would read more by this author. Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC. I voluntarily leave this review.

Was this review helpful?

This was disappointing for me. It took me a long time to get into it, and a long time to finish - I probably wouldn't have if not for having to write a review. I didn't connect to the characters or the writing style. I found the pacing to be off and parts of the story - such as the father talking only in poetry - super grating and frustrating. A very intriguing premise that didn't quite hit the mark for me.

Was this review helpful?

I love Savannah GA, so I was looking forward to reading this book. A beautifully written, descriptive and moving account of a single mother who bears a child from rape, moving on, forgiving and living for her future and her child's future. Sara strives to provide what her daughter Alana needs to thrive in life, while trying to protect her from the situation of her conception and birth, along with those who may harm her. Sara must return to care for her ailing father, along with his ailing business, but along the way goes from feeling alone, to feeling supported and surrounded by love. The trauma begins to heal as she moves forward, letting go of what cannot be undone but also not allowing the crimes to be forgotten or brushed under the rug. She holds those who hurt her accountable for their offenses, but does not allow them to control her future. I look forward to reading more from this author!

Was this review helpful?

I choose this novel because Savannah is one of my favorite places in the U.S. As I started reading this book, I wasn't sure I wanted to continue since it has an awful event taking place-a young girl being raped. I did continue reading and I am glad I did. Sara who becomes a mother at 18 years and is forced to leave her home,Years later she returns to her home city to take over the family bookstore. She now has to hide her daughter from the rapist family who still live there. Can she overcome the fear of having her daughter exposed as a genius, and develop a love relationship with the rapist 's brother? Read this book to discover what Sara does; and what you would do if you were in Sara's shoes? Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this book prior to its publication.

Was this review helpful?

I did not finish this one, it was not for me, I couldn't relate to the characters, and just did not care for the story.

Was this review helpful?

Sara left Savannah eight years ago to escape horrible memories, but is suddenly called back when her father falls ill. The reminders of her tragic past that she collides with during her time there will force her to face all of her ghosts.

This book reminds me a lot of my experience while reading HELLO BEAUTIFUL. Complex relationships, family, tragedy and loss, and forgiveness. The slow build and a very heavy and emotional read. If you need a really emotional, tear-jerker, and one that makes to imagine going through impossible scenarios, pick this one up. It’s well worth the challenging themes, but be warned of the depth and intensity.

Was this review helpful?

After his devastating health diagnosis, Sara must come home to Savannah to help her father. She hasn't been back for 8 years, since the night the changed her and since she found out she was pregnant with her daughter, Alana- the night of her sexual assault. Sara is desperate to protect Alana, who is incredible smart and outgoing from the outside world, especially from the Wyler family, the family her attacker. Jacob has also come back to Savannah to pick up the pieces of his shattered, once prominent family. A chance encounter with Alana makes Sara and the Wyler family's world collide in unexpected ways.

The process of forgiveness is interesting and I like how Harris took it on. However, I felt like she also wanted to write a romance novel and I don't think those fit together. I would have enjoyed Sara and Jacob's romance story separate of Sara's forgiveness of the Wyler family. I loved the character of Alana. I thought Harris seemed to get the precociousness of an intelligent 8-year-old.

Was this review helpful?