The Start of Summer

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Pub Date 02 May 2019 | Archive Date 19 Aug 2020

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'Walsh writes with a warmth and humour about the disparate lives of four new mothers over one summer in Dublin. This is a touching, enjoyable tale of friendship in all of its complexities.' Anne Griffin

A long, hot summer has just begun. Three new mothers gather in the park, in the shade of the trees, forming a tight circle. They keep each other close, sharing gossip, parenting wisdom and deep secrets.

Gracie appears to have adapted to motherhood with ease, but secretly she wonders if the cost - to her job and her relationship - is too high. Free-spirited Lina is a single parent by choice, but finds that her decisions have consequences, for her daughter and for herself? And shy Jane is facing the battle of her life, against the man who should be her rock, and with the echoes of a painful decision she made years before.

When a lonely new mum asks to join them, the circle opens to let her in. But Elise's arrival provokes mixed emotions amongst the other mothers, as each is forced to confront her true self and the fact that life will never be the same again.

'Walsh writes with a warmth and humour about the disparate lives of four new mothers over one summer in Dublin. This is a touching, enjoyable tale of friendship in all of its complexities.' Anne...

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ISBN 9781473660779
PRICE £13.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 31 members

Featured Reviews

This is my first book by the author.
The story starts of with Elise hoping for an invite to join the mommies under the tree.

Throughout the book the author meticulously develops the characters.

One may seem like they have the perfect life, but do they?

Thank you Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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The Start of Summer by Alison Walsh
Starts with the women sitting in the shade during the summer discussing how they love their young children...
They get along well talking about their weddings, births, etc.
Each of the women get their own chapters and we learn all their secrets about the spouses/boyfriends and the children...
Love how they are there for one another, in small groups to help them overcome not only their fears but get on with their dreams.
So many have been abused and mistreated and some are on their own, others have fathers for their babies that help out and some that don't.
Like getaways the women take with the children. Such real life situations that are dealt with.
Ends with acknowledgements.
Received this review copy from Hachette Books Ireland via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.
#TheStartOfSummer #NetGalley

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Fantastic, well written different! Who would imagine a beach novel written taken place in Ireland? I am so happy NetGalley introduced me to such a promising writer.

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Received a copy of this book through NetGalley.
Excellent book could not put it down,liked the way the book was divided into the four characters giving us a picture of their lives and as a group.
Well written plot,liked the way the characters developed and found themselves throughout the book.
This book should be on your reading list this year also great book for a book club lots of various topics can be extended and brought out,a book you can grow with.

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Thanks to netgalley for an early copy in return for an honest review
What a FANTASTIC 5 star read warm inviting captivating from the first page keeps you engrossed till the very end love the Dublin setting will be reading more books by this lady.

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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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