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The Summer of Impossible Things

The Summer of Impossible Things

Blurb

Thirty years ago, in Brooklyn something terrible happened to Luna’s mother that changed her life forever. Something she is only willing to reveal to her daughter Luna and Pia after her death.

Still reeling from the unexpected death of their mother, the sisters decide to visit her mother’s birthplace in order to settle her affairs and discover more about the woman they loved so much.

Once they are there something impossible and magical happens to Luna and she meets her mother as a young woman in the Summer of 1977.

But when every action has a consequence, can Luna change her mother’s life without erasing her own?


Our Review

When I chose to request The Summer of Impossible Things I had never head of Rowan Coleman, having finished it I will be keeping an eye out for other books by her.

Thirty years ago, in Brooklyn something terrible happened to Luna’s mother that changed her life forever. Something she is only willing to reveal to her daughter Luna and Pia after her death.

Still reeling from the unexpected death of their mother, the sisters decide to visit her mother’s birthplace in order to settle her affairs and discover more about the woman they loved so much.

Once they are there something impossible and magical happens to Luna and she meets her mother as a young woman in the Summer of 1977.

But when every action has a consequence, can Luna change her mother’s life without erasing her own?

The Summer of Impossible Things is an enthralling book and kept me mesmerised from start to finish.

The book begins in the aftermath of the sisters watching a tape from their mother which turns Luna’s world upside down as she informs them that the father she dearly loves is not her biological father.

“Watching my mother’s face for the first time since the night she died, I am altered. I am unravelled and undone – in one instant becoming a stranger in my own skin.”

In the same tape their mother goes on to attempt to explain some of the reasons behind her suicide eight months previously. Something which happened back in the summer of 1977 in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

“You see, once a long time ago, something really bad happened to me, and I did something terrible in return. And ever since that moment, there has been a ghost at my shoulder, following me everywhere I go, waiting everywhere I look, stalking me. And I know, I know that one day I won’t be able to outrun him anymore.”

She tells Luna that if she looks very carefully for her she will find her in the building she grew up in and a moment she never truly left.

Luna and her Pia travel to Bay Bridge in Brooklyn ostensibly to sell their mother’s former home, in reality they are mostly there because she asked them to come.

They decided not to include their dad in the truths their mother had revealed to them. Luna brings along her father’s camera so she can take pictures of places that would mean something to him because they were places he used to hang around with their mother.

Luna is a thoroughly intriguing character. She is clearly grieving for her mother, but because she is a physicist and is used to looking at things from a practical perspective, she finds it hard to express exactly what she is feeling. Add to that Pia’s unreliable sobriety and Luna feels she is better to keep it bottled up.

Luna muses on this when Pia asks her how she is coping:

“If I were to answer that question accurately I’d say full of rage and grief, terrified and lost, unsure and unable to find a sure-footed place to stand. But I don’t. Our beloved mother died from an overdose, and, even after a lifetime of a family that revolved around her depression, we didn’t see it coming in time to save her, and I can’t forgive myself for that.”

Luna has recently split up with her boyfriend Brian after she discovered he was seeing someone else, she wasn’t overly upset though as she knows she never truly loved him anyway. She acknowledges that it probably didn’t help that she had admitted to him that since she was a little girl she has been able to see people, places and things. ‘Impossible things’ that aren’t meant to be there. She thinks it is a sign of some form of mental illness or possibly the symptom of some physical illness.

The girls are staying with in the lodging house where their father was staying when he first met their mother. The lodging house is run by Mrs Finkle, a woman who proves to be a valuable friend to them.

Luna is in the street on her own when she feels something strange begin to happen.

“I’m moving, I’m torn away from where I was, and I don’t know how it’s happening, only that it is.”

The next thing she knows in her mother’s former home with a group of young people who look like they are dressed up for a 1970’s costume party. It Is then that she notices that one of them is her mother as a young woman.

Riss, as she is known in this time, is a happy and carefree young woman who is a far cry from the woman she knew whose smile always hid her sadness. Luna finds herself wondering what happened to this enigmatic character to change her personality so much.

As the frequency of these episodes increases Luna realises that things she does in this reality can influence change in her present reality. What if she can save her mother from the terrible incident and stop her from taking her own life?

Rowan Coleman has written a beautiful story full of surprises. The Summer of Impossible Things certainly doesn’t disappoint.

 

 

Our Final Rating...

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