Published: 29th June 2017
It is only after her mother’s death that Luna begins to discover her secrets. While in New York to settle the estate, something impossible happens to Luna. She finds herself in 1977, face to face with her mother as a young woman, in the week that changed her life forever. If time can be turned back, can it also be rewritten? Luna becomes convinced she can save her mother from the moment that will eventually drive her to suicide. But in doing anything – everything – to save her mother’s life, will Luna have to sacrifice her own?
Thank you to Ebury for kindly sending me a review copy.
The narrative begins with sisters, Luna and Pea who have travelled to New York in the hope that they’ll discover some answers about who Luna’s biological father is. After their mother passed away from an overdose, they discover that she had recorded some tapes with hints about how she felt during her life. I thought the plot was interesting from the opening chapter, but when Rowan began to write about Luna having the ability to time travel, I just knew that this book was going to be brilliant.
“…we didn’t see it coming in time to save her, and I can’t forgive myself for that.”
When Luna has her first snippet of time travel in New York, she’s taken back to the summer of 1977 when her mother and father met for the first time, the only difference being is that they get to meet Luna as a new English friend. I absolutely loved this aspect of the plot; it was full of adventure and reminded me a little bit of the time-tuner from Harry Potter as well as the film About Time. When the sisters visit their mother’s childhood home together in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn; they receive a box full of answers – mainly about who Luna’s real father is and the secrets which her mother has been keeping since the black out night back in ’77. It was sickeningly heart breaking to read about but when Luna talks to an old family friend, it all adds up as to why her mother never went to church again.
“I’ve lived all my life with this story and it has never gotten any easier. But for you, too, it’s going to be very hard for you.”
As I continued to read The Summer of Impossible Things, the plot developed incredibly in front of my eyes. Luna was a strong, female character, willing to do anything to save her mother even if that meant destroying herself in the process. I absolutely loved the contrast between present day and the past as Rowan managed to capture the most wonderful details in order for readers to realise that time had changed. Not only did Luna do the impossible but she changed her entire world and the outcome of the narrative was beautiful.
“This is when my wonderful, terrifying, tragic, beautiful and impossible journey began, and here is where it will end.”
I can’t quite grasp how much I adored this book. From start to finish, Rowan had my attention and I just couldn’t stop reading. The characters were full of life, the plot was magical, the writing was magnificent and every chapter lead to something more wonderful. Not only did Rowan create a truly fantastic narrative, but she also spoke about a topic which isn’t mentioned in books enough and that is rape. She conquered the subject with a head held high and despite not knowing that it was going to be part of the plot, I really admire Rowan for having the courage to write about it.
Read this book. You won’t regret it.