One Summer
by David Baldacci
Amazon rating
Critique Circle rating 
PublisherGrand Central Publishing
Release Date2011-06-14 (added to CC 29 Aug 2012)
Amazon Sales Rank5,201
From #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci comes a moving family drama about learning to love again after heartbreak and loss.


It's almost Christmas, but there is no joy in the house of terminally ill Jack and his family. With only a short time left to live, he spends his last days preparing to say goodbye to his devoted wife, Lizzie, and their three children. Then, unthinkably, tragedy strikes again: Lizzie is killed in a car accident. With no one able to care for them, the children are separated from each other and sent to live with family members around the country. Just when all seems lost, Jack begins to recover in a miraculous turn of events. He rises from what should have been his deathbed, determined to bring his fractured family back together. Struggling to rebuild their lives after Lizzie's death, he reunites everyone at Lizzie's childhood home on the oceanfront in South Carolina. And there, over one unforgettable summer, Jack will begin to learn to love again, and he and his children will learn how to become a family once more.

Member Reviews
(11 Jan 2013)
Not Baldacci's usual thriller fare, but a unique plot about a man who miraculously heals himself from an "always fatal" disease (which remains unnamed), then tries to heal his family and their life after the unexpected death of his wife.

The story dragged a bit in a few spots, but the characters were more than stereotypes of the grieving husband, distant teen daughter, sensitive pre-adolescent son, crusty old ex-Army friend, etc. Dialogue sparkled at times, but in a few places I thought some of the characters acted too far out of character, almost to the point of disbelief.

The climactic scene was well-done, if a little bit predictable, and hinted at a divine intervention to save the day. But if one suspends disbelief from the time the MC miraculously cures himself, the rest of the story is within the realm of plausibility. Well worth the read to watch a master storyteller at work in a different genre.
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