An Intriguing Story About First Love, Family, Grief and Memory: Take a Peek at The Lost Summers of Driftwood by Vanessa McCausland

An Intriguing Story About First Love, Family, Grief and Memory: Take a Peek at The Lost Summers of Driftwood by Vanessa McCausland

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Phoebe has the perfect life, a glamorous job, a wonderful partner, who is soon to become her fiancé and a holiday in Hawaii on the immediate horizon. However, things aren’t always as they seem and when her relationship falls apart Phoebe doesn’t know what to do.

Faced with the prospect of returning to her life and continuing on alone, Phoebe escapes to the sleepy holiday town of her childhood. To the family cottage that has been passed down through the generations. It’s a place where she spent many happy summers with her three sisters and childhood companions Jez and Tommy. It’s also the place where her sister Karin took her own life.

Immediately memories come flooding back of Karin and then of Jez, Phoebe’s first love who has also returned to Driftwood with his wife and quite a few of his own problems. When Phoebe and Jez meet up their love reignites but Phoebe isn’t sure if it’s real and what about his wife Asha who is desperate to conceive?

Aside from this, Phoebe has finally been dealing with the grief of her sister’s death, but she can’t seem to reconcile what she knew of Karin and her life and her suicide. When Phoebe discovers that Karin was away on secret trips every other weekend and had a secret relationship, she begins to suspect that perhaps her instincts are right?

It’s not easy convincing her family that her judgement isn’t clouded by grief. And what about the new friends that she has made and community that has embraced her – someone must know something, and the secrets are beginning to become over whelming.

The Lost Summers of Driftwood is an intriguing story about first love, family, grief and memory. It’s also about reflecting on the important things in life and taking time out to take stock. The characters are relatable and it’s compelling reading.

Perhaps most memorable are the atmospheric descriptions of the mysterious river and landscape around Driftwood and the flashbacks to Phoebe and Karin’s childhood adventures with Jez and brother Tommy. There’s a beautiful balance created by slow, dreamy warm summer memories and the growing urgency around Phoebe’s discoveries.

Superbly atmospheric, this is still a fast-paced mystery that you’ll find hard to put down but then wishing that it wouldn’t end. I would highly recommend The Lost Summers of Driftwood for Summer reading. It’s been compared to the novels of Hannah Richell and Kate Morton, and it definitely delivers!

Buy a copy of The Lost Summers of Driftwood here.

About the author

Vanessa McCausland studied English and Australian literature at The University of Sydney. She has worked as a journalist for 17 years including as a news and medical reporter for The Daily Telegraph and entertainment reporter for mX Newspaper. Her work has appeared in news.com.au, mamamia, body+soul, whimn.com.au and she’s currently a weekend editor at kidspot.com.au. Vanessa has previously published a novel with Penguin Random House. She lives on Sydney’s northern beaches with her husband and daughter.

Reviews

Superbly Atmospheric: Read a Review of The Lost Summers of Driftwood by Vanessa McCausland

Review | Our Review

16 December 2019

Superbly Atmospheric: Read a Review of The Lost Summers of Driftwood by Vanessa McCausland

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      Publisher details

      The Lost Summers of Driftwood
      Author
      Vanessa McCausland
      Publisher
      HarperCollins
      Genre
      Fiction
      Released
      16 December, 2019
      ISBN
      9781460757680

      Synopsis

      An absorbing drama about broken dreams, first love and the mystery of a lost sister, for all fans of Hannah Richell and Kate Morton.'A cracking read' Maggie AldersonIs it more dangerous to forget ... or to remember?Phoebe's life has fallen apart and there's only one place left to go. Alone and adrift after a failed marriage proposal, she flees Sydney to her family's abandoned holiday cottage.On the slow-moving river Phoebe is confronted with the legacy of her older sister's suicide, a year before. Why did Karin leave a note written in flowers and walk into the water?Phoebe's childhood love, Jez, has moved back to the beautiful old house, Driftwood, one jetty down. He's married now and the home has become a refuge for an unlikely little community.As the river begins to give up its secrets, Phoebe finds herself caught up in old feelings and new mysteries.The Lost Summers of Driftwood is a story of lost loves, rekindled passions, tragedy and betrayal set against the backdrop of an idyllic south coast town.
      Vanessa McCausland
      About the author

      Vanessa McCausland

      Vanessa McCausland studied English and Australian literature at The University of Sydney. She has worked as a journalist for 17 years including as a news and medical reporter for The Daily Telegraph and entertainment reporter for mX Newspaper. Her work has appeared in news.com.au, mamamia, body+soul, whimn.com.au and she's currently a weekend editor at kidspot.com.au. Vanessa has previously published a novel with Penguin Random House. She lives on Sydney's northern beaches with her husband and daughter.

      Books by Vanessa McCausland

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