This is an Official Review by an Eye On Romance Official Reviewer
for Days of Summer, The
Date of Review: 06/19/06
In 1957 Rudy Banning, driving drunk with his artist wife, Rachel in the car, ran a red light and rammed into the car of up-and-coming rock-and-roller, Jimmy Peyton, killing everyone instantly. Like the ripples from a rock thrown in a pond, the repercussions spread to both families.
Rudy and Rachel’s young sons, Jud and Cale are sent to live with Rudy’s estranged father, magnate Victor Banning, a cold and bitter man. The two young boys must learn early on that Banning men never show emotion or weakness, and as a result forfeit their childhood happiness.
Laurel Peyton, 4-year-old daughter of Jimmy Peyton is left with her mother, Kathryn, who is devastated by the death of her beloved husband. Very soon Laurel and her mother move in to the home of Jimmy’s mother, who builds their home into a shrine to Jimmy. The result is a dysfunctional household, to say the least.
Precocious Laurel dreams of one day becoming a chef and ends up in Catalina in 1970. There she meets Cale Banning on a beach, where they are mutually attracted to each other. She also manages to catch the eye of his brother, Jud and very soon becomes the cause of a fierce rivalry between brothers. The relationship between these three individuals will never be the same.
Years later, Laurel’s grown daughter wins a design contract with Cale’s son, and nearly 50 years of secrets will be revealed. The past and all of the connections between the individual parties will be revealed.
Very believable plotting and character development kept this reader interested from 1970 forward. The beginning was a little too emotionally “over-the-top” for me. The grandmother building a shrine to her son gave me chills; while Kathryn’s emotional unavailability left me discouraged.
The characters were all very well drawn and “realistic”, the plotline was well developed and kept me turning the pages faster through the second half of the book more so than the beginning. The tragedy was not “thrown up” continually as a reminder to all of the emotional scars, but was a subtle hint in the background. The maturity and emotionally healing shown by the characters left me feeling very relieved.
The Days of Summer is another fine addition to Jill Barnett’s accomplishments.