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Reviewed by Barbara Oliverio for Readers' Favorite
A vacation seems just the ticket for Jill Conroy in A Summer of Surprises by Judith Keim, so when her sister offers her the chance to house-sit a cottage on a sun-drenched beach, she packs both her physical and emotional bags and travels to Florida. What her sister forgot to mention is that Jill would be the housekeeper for the handyman doing repairs on the cottage, who then tells her there are other cottage residents: a nephew with his own daughter in tow. Jill adjusts to life with her new roommates while adapting to the blooming attraction to the nephew, the challenges of the insecure youngster, and new opportunities thanks to the kindness of the locals. Jill’s willingness to dive right in gives her the confidence to make changes in her career – and in her love life.
A Summer of Surprises is part of the Seashell Cottage series in which Judith Keim creates a peaceful setting for down-to-earth characters to experience meaningful life experiences. In this book, Jill beautifully manages to come to terms with her insecurities and also becomes a support system for people who are going through their life changes – eventually leading to her own happy ending. I enjoyed this quiet story of a pragmatic, realistic determination to overcome adversity and the development of a support network. This is definitely a book that can either be enjoyed under a beach umbrella or by a cozy fire, while dreaming of sunshine and calming ocean waves.