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Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
Killarney Traynor's debut novel Summer Shadows is a wonderful mystery story about three orphaned children and their Aunt Julia. After the children's parents are tragically killed in a car accident, Julia take custody of the children. She has no ongoing financial means to support the children and she is totally lacking in childcare experience. Nevertheless, the spunky young adult takes on Jack, Dana and Ron as she makes decisions which not only threaten to undermine the children's security, but also threaten to leave her heart in New Hampshire.
After losing her job, Julia decides to take the children to their parents' neglected vacation home in Franklin, New Hampshire. What she doesn't know is that she is about to sign up for the adventure ride of her life! Little Jack is afraid to leave Julia's side; Dana is lonely and scared; and Ron decides to take over control of his siblings as the 'man of the house.'
Traynor has beautifully portrayed the emotional turmoil of the children and, in particular, she takes the oldest child, Ron, from a position of control and fear to that of a child going through the grieving process. Julia herself is highly lovable and believable as a stand-in mother. The interest between Julia and her next-door neighbor Robert is one of those relationships you just love to witness. When a haunted house and a murder are thrown in for good measure, you know for sure you have a winner on your hands. Summer Shadows is the book you want to read without having the slightest interruption. It is human; it is delightful and it is beautifully written.