The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman
Thirty years ago, something terrible happened to Luna’s mother. Something she’s only prepared to reveal after her death.
Now Luna and her sister have a chance to go back to their mother’s birthplace and settle her affairs. But in Brooklyn they find more questions than answers, until something impossible – magical – happens to Luna, and she meets her mother as a young woman back in the summer of 1977.
At first Luna’s thinks she’s going crazy, but if she can truly travel back in time, she can change things. But in doing anything – everything – to save her mother’s life, will she have to sacrifice her own?
Publisher: Ebury Press
Publication Date: June 29th, 2017
Confession time- I purely wanted to read this book based on the fabulous, classy cover. I love it! My thanks to Netgalley and Ebury Press for providing me a review copy.
Beautiful and ugly, romantic and heartbreaking, possible and impossible. The Summer of Impossible Things explores it all.
Watching my mother’s face for the first time since the night she died, I am altered. I am unravelled and undone – in one instant becoming a stranger in my own skin.
A mother has died, leaving behind two heartbroken adult daughters and utterly loving and committed husband. Luna and Pia, sisters, travel to Brooklyn to settle the affair of their mother’s birth home. With their arrival, Luna starts experiencing more than her scientific degree could possibly explain away and as all the past’s dark secrets start to unravel, Luna has a choice to make. Risk losing her soul for the sake of guaranteeing the life and happiness her loved ones deserve, or deal with the pain of loss, let go of everything she has experienced and simply accept life as it is and just move on.
Past, present and future- that is how we make sense of the world. But sometimes, the one thing we forget, for all of our rules, theories and ideas that we impose on this strange unfathomable place we miraculously exist in, is that we didn’t make the Universe. The Universe made us.
There are so many little details to this story, so much beautiful time stopping writing full of love and yearning, made even more intimate and impactful by the first person narrative from Luna’s POV.
But this is not just a love story entwined with time travel elements. A crime was committed in a small, tight knit community where everyone is well known and the mafia presence implies that a lot gets swept under the rug. It is this crime- bad, ugly thing- that Luna tries to prevent from ever happening to her mother which made her go on a downward spiral. But first, she needs to find out what exactly happened to her mother.
This process reveals emotionally painful episodes from the sisters’ childhood that they had forgotten, as well as unearth an ugly truth that places Luna into a position where she feels she should never have been. The second task is to master the time travel aspect, and third- she needs to find a way to alter the events for a best possible outcome for all involved.
Throughout this book, I had so many theories as to how the story was going to come to an end. Every page, turn of events and chapter brought about a flood of ideas and expectations to what I imagined the end game was going to be. The ending though? Was something I didn’t expect. The romantic notions throughout the book were so powerful and time bending, the ending, in a way, so unexpected for me, that I had an overdose warm fuzzy feelings and all the bad, the ugly and the dark was overpowered by the power of love. Love for your siblings, love for your parents, love for that special someone to share your life with. (I feel all sappy btw!)
Actually, there were a lot of things in this book I didn’t expect. Just when I thought we had a clear direction with the story, a little hint was dropped but I decided at the time it must have been put there to muddy the waters and I thought nothing about it until BOOM! Something I didn’t expect was revealed and I felt as if my brain and thoughts up until that moment of reading had to undertake a mental time travel journey of their own to add all the pieces together again! It threw me for a loop and I admit, some small bits are still fuzzy and questionably but explainable.
I have probably mentioned at some stage that I don’t do well with time travel plots. I think I just read a really poor example in the past to put me off. The Summer of Impossible Things redeemed time travel for me. It really did… Luna travels to 70s. The era of disco and cringy clothing. To the town where her mother grew up. The town where Travolta was filming a movie, a town where Luna’s father was a photographer… The two timelines were so well tied together, I didn’t feel like they should have been two separate books (like I had with me first experience of a time travel plot!). How and what triggered her time travel was really neat and executes beautifully on the feelings that this book was trying to portray. The Summer of Impossible Things made me feel like the impossible was possible!
All of the side characters were well thought out and had their role to play- the story fit together like a perfect picture with a good flow and great balance in between the present and the past. One of the characters, Michael, was that piece that made me wonder about all those possible different outcomes. I was wondering was he the one that would make the impossible even more impossible? Where he was involved though- those moments were as much exhilarating, as they were downright romantic and at times heartbreaking.
Stories are the only things that can ever really change the world. The stories that people believe in are the only ones that matter. Those are the stories that have the power to change everything we think we understand.
Overall: This book is about life that is no longer… but with time travel, could a life be again? It’s about making the right decision: to go and cause a Butterfly Effect risking one soul for the sake of others or risk living with regret. It’s about righting the wrongs… and maybe it’s even a bit about what it really means to sacrifice something, or someone that you really love for the good of other loves in your life. Yes, there is quite a lot of impossible in this book because of time travel but the impossible was beautiful! *****
So, are you ready to take a magical time travel journey? If yes, be prepared to face some dark demons of the past, but remember in this book- love does conquer!
Guest review contributed by Cover to Cover. Along with book reviews, Liis offers guest posts and author interviews. In the works are giveaways in the future.