The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux

The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux This book is Sheila at Bookjourney’s favorite book, so a reason for me to request it via Bookmooch.

The Summerhouse: What it is about

In The Summerhouse, three women who share a birthday meet up again after 19 years. They only met once, on their 21st birthday in New York and for their 40st birthday they decided to come together again to celebrate and find out how each has fared.

At 21, Leslie was a promising dancer, but she married a man from her home town and became a housewife and mother. Madison was hoping to become a model but went back to her ex-boyfriend after he had a horrific accident. Ellie wanted to be a  painter but ended up marrying a selfish husband, and became a very successful author.

In the cottage they share, the women talk about their lives and  how different it is from what they had expected at 21. After they’ve been shopping they find that they all got a business card from a psychic medium. Just for fun, they decide to see her. Madame Zoya gives them the option to relive a few weeks of their life and the chance to live a different life from the original path they had chosen.

We follow the women as they relive some of their past, and find out whether they will be giving up their current life for a different one.

The Summerhouse: What I thought

It wasn’t hard at all to suspend disbelief about the women being able to go back to their past lives. In contrast, I found it extremely unlikely that three women, who had briefly met years ago, would want to spend a long weekend together to celebrate their birthdays.

Notwithstanding that, the book was very good. I loved to read about the different lives the women were leading and the bit about the past that they got to relive.

In all cases, there was men trouble although it was obviously the women’s fault for hanging on (or returning to) these unsuitable men. I liked the way the men-women relationships were discussed. In one particular story, there was a bit of a romance that seemed like any woman’s dream (i.e., unlikely to happen in reality), but given that the whole story was unlikely, I was happy to accept it.

It was most definitely not a romance novel, but a story exploring male-female relationships.

Rating: 4/5

I got this book: from Bookmooch

I read this in: English, the original language

Number of pages: 391

First published: 2001

Genre: women’s fiction, contemporary fiction

ExtraL Since I read this book, I also read the sequel Return to Summer House. You can find my review HERE.

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

7 Responses to The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux

  1. SSQQUUEEE!!! So fun to read your thoughts on this book. I agree – how are these three girls who chance meet on their birthday at the license bureau suddenly going to meet up again for their birthday?

    What made the book amazing was the going back in time and the choices they were able to remake… my book club had one of our best discussions to date around this read.

    • leeswammes says:

      I thought so too, Sheila. The going back in time and getting a chance to change life was so interesting. I can easily believe that makes a good discussion in a book group. I’m looking forward to reading Return to Summerhouse sometime, although usually sequels aren’t quite as good as the original. Have you read it?

  2. I think that many of us of a certain age aren’t where we expected to be when we were younger – I can definitely relate 🙂 Thanks for the review!

    • leeswammes says:

      What was especially nice, Julie, was that in The Summerhouse people were going back in time to change some of their life. I’m not sure what I would change (if anything) but I liked the idea.

  3. Pingback: Morning Meanderings… Judith from Leswammes’ Blog – The Books Worth Looking At Again | Book Journey

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