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One Summer Paperback – December 27, 2011

619 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Legal thriller fixture Baldacci (Deliver Us from Evil) churns out a creaky, contrived family drama about Jack Armstrong, a terminally ill family man just praying to make it to Christmas. Sadness abounds, much more so when Jack's wife, Lizzie, is killed in a car wreck while on a medicine run. Plans are made by Jack's mean mother-in-law Bonnie: the three kids will get divided up among aunts and uncles across the country, and Jack will be put into hospice. Miraculously, Jack's health turns around, and he's able to reclaim his kids and move the brood from Ohio to the South Carolina shore where Lizzie grew up. There, he tries to reassemble the family and learn how to be a single parent, and just as they're beginning to settle into a functional family again, Bonnie sues for custody of the kids. Yes, it possesses all the subtlety of a dog fight, but it's also choked with pap ("No matter what you do, no matter how hard you fight, life sometimes just doesn't make sense") and so sappy you'd think Baldacci was earning a commission on each tear jerked. (June)
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"If you know David Baldacci only as a thriller writer, you need to read more of David Baldacci. In One Summer, he writes as beautifully and insightfully about the pathways of the human heart as he does about the corridors of power. The twists and turns in this hugely emotional and unforgettable novel come from the resilience of one father's spirit and the revelation of the love that binds a family, in this world and even beyond. If you read one book this summer, make it One Summer."―Lisa Scottoline, author of Save Me

"Just when you think David Baldacci has a permanent bird's eye view of the Pentagon from Air Force One, he surprises us all with a beautifully told story of the fate of a family devastated by loss and healed by love. One Summer has it all, humor, grace and redemption, delivered with humanity and wisdom in the capable and sure hands of America's great storyteller."―Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of Very Valentine and Lucia, Lucia

"One Summer is a beautifully written story about family, redemption and hope. Baldacci demonstrates why, regardless of genre, he's one of the world's foremost storytellers."―Richard Paul Evans, #1 bestselling author of The Walk and The Christmas Box

Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (December 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446583154
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446583152
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (619 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #617,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Baldacci published his first novel, ABSOLUTE POWER, in 1996. A major motion picture adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 29 novels for adults, all of which have been national and international bestsellers; several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated into more than 45 languages and sold in more than 80 countries; over 110 million copies are in print. David has also published four novels for younger readers, including the #1 bestseller THE FINISHER, which is in development for feature film.

David received his Bachelor's degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, after which he practiced law in Washington, D.C.

While David is involved with several philanthropic organizations, his greatest efforts are dedicated to his family's Wish You Well Foundation®. Established by David and his wife, Michelle, the Wish You Well Foundation supports family and adult literacy in the United States by fostering and promoting the development and expansion of literacy and educational programs. In 2008 the Foundation partnered with Feeding America to launch Feeding Body & Mind, a program to address the connection between literacy, poverty and hunger. Through Feeding Body & Mind, more than 1 million new and gently used books have been collected and distributed through food banks to families in need.

David and his family live in Virginia.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

134 of 153 people found the following review helpful By A&D on June 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This was kind of a heartbreaking, lovely story. The plot short and simple: The husband is dying and saying goodbyes to everyone: his friends and his wife and kids. He is sure to die first, but he didn't. His family seems to have a really bad luck and one bad thing happens after another: his is terminally ill and then his wife dies in a car accident. Now he has to face the hard choice of what to do with the kids, who would take care of them, where would they go. He recovers, and gathers his kids back togehter and they all go to South Carolina.

This is one of those books were miracles actually happen. It was a sweet story. The author made it believable by the way he told the story of the family.
If you are looking for a good summer reading, then you probably want to pick up this one. It is not similar to the Camel Club novels, but it was still likable story. I liked the Camel Club more because the characters seemed to be more believable than in this novel. But then again, maybe this is a start of a new series with this family and what happens next...

This is a very well written novel. The pace is good. The dialogue and prose is good. It is worth reading even if it is not the normal Camel Club style -novel. If you are looking for a light summer reading then pick up this book. You will like it.
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62 of 70 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Jack Armstrong is a former army ranger married to his other half...a marriage meant to be, made in heaven. Then he comes down with an unnamed fatal illness which will leave his wife and 3 children alone.
David Baldacci completes an artful and accurate description of what illness does to the whole family. The story is told from Jack's viewpoint..."he couldn't make it upstairs to his bedroom...It was another piece of his life taken from him, like he was being dismantled, brick by brick. ". The story is heart rendering and oh so true in its description of its` characters, in the thoughts of Jack, the actions of his wife and his teenage daughter. The two younger sons really do not have much depth in their part, but that does not hamper the story.

The family suffers another horrendous tragedy and blow after blow. Jack has to struggle to rebuild his life, his emotions and most of all his family. The bulk of the story takes place at his wife's family beach house, where we see a family struggling with the anger, the angst of the setbacks they are dealt.

This is a heart wrenching story, but also one that proves the power of love and determination and yes of miracles. It is for romantics and those who search for what life is all about, what people can do and learn and how they can change their lives. It shows the mistakes and tenderness that we all need to see and would find absorbing to read about. This is a book, a good story with all the interesting plot twists and turns of a mesmerizing summer read....Sometimes life doesn't work out and then maybe it does.
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful By siberianmom on July 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was so sappy sweet, I couldn't believe it was a new release. I felt I was reading a book from back in the 70's!! It was just too perfect and I never felt like reaching for a kleenex. Way too contrived, way too miraculous - a waste of my precious reading time. Not recommended at all!
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81 of 106 people found the following review helpful By cazzar on June 21, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't know who took over Baldacci's brain while he was writing this, but I have a suspicion it was Danielle Steele. If you like her novels, buy this book. If you're a David Baldacci fan (as I am), then don't waste your time or $. Looks like the author, along with Patterson, has gone away from writing good novels to writing novels that he hopes will sell because of his name.
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25 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Geno WayneStarts on July 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
OK, I thought any book the NYT reviewer put up there high would be good, but this one proved me wrong. I was able to swallow Jack's miraculous recovery from a 100% fatal cancer, even the absurd full course exercise regimens Jack went through (push ups, weight lifting, pull ups, etc) in the hospital at the direction of his friend. The move to South Carolina made sense, too, but couldn't help but be amazed that the beach house that had been abandoned for decades was cable ready! But they couldn't get online without going to town! And the old house had only "a small number of bathrooms"! But there were plenty of quarterbacks around. Why must every former football hero be a quarterback? Jack was. Blake was. Do tight ends ever make it as fictional heroes? And the tears, the crying, the weeping, the sobbing. Tears "plonked" onto the letter, trickled down his face, slid down from his right eye. He sobbed uncontrollably, she wept quietly, burst into tears, sobbed in her room, his eyes misted, moistened, filled up with tears, overflowed. Yes, Lizzie died, but how much is enough? Finally, one last stereotype. Where do you think Mikki and Liam went to college after they graduated? East Carolina State? Slippery Rock? No, Mikki went to BERKELEY and Liam went to WEST POINT! Oh Lizzie up in Heaven, bring back Baldacci!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Stout TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 22, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a different type of book for author Baldacci to write from his normal thrillers but I sure am not disappointed. I am rather surprised that he can write such a tearjerker with such a huge dash of finesse.

Jack Armstrong was afflicted with an unnamed "fatal 100% of the time" disease. And yet he lived. And his wife, Lizzie, died in a car accident. It wasn't supposed to happen that way but it did. And Jack had to learn how to believe in living - and loving again because he has three children depending on him.

I love the characters in this story. They seem like people I might actually meet and want to be friends with. There are definitely tearjerker, grab my hanky moments all through the book but they are handled well and aren't too over the top.

Emotional, well plotted, definitely different fare from Baldacci but if you are looking for a great summer read, try "One Summer."
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