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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Contemporary Novel!, September 3, 2011
This review is from: A Summer in Oakville (Kindle Edition)
When I first heard about "A Summer in Oakville," I loved the concept of four characters in one book detailing their experiences and their lives. The plot intrigued me and I decided to read it. I'm glad I did!

Through vivid character portraits, the reader is introduced to family members Tessa, Lindsay, Andy, and Art. Each character's story is from a different and unique perspective.

Second chances and forgiveness are strong themes throughout the book and I love the twists and turns in Tessa's story. Lindsay's story was my favorite; however, I enjoyed each character's story and felt that Ms. Neumeier and Ms. Lickel did a fantastic job of tying the real-to-life issues of those living in a small town into a satisfying contemporary novel. As a matter of fact, reading through the pages made me feel as though I was in Oakville, Wisconsin, watching all of the events - including attempts to save the family farm and tales of unexpected romance -unfold.

"A Summer in Oakville" is a book that will grab your interest and keep you turning the pages. I highly recommend it!

Reviewed by Penny Zeller, Author of the historical romance novel "Kaydie."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet characters, September 2, 2011
This review is from: A Summer in Oakville (Kindle Edition)
I so enjoyed reading the lives of Tessa, Lindsay, Art, and Andy from A Summer in Oakville. Authors Shellie Neumeier and Lisa Lickel have crafted a wonderfully sweet book comprised of four related novellas. Each novella is told from a different character's perspective, and each serves to further the overall story of the Hasmers and Murphys in their quest to save their family farm.

I especially enjoyed the varying perspectives on life and love from each character, which included a middle aged woman contemplating divorce, a young woman who still hasn't found her niche, a widower struggling with memories, and a boy who on the surface seems like a typical sullen teenager. Each story contains a humor and innocence, as the characters deal with forgiveness, family, and love.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bittersweet tales of love and forgiveness, September 1, 2011
This review is from: A Summer in Oakville (Kindle Edition)
Meet members of a family...Tessa, Lindsay, Andy, and Art, and how their lives are connected--not only by kith and kin, but individual and collective heartbreak. Their stories are unique and moving, their names forever etched in the memory lane of my heart.

I'm drawn to stories of forgiveness and A Summer in Oakville does not pale. It holds its own, brightly, in what's an enchanted narrative woven together by four separate novellas, skillfully written and a joy to read.

Through relationships challenged, life lost, even battles over land rights and development in rural Wisconsin intensified, find love renewed, second chances embraced, and forgiveness presented around every corner.

God is faithful and good--just witness it through the related characters abiding in a special little town called Oakville.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oakville-Sweet Read!, January 2, 2012
This review is from: A Summer in Oakville (Paperback)
A Summer in Oakville is a sweet read. It's one overall story, told from 4 different points of view. Each POV character has their own story going on during the overall story. It was very different and fun. I really enjoyed seeing the main thread through the different view points. Then each character had a love/life lesson to learn themselves.
If you like real stories about real people, read this novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Contemporary Novel of Faith, Family, and Romance, October 31, 2011
By 
Elaine M. Cooper (Des Moines, IA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: A Summer in Oakville (Paperback)
When Tessa Murphy's husband takes off on a new business venture, the Oakville, Wisconsin wife refuses to follow. She grew up in this community where Gram and Gramps still own the family farm of four generations. Why would she leave her home, her roots, her source of calm in the turmoil of her life? But it is not the present that bothers her as much as the past that holds a secret she has never shared. The new stranger in town forces her to deal with the guilt that has long haunted her.
A surprise return by her college-grad daughter who decides she'd rather live with Gram and Gramps on the farm, forces Tessa to confront the ghosts of her past. Can she prevent her daughter from making the same mistake that she did so long ago?
And Tessa's brother Art--where has he been all these years since his twin brother died? Facing his own painful memories and guilt, the recently widowed Art finally returns, only to discover he has to face his past to find healing in his future.
Art's teenage son Andy is lost, grieving for both his deceased mom and for a dad who is emotionally disconnected from him.
The four family members reconnect one summer in Oakville, drawn by the need to return to the family farm, which is both the source of their pain and their healing. "A Summer in Oakville" is both delightfully funny and painfully real in its characters and their relationships. While being spiritually uplifting, it does not drip with pat answers or solutions, but leads the reader to understand it is the decisions that the characters make that will bring either healing or more conflict.
The two authors, Lisa Lickel and Shellie Neumeier do an artful job of blending each story from the four characters' points of view, merging them together into a conclusion that is satisfying and filled with hope and love of family.
"A Summer in Oakville" is a family treasure.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting take on a normal story..., October 29, 2011
By 
This review is from: A Summer in Oakville (Paperback)
A Summer in Oakville is an interesting look into four people's lives one summer. I enjoyed each person's point of view and their stories. It was well-written and allowed me to take part in each person's feelings and actions.

Unfortunately, I found it a little disconnected in one particular scene. It was not a big deal, just set my brain to thinking (which is not necessarily a bad thing). Since there were two writers in this work, I am surprised there was only one mistake obvious enough for me to catch. It is so awesome that they worked together to make this such a good book.

Despite my uncanny knack for ferreting out useless tidbits that are inconsistent, I found A Summer in Oakville an entertaining read. It will make you smile and, if you're given to sympathizing with the characters as I am, you will cry. I think that's what a good book does. It gets you to "feel" what the character feels and pulls you in to his or her life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a novel approach, October 11, 2011
By 
Joan N. "bookwomanJoan" (Whidbey Island, WA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Summer in Oakville (Paperback)
What a novel approach to fiction. This book is divided into four sections, each telling the character's story from their own viewpoint. The four stories intersect and fill in the missing details.
The novel begins with Tessa's story. Her parents are still on the family farm but are in trouble. They are behind in their taxes and the septic system needs to be redone. And there is a mean fellow in town who would just to see them lose their farm so it can be developed and annexed into the town. The potential developer is an old flame of Tessa's and that spells trouble. Tessa's husband has moved to California, a promotion at work. Tessa refused to go with him.
Tessa's daughter Lindsay is the next part of the story. She has just finished her degree and not finding a job, comes to live with her grandparents in Oakville. She is determined to put her business training to work and find a way to pay off the delinquent taxes. Selling shares in future salsa is the answer. Her cousin Andy helps and all looks well until a hail storm ruins the crop.
Next is Andy's story. We met Tessa's nephew in the first section. He's a troubled teen, sent to spend a few weeks at his grandparents. The first full day in Oakville Andy wrecks his grampa's truck. But Andy meets the pastor's daughter and begins to get his life straightened out. His mom died a little over a year ago and his dad has not gotten over it yet.
So the last section is about Art, Andy's dad and Tessa's brother. Death plagues him. His brother died in a farm tractor accident when they were teens. He still runs away on that day. And then his wife died. He hasn't been back to his parent's farm since high school. But he has to go back to Oakville when Andy acts up.

Lickel and Neumeier have created a great novel of forgiveness and restoration. I was a little concerned as I got into the novel. Tessa was determined to separate and then divorce her husband. After all, he had left her. But she had refused to go with him. So I was concerned about the "Christian" nature of this novel. I was amazed (and relieved) to read on. It all works out - true restoration - in the end.
Each of the characters is confronted with the love and forgiveness of the gospel. They each find healing and new life during their summer in Oakville.

What a unique idea. As each section develops, we go through some of the same events but from a different character's viewpoint. It was fascinating to see how their actions affected the others, especially events we had already seen from another's viewpoint.
This was a rewarding read.

I received an egalley from the authors for the purpose of this review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like a Magnent From the First Page to the Last Page, September 12, 2011
This review is from: A Summer in Oakville (Kindle Edition)
Thanks for writing such a thoughtful novel. It's four dimensional.
Thanks for taking the time to tell such a story of love and forgiveness.
It's hard to find a book that delves and soars.
I highly suggest that everyone reads this and then
gets one for a friend or family members.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 Summer, 4 Stories, July 4, 2012
This review is from: A Summer in Oakville (Paperback)
One summer in Oakville, Tessa Murphy is estranged from her husband. It seems easier to play with fire when an old flame returns to town than reignite her marriage. But with Tessa's aging parents about to lose the family farm due to what must certainly be a mix-up, she comes face to face with reality. What will she choose?

That same summer, Tessa's daughter Lindsay, a recent college graduate, returns to Oakville and takes on the fight to save the family farm no matter what-or who-may stand in her way. Even if the `who' is a very handsome young developer intent on sweeping her off her feet.

Lindsay's teenage cousin Andy has been getting in trouble in the city since the death of his mother. His dad, unable to come up with a better idea, sends Andy to the grandparents' farm for the summer, where Andy is dragged into Lindsay's plans. Trouble follows Andy wherever he goes, but an attraction to the preacher's daughter just might help pull Andy back to the straight and narrow.

Andy's dad (Tessa's brother), Art, hasn't stepped foot on the farm since an accident took his twin back in high school. With Andy following in his wild uncle's footsteps, Art must face the past and get help from the only place he can-home in Oakville. But then there's Dana, the town clerk who once had eyes only for Art's brother while Art had a crush on her. Is Art ready to let go of the past-all of it-and seek a future? In Oakville?

The lives and loves of four family members intertwine one summer in Oakville, Wisconsin. Each is the main character in one of four novellas in this collection, meaning that many of the events are the same, but shown from a different person's point of view. Each was distinct and seemed true to character. The thread running through all four stories included the parents/grandparents and the fate of the farm. The four stories were written by Lisa Lickel and Shellie Neumeier, but I couldn't tell you who wrote which one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Each family member brings a fresh perspective to the same storyline and each must deal with their own demons from the past as we, August 5, 2014
By 
Amazon Customer (British Columbia) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: A Summer in Oakville (Kindle Edition)
The family farm is facing a crisis. Gram and Gramps owe thousands of dollars in taxes, their septic system needs an upgrade, and the town of Oakville is looking to expand onto their land. This is the backdrop for A Summer in Oakville, which is actually four stories from the point of view of four different family members. First there is Tess. Her marriage is floundering and the re-entrance of an old flame accentuates her apparent mid-life crisis. Her daughter Lindsay is determined to fight for the farm, despite her attraction to a good-looking businessman bent on ‘progress’. Andy, Tess’s troubled teen nephew, has come to Oakville for the summer and gets involved with the wrong crowd, even though his attraction to the pastor’s daughter has his heart searching for meaning in life. His father and Tess’s brother, Art, comes home as well, still grieving over life’s losses and looking for a way to reconnect. Each family member brings a fresh perspective to the same storyline and each must deal with their own demons from the past as well as look to finding love and acceptance in the future. Ultimately, the book is about reliance on God. I enjoyed it very much and recommend it to readers who like contemporary drama that is heavy on characterization.
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A Summer in Oakville
A Summer in Oakville by Shellie Neumeier
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