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The Days of Summer: A Novel Hardcover – June 6, 2006

4.0 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the years since her last romance, 2002's Sentimental Journey, Barnett has grown rusty; chronicling three generations of Banning men and Peyton women through the years, Barnett depends on busyness and happenstance to take the place of solid plot and genuine relationships. The two SoCal families first intertwine in 1957 when Rudy Banning kills himself; his artist wife, Rachel; and the rock star Jimmy Peyton in a car accident. The Bannings leave behind two preteen sons, who go into the care of wealthy, demanding patriarch Victor Banning. Jud, the elder son, goes into the family business while Cale, a reckless skirt chaser, takes a winding path to med school. Improbably, Cale meets Jimmy Peyton's daughter, Laurel, on a beach in 1970, but Laurel also catches Jud's eye and soon comes between them. A growing pile of plot-propelling coincidences stretch believability: Laurel's grandmother unknowingly purchases some of the late Rachel's art; years later, Laurel's grown daughter wins a design contract with Cale's son; and everyone hides secrets. It's pure soap opera, buttressed only by Barnett's stock observations ("[S]ilence between people said more than words ever could"), but it may suit readers who like their heroes attractive and their endings happy. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

One night in 1957, two cars collide, and the repercussions of the fatal accident form a compelling tale. Orphaned brothers Jud and Cale are raised by their grandfather, Victor Banning, a ruthless corporate titan. Aspiring musician Jimmy Peyton leaves behind gold records and a four-year-old daughter, Laurel, who will be raised by his distraught wife and domineering mother. Years later the three survivors meet after Laurel, a precocious teenager who dreams of becoming a chef, has moved to Catalina, California. Laurel is initially smitten with Jud but then falls in love with his younger brother, Cale. Their long-brewing sibling rivalry erupts as they each fight for the love of lonely Laurel. Barnett delivers a well-written novel filled with enough emotion, passion, and drama to please Danielle Steel fans. Patty Engelmann
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Atria; First Edition edition (June 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671035355
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671035358
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,774,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This story is heavy and emotional and I suggest setting aside as much time as you can in one sitting to read it through, because it takes you through a dark, sad, and depressing tunnel until it comes out on the other end to a happier ending. I stopped 2/3 of the way through and was dragged down with it, until I could pick it up later to finish it. It is worth the read, as overwrought as it is. Almost poetic in the writing. It is sure to stay with me for awhile as did Sentimental Journey (which was a better story). I miss Barnett's lighter writing, though. I will have to follow this up with a book that is light, frothy, and happy!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
As in any multigenerational family drama, there is a large cast of characters in this beach read by Jill Barnett. It all begins with a car crash that destroys two families. In 1957, Rudy Banning and his wife Rachel are fighting when they crash into the car with rising rock star Jimmy Peyton inside. Jimmy's daughter, Laurel, and his wife, Kathryn, go to live with Jimmy's mother, Julia. Meanwhile, Victor Banning, oil magnate, takes in his grandchildren, Cale and Jud.

The book then moves onto 1970. The kids have grown up, some better than others. On the beautiful island of Catalina, Laurel runs into Jud, neither knowing their history. While the sparks fly between them, it's Jud's brother Cale that Laurel falls for.

The Days of Summer is a light read, and the plot is generally readable. The writing is a bit overdone, with long descriptions of the scenery and more pages delving into the psyches of the characters than is really necessary. The characters are a combination of interesting and annoying. But overall, it's a fun read if you are looking for something light to take with you on the plane or to the beach.

Niki Lee
Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoyed this book, however it did take me a little time in the beginning to get into it. Initially, keeping the characters straight was unusually challenging for me as some of the names and nicknames were too similar. I think you would definitely classify this as a modern romance leaving behind the sappiness of the Harlequin genre.

The storyline is smooth, however the events that unfold, with the exception of one, are not really in any surprise and more likely predictable. Also, I was less than thrilled by the ending. In fact, I was a bit confused by it.

If you like the writing style of Kristin Hannah, another Seattle/Pacific NW writer, you will like this. If you're a Seattle native you will enjoy the local references.

A good read, not the best, not the worst. There are some books where I read one and love it so much, I read everything I can get my hands on by that author ie: Maeve Binchy, Jane Green, Tony Parsons, Ann Brashares (The Last Summer of You and Me), Lisa Jewell, Carly Alexander (Ghosts of Boyfriends Past - a holiday season "must read"), Rona Jaffe, etc. This is not one of them yet. I think with a little more experience and practice, Jill Barnett has the potential to be a strong writer.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not an altogether bad read, but very much a generational soap opera. Three generations of a family of fabulously beautiful and talented women all connected in different ways to three generations of a family of fabulously handsome and talented men.

The story is more than just a little bit far-fetched, and the Kindle edition is full of annoying grammatical errors and missing punctuation (mostly periods).

Glad it was a Kindle freebie.
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By NenetteU on December 31, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Again, here's a book sitting for quite a while in my shelf. Most avid readers would know this familiar scene: browsing through titles, picking up and buying a book simply because of the cover art and the blurb at the back, then stashing it in your shelf to read later; bypassing it each time you choose the next book to read; finally choosing to read it in random, and finding out what a treasure it was.

I have not watched a TV series for quite a while, especially a local one. Not that they're not any good, but because I know I could not pull myself away once I started. This book is just as addicting, but one good thing is that I have full control over the time I spend on it, without the need to go online or push any button.

The story is about the saga of two families over the course of half a century, their lives intersecting at every generation, with a plot worthy of primetime TV, or even the big screen. The Banning men and the Peyton women, then later the Banning men and the King women. Explored in great detail are the complications in the relationship among men in a family without a woman, and among women in a family without a man. Throughout the highs and lows, underneath the secrets and the lies, the author brought out the worst and the best of human psych and emotions: the frailty beneath a steel exterior; the best intentions hidden under a mask of toughness; acknowledgment of one's weaknesses and mistakes; strength under pressure; and love that yearns to be expressed without regard to the passing of time.

I recommend this to readers who will not question realities and practicalities; who will not be over critical, but are ready to lose themselves in a story, enjoy a good read and breath a sigh of satisfaction at the end.
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