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on June 14, 2011
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon June 17, 2011
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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on July 10, 2011
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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on June 21, 2011
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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on July 11, 2011
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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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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on June 18, 2013
This was a unique and moving story. It makes you sad, happy and mad over and again. When a book can elicit this much emotion and make me reluctant to leave the characters behind at its end, I know it's a worthwhile read and recommendation. Baldacci does not disappoint.
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on January 24, 2014
I got hooked on David Baldacci when I read King & Maxwell. I loved that book and found out it was the sixth book in that series. That lead me to buy the other five and read them all too. I loved them all.
I usually read romance novels, I love the romance suspense type, and his books were a nice change for me, I loved the mystery and really could never figured ithem out until the end of his books. I read The Camel Club, liked it but it was a little too out there for me.
I came across One Summer, looking through his other books and thought I would give it a try; I loved it.
It is really a romance novel and it grabs you from the very beginning and doesn't let you go. I highly recommend this book to any romance novel reader, you won't be sorry.
It is a story about a man dying of a terrible desease and his wonderful family. I found myself crying in the beginning, sitting at the end of my chair in the middle, and smiling by the end. It is a wonderful love story, I couldn't put this book down, that is how good it was.
I didn't think David Baldacci could write such a beautiful story but he can and he did. He takes you on a wonderful ride, you will cry, cheer, get really angry and cry again, hold your breath, and smile when you are done with this book. Please, don't miss this one, I hope he writes more like it.
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on August 21, 2014
Baldacci has always channeled various other authors in his works--sometimes Clancy, sometimes Vince Flynn, sometimes Dan Brown. Only this time he goes for the small-town Southern drama of our generation's Falkner--Pat Conroy. Cleveland ex-Army commando Jack Armstrong has had the blessing of having married the sweetheart of his boyhood--the very definition of a love founded on an existing friendship. Until he winds up "circling the drain" due to an always-terminal disease. One of those diseases where your doc tells you how many months you have left. But in a bitterly ironic twist, Armstrong's wife Lizzie forgets Jack's medication during a pre ice storm shopping run and goes back out to get it. And gets killed in a crash with a snowplow. Jack's somewhat meddlesome mother-in-law promptly decides that a dying father is unfit to raise the kids--a decision more than slightly based on her blaming Jack for her daughter's death. So she arranges to have the kids distributed amongst various relatives and place Jack in a hospice. One of those places that's in one important sense the polar opposite of a hospital--you show up in a wheelchair and leave on a gurney. Except in Jack's case--during his stay in the hospice, he recovers from his disease. A miraculous recovery which is thought by experts to be impossible for victims of his disease. Oddly enough, Baldacci never specifically names Jack's disease. The closest the book comes to that is what Jack's youngest calls it--"Daddy's boo-boo". Once sprung from the hospice, Jack goes back to work and regains custody of the kids (over the objection of the mother-in-law). Until his GRANDmother-in-law leaves her South Carolina beach house to him in her will. The story at this point deals with various family dysfunctions like a neglected teenage daughter who hates all situations no matter what, sensationalist press coverage of Jack's recovery, clashes with some of the locals based on what they saw in the tabloids, as well as an ongoing often-legal war with the mother-in-law.
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on July 9, 2013
The writer is good and this story pulled at my heart. A hard working, perhaps too hard working, man in his mid thirties, after several military stints is finally home with the wife he adores, and their three kids, one girl and two boys. He is in construction with a good friend and life, from his perspective, is going well. He works long hours but is supporting his family.

He finds out he has an incurable, fast acting, debilitating, fatal disease, and may have 6 months or so to live. This tears him, his loving wife and his family apart and during the Christmas season, it looks like his time will end.

One cold night with icy roads, his wife runs out to get his pain medications, over his objections, and dies in an auto accident. There is so much pain, His mother-in-law and his 16 year old daughter, in their grief, even lash out at him for letting his wife leave the house. He ends up in hospice, his children are divided up between family members out of state and he waits to die.

But he does not. His body gets better, he gets his kids back, he inherits use of his wife's grandmother's house on the ocean. He is given a second chance.

This is a story of love, loss, and healing.

Some said it was sappy, maybe a little. Second change miracles are not especially common, though I know a few people who have been touched. For some it was a blessing and they enjoyed and were grateful, for others, it was as if it never was and those in a downward personal slide kept going down. The biggest miracle might be the one that changes perspective and allows you to see the good and add to it.

I enjoyed the book.
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