Seeking Sara Summers Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Sara Summers Stanton has raised three children and works as a high school teacher at the same school she attended growing up. Her 25-year marriage is showing cracks in the facade and now she's dealing with breast cancer. In a rare moment of taking care of herself instead of everyone else, Sara takes a sabbatical and goes on the trip to Italy she has always dreamed of taking. This search for a more authentic life leads to Julia, a friend she hasn't seen since they were inseparable as girls, nearly 30 years earlier.
They reunite in Florence and their friendship continues where they left off, resulting in an unexpected attraction to each other that threatens to turn Sara's already shaky world upside down. What do you do if you fall in love with your best friend? Sara's inner conflict and subsequent choices reveal an unpredictable yet dynamic future for all the characters. Seeking Sara Summers is an emotional and lyrical novel, a timeless story about love, commitment, and transformation.
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|Listening Length||6 hours and 22 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||August 19, 2013|
|Publisher||Wild Lily Arts|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #373,049 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#1,917 in LGBTQ+ Literary Fiction (Books)
#2,668 in LGBTQ+ Literature & Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#14,249 in Literary Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from the United States
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But no matter if "Seeking Sara Summers" is "literature" or "romance," it definitely contains a romantic relationship which drives the plot. Although the prose of trashy romance novels contains nothing to remember, what I like about them is the almost unbearable tension created between the two love interests. You know they're going to get together, and but they aren't for about 75% of the book, and the waiting is excruciating, but it hurts so good - that's what you bought the book for in the first place. "Seeking Sara Summers" fell short here. I found the romance to be abrupt. Suddenly, Sara is kissing Julia. Huh? Republican, reserved, repressed Sara just goes for it? Um, not really believing it. The author needed to put a little more time in on that front.
In addition, although the book is told in third person, the third person perspective is limited solely to Sara. That's fine. But I wanted a little more explanation about Julia's motivations. Julia is a liberal, free spirit to be sure. But she's also a woman in her mid-40s who has never been in a lesbian relationship. While I would expect her to take this new love in stride more easily than Sara, I also expect *some* struggle. As far as I could tell, Julia didn't bat an eye. This also lacks believability. If only Gabriel had worked in a little more of Julia's experience processing this relationship. Not easy with the third person limited point of view, but no one said writing books was easy.
Because of the beauty of the writing, I'm willing to forgive Gabriel for where the book is lacking. I do find myself feeling like this book could have been even better if only the relationship between Sara and Julia had been developed as well as Sara's relationship with her husband. Still, though, I would recommend this book without reservation.
I'm going to add on here that if you're looking for sex scenes, look elsewhere. None to be found in this book. I mean, there's physical contact, but if you're looking for the consummation scene you would expect from a trashy romance novel, it ain't here. Don't let that stop you from reading it though!
Sara Summers didn't set out to have an unusual life. She married her high school boyfriend Grady, became a teacher and had three children. She has good friends and is well-thought of in her profession and her community, so she assumed her life was going just fine. Breast cancer changed all of that. As happens, the threat of death has caused her to reassess her life, especially now that the cancer has returned. She finds herself in a twenty-five year marriage that isn't working and her career is no longer satisfying. She hasn't told her family about the cancer and she needs to make some decisions about treatment, but she can't focus on those issues. When she reconnects with a childhood friend Julia David, Sara decides to go to Italy and visit her. This may be the only chance she has to take her dream vacation. She and Julia always had a special relationship and as they tour the Italian countryside, Sara discovers things about herself that she never realized. Life is never simple though and despite the fact that she knows where her heart lies, Sara returns to her family to fight the cancer and try to make that situation work. The question is whether that will be enough now that she has a deeper understanding of herself.
Sara's story is easy to understand. She's spent her whole life doing what was expected of her and now she knows it's not what she really wanted. If she is to die, she doesn't want to do it with the knowledge that she just existed. Sara discovers a chance for real happiness with Julia, but it flies in the face of everything she's been taught is proper by society. She finds herself in a battle between her heart, her spirit and her head and even when she feels instinctively that it isn't right, she's drawn to the safe decision. How many people have found themselves in a similar position turning from what feels true to do what conformity dictates? This isn't like many novels where decisions are easily made. Sara thinks and struggles her way through what she is experiencing in every aspect of her life trying to finally discover who she truly is and what she wants.
Seeking Sara Summers is written in just the right tone. The emotional scenes aren't overwrought and the interactions between Sara, Grady and Julia feel very real. The language of the book is almost as beautiful as the scenery of the Italian countryside it's set against. This is a rich book, well worth reading. The reader will come away wishing that Sara had realized so much earlier what she wanted, but understanding her choices completely. Many women will be able to identify with her experience.
Top reviews from other countries
However, it was a bit slow to get to the point and I found Sara's weakness throughout the book very frustrating. From the way the characters are written, her husband does not come across as violent or dominating so it is hard to understand why she is so submissive. It grinds after awhile and I found myself wishing she would just make a decision. When she finally does, it makes for a very nice read with innuendos rather than full-blown erotic scenes which can be a nice change. The confusion and guilt and the general unsure nature of the whole thing is also realistic and makes the novel more true to life than others have been.
In general this is a sweet story but I would not re-read it and it is not as interesting as I would have liked. Worth a flick through if the price is right.