The best travel is a journey that opens us to ourselves, a theme explored by Rosanne Keller in A Summer All Her Own. Anna Sandoval, widowed suddenly and unexpectedly a year ago, has traveled to Crete to escape the oppressive reminders of her grief. She has traveled alone, without expectation and against the protests of her children and best friend. Sunning there in the clear light, and swimming in the even clearer waters, her soul begins to clear. A passion for art, left behind in youth, resurfaces after her arrival, and Anna makes friends with a local artist of much renown, who takes her under his elderly wing. As the summer passes, Anna uncovers the delights of a life lived solely to one's own call but even as she learns to revel in it, fate offers her even more choices, and she must examine, once again, what she values and what she will leave behind. A Summer All Her Own is Keller's debut novel, and aside from a slightly clumsy start, it is an intelligent and lusciously textured book with a comfortable worldliness that feels like donning a good pair of walking shoes you know they'll take you where you want to go.

Barbara Samuel won a RITA Award for her latest novel, Lady Luck's Map of Vegas.

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