Think you know David Baldacci, the thriller bestseller? Well, think again. One Summer, a giant departure from his adventure genre, is a story about love, family and moving forward in the face of tragedy. But lucky for us, the novel is written with the same fast pace as Baldacci’s razor-sharp thrillers.

We meet Jack Armstrong as he is living out his death sentence, an incurable disease. Jack is determined to use his last bit of strength just to make it to Christmas Day with his beloved wife, Lizzie, and their three children. It’s not to be. Lizzie must drive in a blizzard to refill his medicine and is killed in an accident. In his bedridden condition, Jack is unable to care for his children alone, so his choices are grim. A miserable mother-in-law makes everything even more difficult, splitting up the family from coast to coast. Then a miracle happens and healing takes place, but not just physically. Jack finds new strength and, determined to reunite his family, takes his children back to the summer home where their mom grew up and learned about the struggles in life. 

Not without challenges and hardships in their new home on the beach (with a neglected yet symbolic lighthouse), each family member learns to love again—and to move forward even when life delivers a storm of difficult challenges. 

Dee Ann Grand writes from Nashville, Tennessee.

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