SUMMER HOURS – Amy Mason Doan
Graydon House
ISBN: 978-1-525-82357-2
June 2019
Contemporary Fiction

California – 1990's & 2008

It's 2008 and former best friends Becca Reardon and Eric Logan are on a road trip up the California coast to Serra's wedding. Serra is their other best friend and the last person who links Becca and Eric to a past that was shattered after a betrayal. Becca's dreams were always to become a journalist and keep Eric in her life—hopefully as her future husband. But once they graduated from high school, they went their separate ways, Becca to college at Cal and Eric to Brown University on the east coast. After college, they reconnected, but their friendship was blown to shreds when it came out that during college, Becca had carried on a secret affair with Eric's mother's former boyfriend—an older man. There is no longer any trust between the two former friends. Will this trip up the coast help heal the wounds?

SUMMER HOURS is a tale about growing up in the ‘90s and learning that the path to achieving your dreams can sometimes be rocky. Becca was always the good girl in high school and her friendship with Eric and Serra sometimes tempted her to want to walk on the wild side. Serra and Becca went off to college together, where life in Berkley didn't always resemble what they expected. Becca returned home during the summer to work at a local paper, but one summer she lost the job at the newspaper after it closed due to being bought out. Shortly afterwards, she ran into Cal, Eric's mother's now ex-boyfriend, and he offered her a job at his company. Cal and Becca soon become friends, and later, lovers. Becca is aware that their relationship would scandalize the people she knows, but he makes her feel loved and cared for. But how will Eric feel if he finds out? Is she risking their friendship for an affair that will go nowhere? She discovers the answer when the affair, now over, is exposed in a scandal that goes beyond her, Cal, and Eric.

Fast forward to 2008 and the relationship between Becca and Eric is strained. While they're stuck in a car together for several hours a day, they barely talk to each other. Not that Becca doesn't try. Can she get Eric to forgive her for what happened? Does she now regret the affair with Cal? SUMMER HOURS is a novel filled with powerful emotions as we watch these teenagers become adults. This tale takes place over several years in the 1990's and several days in 2008 and takes readers back to the time period where things were much different. Communicating was different, as Becca and Eric communicated via email in the ‘90s, while by 2008 the first Apple iPhones were just coming out and Becca marvels at the one Eric has as she relies on her Blackberry. The chapters switch back and forth between 2008 and the past, laying the groundwork for the final “confrontation.”

SUMMER HOURS is an intriguing tale that will stick with readers even after you reach the end. Were mistakes made? Yes, but it's part of growing up. Don't miss SUMMER HOURS.

Patti Fischer