Can one careless decision change the dynamics between four good friends for the rest of their lives? #friendship #friends4life #inspiration #inspy #magicalrealism #favoriteauthor #multiplePOV #amreading

Can one careless decision change the dynamics between four good friends for the rest of their lives?

I receive free electronic advanced reader copies of these books through an arrangement between the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion on NetGalley’s website. I only review books on my blog that I really love.

Can one careless decision change the dynamics between four good friends for the rest of their lives? #friendship #friends4life #inspiration #inspy #magicalrealism #favoriteauthor #multiplePOV #amreading

Have You Ever Belonged to a Group of Four Good Friends?

I didn’t belong to a group of four good friends until my freshman year in college, so Rachel Hauk’s latest book featuring four women who’ve been friends since first grade intrigued me. A friendship with one other person takes work, so imagine the dynamics of four good friends who make choices, harbor secrets, and grow apart as they age. This timeshift novel includes four different points of view (one from each of the friends).

The Best Summer of Our Lives

By Rachel Hauck, Bethany House, June 27, 2023, 384 pages.

They called themselves the Seasons, Spring Duval, Summer Wilde, Autumn Childe, and Margaret Snowden (aka Snow). Twelve years after forming a friendship in kindergarten, the girls planned to celebrate the summer between high school and college with an epic adventure.

But one thoughtless prank sent them to face a judge and a choice that would ruin the best summer of their lives—pick up trash along the Florida highways for a summer, or act as counselors at Camp Tumbleweed in nowhere, Oklahoma. The girls choose Oklahoma; after all, Summer’s mom directs the camp and agrees to act as their parole officer. If they’re together, they can redeem the summer. Can’t they?

Each of them holds a secret that has the power to fundamentally change the way they see each other and their futures.

Twenty Years Later

The unbreakable friendship of the four seasons takes a hit during that unforgettable summer in Tumbleweed. A murderer on the loose, resentment and circumstances rupture the fabric of their lives.

Can the four seasons reunite, forgive, forget, and move beyond their pain and suffering? Will the first 12 years of friendship counterbalance the 20 years of silence? Only a miracle can bring them together again.

What I Loved About This Book

Growing up, I didn’t have strong bonds with female friends. We moved a lot, making it difficult to form lasting friendships. This peek into the lives of four good friends moved me in ways I didn’t anticipate.

As in most of her books, Hauck uses a touch of magical realism to help one character through a particularly difficult time in her life. Modern critics call it magical realism, and Christians call it divine intervention.

Whatever the case, the message rings clear—friendships between humans must model the friendship Jesus wants with us. He wants us to lavishly release the come-as-you-are-kind-of-grace into a hurting world instead of gripping it with our fists. We must match our forgiveness of the wrongs others do to the forgiveness God liberally bestows upon us. Otherwise, our friendships don’t count for much.

You'll love this powerful new novel from @RachelHauck and @Bethany_House. Summer, friendships, regrets, and grace. #amreading Click To Tweet

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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