Title: The Summer We Fell Apart
Author: Robin Antalek
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: TLC Book Tours
First line: The summer we took in a boarder my mother started wearing headscarves.
The four Haas children grew up in a home with little or no parental supervision. Their father was a playwright whose magnum opus came early in his career; from that point on, he created nothing but his children’s broken hearts and a wake of sexual affairs. Their mother, Marilyn, was an actress known best for her work in a cult horror flick.
Kate, the oldest, took on the responsibility of the physical care of her three younger siblings, but became completely closed emotionally. As a teenager, Finn disappears inside a bottle and spends his entire adolescence and young adulthood completely drunk. George and Amy lean on each other to survive: George tolerating cruel teasing from his father because of his sexual orientation; Amy worrying what will happen to her when George leaves for college and she’s the only one left.
The book is told in alternating points of view, with each sibling having a portion of the story to tell. The author does a good job of giving each character an individual voice, which is very important in a multiple-points-of-view novel. She can also write extremely well, and deftly shows us a family full of dysfunction. Because of that, I really wanted to love this book. But I didn’t – I liked it, but I didn’t love it – and that’s because I didn’t really care for any of the characters. Amy was probably my favorite, but her portion of the book came first, and so I didn’t enjoy the other three sections as much as I did the beginning.
Don’t take my word for it, however – there are other bloggers who did absolutely love it:
(An Advance Reader Copy of The Summer We Fell Apart was provided to me by the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it for this blog tour. The above link is an Amazon affiliate link. If you click on it and subsequently purchase anything, I will receive a small percentage.)