2017 Book Reviews · Favourite Books

The Summer Of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman

The Summer of Impossible Things by [Coleman, Rowan]


‘If you could change the past, would you?

Thirty years ago, something terrible happened to Luna’s mother. Something she’s only prepared to reveal after her death.

Now Luna and her sister have a chance to go back to their mother’s birthplace and settle her affairs. But in Brooklyn they find more questions than answers, until something impossible – magical – happens to Luna, and she meets her mother as a young woman back in the summer of 1977.

At first Luna’s thinks she’s going crazy, but if she can truly travel back in time, she can change things. But in doing anything – everything – to save her mother’s life, will she have to sacrifice her own?’

A HUGE thank you to Tess for sending me a review copy, you have made my LIFE.

It is not often a book this special comes along, one that is so utterly breathtaking that as soon as you have finished it there is nothing else for it,but to read it again, instantly! That is exactly what I did, I just wasn’t prepared for it to be over so quickly and I yearned to be back inside the pages.

(I may go off topic here, stick with me) I can name on one hand the books I have read that have captured my heart so deeply. Four books…. two that I read when I was sixteen, and that I go back to again and again and again, every year without fail I find myself back within those familiar pages and I just know that everything will be OK, they are where I go for comfort. Very recently I  have added two more to that pile and now I am about to add my 5th book…. The Summer of Impossible Things. This is a book that I will forever cherish and that I will forever come back to. It has taken a hold of my heart and kept a piece of it within it pages.

I wish that I could put across just how much I loved this book, but I am so worried that I am never going to be able to truly express how wonderful this book is! To maybe give you an idea…. I read this book THREE TIMES on the trot.

Now to talk about the book a bit!

Luna and Pia are sisters, Luna is a scientist in a very male environment so never feels she quite fits in. She recently broke up with her boyfriend, who she realised she never really loved anyway, as for Pea, she is struggling through life with her drink and drug addictions. But for now she is very much sober with the support of Luna.

They are recovering from a tragedy, their mother taking her own life. Growing up they had it tough, a mother suffering with depression who would lock herself away in bed for hours on end and they had to live with her unhappiness all their lives. Tiptoeing around her and needing to be far more grown up than they needed to be at a young age.

Left behind is the girls and their dad. They have grown up knowing their mum and dads love story inside out. Their parents met when they were younger in America where Riss, their mother, lived. Their dad, Henry, was over from England with a film crew who were shooting Saturday Night Fever. For Riss and Henry it was love at first sight and they fell truly, madly, deeply. With Riss determined to leave her family and move to England and start a new and exciting life with Henry.

But it’s only now that their mother has died that the truth about her depression is revealed. She leaves the girls a video message and on it reveals the truth about the night she left America and the reasons she has never returned or spoken to a single person from back home. She was raped by a well-respected member of the community and he is the real father of Luna, not Henry! Although shocked and heartbroken Luna feels as though she has always known she was different and didn’t belong, but that doesn’t stop it from hurting.

Luna and Pia find themselves back in America, Brooklyn to be exact to finalise some of her mothers things, she still owns her childhood home with her sister, something that she has always kept a hold of. But now she is dead her sister Stephanie is desperate to get it sold quickly.

It’s in Brookyln that something quite extraordinary happens to Luna… she travels back in time to when her mother was a young woman, she even comes face to face with her mother! Riss instantly likes Luna, feeling as though she already knows her. Riss is open, loving and full of life and confidence. The absolute opposite of the memories Luna has of her mum and Luna can’t help but gravitate towards her, this is a side of her that she has never seen and she longs to throw her arms around her but knows that she can’t because in this life they are strangers. In this life she is just an 20th century English girl in the 70’s. She stands out a mile and one person who instantly becomes a little mesmerised by her is Micheal, one of Riss’s friends. There is a real fizz between the two of them, an electricity in the air, but Luna only cares about her mother and finding out why and how she has ended up here. She presumes she must be having some kind of vision, maybe she has a tumor and this is a side effect, because being a scientist, she cannot possibly believe that this is time travel. Whatever it is that is happening to her she plans to spend whatever time she has with Riss. After having a chat with one another and hearing Riss talk about her love of Henry, Riss suddenly has to run off and meet him and on her flight down the fire escape leaves behind a necklace, when Luna grabs it she remembers it being the one her mother spoke about losing and she runs after her to get it back to her.

All too soon Luna is pulled back to her real life and around her neck is the necklace that she JUST gave back to Riss! Luna wakes Pia and questions her over what it is around her neck and Pia responds that their dad gave it to her when he found it whilst cleaning out their mums things and she suddenly remembers that this is now true, but she can also remember the way it used to be before going back in time. With this information she realises that she has just changed history.

They deal with all of the house and paperwork through their mother and aunts solicitor Mr Gillespie, who is a very kindly and most helpful man. Who remembers Riss very well and offers Luna and Pia any help they will need. He gives them the keys to house and when they arrive the security man gives the girls a box addressed to ‘my daughters’ in their mothers handwriting. It was sent months ago and the girls are shocked. Once inside the building they open the box to discover more videos all numbered in order. They decide to watch one of the videos there and then once they are left alone. On it their mother tells them something shocking that explains even more about why their mother went from someone so happy to so desperately sad. Suddenly Luna runs from the room building and finds herself again in the past, in the past a young boy is trying to rob her of her camera and  she is saved by none other than Mr Gillespie.

When she returns to her real life once again she starts to think that maybe if she can go back that she can save her mother from ever having her entire life destroyed in the first place, but by doing so she risks the chance of erasing herself from her family’s life!

I really don’t want to stop but I HAVE TO because otherwise I will go on and on and just give the whole story away, and it’s just to amazing and precious to just give away all it’s secrets. OH MY GOD I LOVED THIS BOOK. It was just completely and utterly compelling from beginning to end, as soon as I started reading from the very first page I knew I wasn’t going to willingly put it down, and I didn’t. It had to be prised out of my hands by my husband just so I would actually get some sleep. I didn’t want to be parted from it for a single second. (Between us, it is still in my handbag and I take it everywhere with me, just in case I want to dive back in again at anytime!).

I LOVED Luna, absolutely loved her, for one she was a scientist which is so damn cool, but mainly her love for her family and mum completely overwhelmed me at times, the lengths she was willing to go to in order to save her mum from a lifetime of unhappiness, even if it meant that she would never exist. She was willing to sacrifice herself. I just adored her and I know that had I been her and it had been my dad I would do in without a seconds thought, so I really related to that. I loved her relationship with Micheal, and when she was going back in time I was so excited to see what would happen next between the two of them. I loved how innocent it was between them and how being around one another they could both finally be who they truly were, something neither of themselves have around other people. I also couldn’t get enough of her and Pia, they had a genuine friendship and they looked out for one another and had such a strong bond, it was just lovely and heat-warming. Riss was also wonderful, you have this idea of her from the start, but when we went back in time with Luna, we was met with one of the most fun-loving, caring and kindest girls ever and even I wanted to be her friend, so knowing what happened to her and just how badly it ruined her life, broke my heart, because that should never have been her life.

I have so many favourite parts, so many, one I obviously cannot tell you about, but Rowan if are reading this I am almost positive you will know, because it was GENIUS. Another part that was my favourite and that I can tell you about is when Luna and Riss are at the disco together because Luna finally lets her hair down and enjoys the time that she has in the past. It was so much fun to read.

The Summer of Impossible Things is utterly mesmerising, compelling, stunning…. quite simply…. beautiful, you will laugh and cry and be totally heartbroken that it’s all over when you’ve finished it. Rowan has written a book that I want to crawl within the pages of and never come out! It has my heart and I willingly gave it over.

The Summer Of Impossible Things is out June 29th and NOT TO BE MISSED, this will forever be one of the best books I have ever, EVER read. I will never be able to say it enough! I will be pushing it into people’s hands in bookshops insisting they read it, I will follow them to the till if need be!

Pre-order it right now by clicking here!



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