Oliver Foxley is an acclaimed movie star, global heartthrob and one half of Hollywood's golden couple. But under the glare of the spotlight his 'perfect' life is slowly starting to crumble.
Cara Penhaligon is a struggling young Cornish artist, and widowed mother of two children. Life has been unbearably harsh to Cara, but meeting Oliver might just give her a second chance at the happiness she deserves. As each begins to heal the other, the pieces of Oliver's frustrating jigsaw puzzle effortlessly fall into place. But as the Cornish summer draws to a close, Oliver faces the toughest of choices, and no one emerges quite as they were at the start.
*May Contain Spoilers*
Summer in a Cornish Cove by Kate Ryder is a novel of escape and new beginnings. The main characters, Cara and Oliver, each have an invisible weight on their shoulders that keeps them struggling to find happiness. Maybe one summer together can change that...
Cara Penhaligon is a beautiful woman, wonderful mother, exemplary artist, and devastated widow. Though she finds fleeting moments of happiness with her children and her painting, Cara is still severely impacted by her husband's sudden death. Readers will connect with her through this horrible experience and feel respect for her as she moves on, feeling as if her late husband is with her, almost as a guide to finding happiness again.
Oliver Foxley is a famous actor that suffers from deep depression. He's managed to keep this aspect of his personality a secret, but it demands constant attention, often leaving Oliver alone for days as he struggles to find his way out of the 'grey mist.' His wife tries, but she doesn't exactly understand how much it effects him. Readers will understand his suffering as they witness the depression seep in and dictate his emotions and actions.
When Cara and Oliver meet, the attraction is instantaneous. Oliver immediately feels like he can be himself around Cara and Cara feels like she can find happiness again with him. While Oliver takes top billing in a play circling Cornwall area theaters, they spend the summer rediscovering what it feels like to be free from invisible weights. And though Ryder writes the story like a tale of happily ever after, there are a few dark moments in the book and negative aspects that caught me off guard.
First, I didn't exactly like that Oliver was cheating on his wife who had previously supported him and his career, putting hers on hold so she could be there for him. One experience even leads Oliver to have a stalker (an overly obsessed fan) which ends in tragedy. I felt like this took away from the story of Oliver finding relief from his depression. And I know that the way the book ended was probably more realistic, I just didn't feel satisfied with how it all played out. I also am not sure (spoiler alert) that I believe Cara was okay with how Oliver left her after the summer was over. Finding happiness again equals happiness in my book while finding happiness for a few months and then losing it again does not.
Because of these negative aspects of the book, I felt unsatisfied when it was all said and done. I thought the story was going to be about a summer of finding love and happiness, with a few trials, but nothing as serious as suicide and cheating on a spouse. Like I previously pointed out, maybe the way it's written is more realistic, but I wasn't exactly happy with it. I just had different expectations.
Rating: 2.5/5 Cups