Have you ever wanted to rewrite your past?
Three best friends, all with the same birthday, are about to turn forty. Celebrating at a summerhouse in Maine, Leslie Headrick, Madison Appleby, and Ellie Abbott are taking stock of their lives and loves, their wishes and choices. But none of them expect the gift that awaits them at the summerhouse: the chance for each of them to turn their "what-might-have-beens" into reality...
Leslie, a suburban wife and mother, follows the career of a boy who pursued her in college wonders: what if she had chosen differently? Madison dropped a modeling career to help her high school boyfriend recover from an accident, even though he'd jilted her. But what if she had said "no" when her old boyfriend had called? Ellie became a famous novelist, but a bitter divorce wiped out her earnings -- and shattered her belief in herself. Why had the "justice" system failed her? And could she prevent its happening the second time around?
Now, a mysterious "Madame Zoya," offers each of them a chance to relive any three weeks from the past. Will the road not taken prove a better path? Each woman will have to decide for herself as she follows the dream that got away...and each must choose the life that will truly satisfy the heart's deepest longings.
"If you had to do it all over again, what would you do " is the question Deveraux poses in this wistful novel of second chances. Twenty-five years into her career, with 26 New York Times bestsellers to her credit and 30 million copies of her books in print, the author serves up the following situation: 19 years ago, Leslie, Madison and Ellie met while waiting in line to get their licenses renewed at the New York City Department of Motor Vehicles. Sharing the same birthday, they became instant friends. Now they're all turning 40, and although they haven't seen each other since that long-ago day, when Ellie invites the others for a reunion in Maine, they agree to attend. Once there, they realize that their lives haven't turned out as planned. But then the trio stumble across Madame Zoya of Futures, Inc., who make them an irresistible offer: they can relive any three weeks from the past, armed with the knowledge since gained. Afterwards, they must decide: should they stick with the lives they have or go with the new futures they've created The conceit of the DMV meeting and subsequent reunion functions as a clunky device to let the women tell their individual tales of woe; the idea that they're soul mates even though they only met once and never kept in touch requires a considerable stretch of the imagination. When they do go back in time, like 40-years-olds trying to play 20 at a costume party, the conversations are youthfully banal. The eternal allure of lives relived rescues the tale, but this lukewarm effort is strictly for loyal fans. The best thing about time travel in Deveraux's world Instant weight loss. Major ad/promo. (May 8) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Showing 1-2 of the 2 most recent reviews
1 . really really goood!
Posted May 11, 2010 by ally , saskatoonI loved this book, it was really good. If your a fan of jude deaveraux you will love this one for sure.
2 . Very engaging
Posted September 09, 2009 by KeB , Central FLThe tales of three women who wish to relive a time in their past and decide afterwards if they wish to change it. Prepare yourself to laugh, cry, and read it over and over again. A wonderful book that's become an essential addition to my library.
July 31, 2002
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Excerpt from The Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux
Leslie Headrick looked out her kitchen window at the old summerhouse in the back. Now, in early fall, the vines and twisted stems of the old roses nearly covered the building, but in the winter you could see the glassed-in porch well. You could see the peeling paint and the cracked glass in the little round window above the front door. One of the side doors was hanging on one hinge, and Alan said it was a danger to anyone who walked past the place. In fact, Alan said that the whole structure was a danger and should be torn down.
At that thought, Leslie turned away from the window and looked back at her beautiful, perfect kitchen. Just last year Alan had gutted her old kitchen and put in this one. "It's the best that money can buy," he'd said about the maple cabinets and the solid-surface countertops. And Leslie was sure that it was the best, but she missed her ratty old Welsh dresser and the little breakfast nook in the corner. "That table and those chairs look like something kids made in a shop class," Alan had said, and Leslie had agreed -- but their perspective of what was beautiful differed.
As always, Leslie had given in to her husband and let him put in this showplace of a kitchen, and now she felt that she was ruining a piece of art when she baked cookies and messed up the perfect surfaces that scratched so easily.
She poured herself another cup of tea from the pot, strong, black English tea, loose tea, no wimpy tea bags for her, then turned back to again look out at the summerhouse. This was a day for reflecting because in three more days she was going to be forty years old -- and she was going to celebrate her birthday with two women she hadn't seen or heard from in nineteen years.
Behind her, in the hallway, her two suitcases were packed and waiting. She was taking a lot of clothing because she didn't know what the other two women were going to be wearing, and Ellie's letter had been vague. "For a famous writer, she doesn't say much," Alan had said in an unpleasant tone of voice. He had been quite annoyed to find out that his wife was friends with a best-selling author.