Life Without Summer deftly weaves together the lives of Tessa, a young mother who has just lost her four-year-old daughter in a hit and run accident outside her preschool, and Celia, the grief counselor who tries to help her put her life back together. Once the picture of domestic bliss, Tessa now grapples with the terrible emptiness left by her daughter’s absence, made worse by police insistence that the case is unsolvable. As Celia struggles to keep Tessa from getting caught up in a bleak crusade for answers, she finds that their sessions open the door to emotions she’s spent years ignoring, forcing her to face the rising tensions in her own life– her troubled teenage son, her alcoholic ex-husband, and her fragile new marriage. Celia soon finds that she must come to terms with the tragic mistakes of her own past and the choices that have led her family to the brink of destruction.
Told in two voices, this novel is a haunting portrait of two women whose lives begin to converge unexpectedly when the answers one needs turns out to be the other’s only chance for peace. Life Without Summer illuminates what can happen to one’s self-identity and love relationships in the wake of tragedy. Each woman’s intensely personal journey reverberates universal themes about the connections between love and marriage and truth and forgiveness, which no reader will forget.