A Summer in Sonoma

If you read this blog regularly, you know I didn’t spend a summer in this California town, but I just finished reading a book with this title by Robyn Carr. It takes place during the summer. Years after high school graduation, four friends still live in the same town, keep in touch, and support each other through domestic woes and other difficulties.

Cassie, an emergency room nurse,  is trying not to fall in love with a man on a motorcycle who rescues her from a rapist. Julie, a stay at home mom with a husband and three kids, is deep in debt, and her husband, a fireman, doesn’t get it. Marty, a hairdresser, is married to another firefighter who leaves dirty dishes and clothes in  his wake and doesn’t shower or shave unless he’s going to work; yet the yard, garage, and his boat are immaculate. Beth, an obstetrician, has breast cancer which forces the others to put their lives in perspective. 

Reading this book also helped me put my life in perspective as well. At one point in our marriage, Bill had to file for bankrupcy, but at least we didn’t have three kids, and I wasn’t eating cereal all the time so they could have more nutritious meals. Bill was also a bit of a slob, but he couldn’t help it. With the use of only one arm and leg, it was nearly impossible to pick up after himself. At least he was showered and shaved three days a week. I no longer have a husband, father, or mother, but at least I don’t have cancer. I wanted to tell Marty, though,  so what if her husband didn’t pick up after himself. Neither did my father, and my mother complained about that all the time, but at least she didn’t have to wipe his butt, dress him, and transfer him from one place to another, dropping him on the floor a few times in the process.


Since a retired fire chief I know might be reading this, let me say that not all firemen are slobs or irresponsible with money. I can see why the author made both husbands firefighters in the same department, though. It made it easier to justify them both being good buddies. I like the way she resolves everything in the end, leaving a few minor details to the reader’s imagination. This  book is a Rita award winner. 

Robyn Carr was first published in 1978, and it took her thirty years to make it to the New York Times bestseller list with A Virgin River Christmas in 2007. In 2011, Bring Me Home for Christmas, the sixteenth novel in the Virgin River series, made not only The New York Times roster but also the Barnes & Noble and Publishers Weekly lists. Her last five novels made the #1 slot on The New York Times list their first week on sale. To learn more about her and her books, click here

A Summer in Sonoma is available in paperback and Kindle formats from Amazon and in recorded format from Audible. I received it in recorded format on a digital cartridge from my talking book library, and the narrator was very good. I’m sure it’ll be available for download on the National Library Service’s BARD site when the government is back up and running. Although this book takes place during the summer, it’s a good read year round, and I definitely recommend it. 


Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better  Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

3 thoughts on “A Summer in Sonoma

  1. I’m so impressed with your ability to write book reviews. You really did a good job. I’m glad that you didn’t give the whole story away but made the details interesting enough to pique a reader’s curiosity. BTW, I’m not married but I pick up after myself. It just so happens that I have special places for things, such as bills on the kitchen table covering one of my cassette recorders.

    • Hi Bruce, I’m glad you like the way I review books. I’m sorry if I gave the impression that all men don’t pick up after themselves. Naturally, if you’re visually impaired, whether you’re a man or a woman, this is necessary, or you won’t be able to find anything. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Abbie–What an unbelievable coincidence! I just read A SUMMER IN SONOMA on Sunday and Monday of this week and returned the book today. Although I have read almost all of Robyn Carr’s books, I most enjoy her Christmas novels that highlight a special patriotic Christmas tree to honor the troops. As usual, in your book review, you have woven together your own life experiences with the description of the characters in the novel. Thanks for sharing your “reads” in a creative way. Take care–Alice

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s