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Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Summerhouse Chronicles

I would have written this a long time back. But I wanted to finish reading the whole set. I am talking about the Summerhouse Series by Jude Deveraux: The Summerhouse and Return to the Summerhouse.

The Summerhouse is the story of three women - Leslie Headrick, Madison Appleby, and Ellie Abbott - who meet by chance in the Dept of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and strike a friendship with each other. They then meet again on their fortieth birthday in a summerhouse in Maine to take stock on the years gone by, with each woman finding out that all of them have changed for the worse and none of them were able to fulfill the dreams they had shared when they met each other for the first time at the DMV.

A chance discovery of business card offering them to rewrite their past, gets them thinking "If you had to do it all over again, what would you do?" and leads them to the mysterious Madame Zoya. She offers them a chance to relive three weeks of their past sends them on a adventure to change their what-might-have-beens into reality. After this, they are offered a choice: Keep the old life or go with the new one?

The sequel to this book, Return to Summerhouse, has three new characters - Amy who is suffering from a pain which she hides behind a perfect marriage, Zoe who is an artist and is facing the hatred of the whole town for doing something she doesn't remember after an accident erased her memory, and Faith, a widow who is thinking of a man she once loved. This book ups the adventure by having Madame Zoya and her sister Primrose send all the three of them back to the eighteenth century to change Amy's ancestry.

Both the books are connected to each other by a common character, Jeanne Hightowers, Ellie's therapist in the first book and Amy's therapist in the second one. The way the story unfolds in either books and the descriptions are so well written that I am almost waiting for a movie adaptation of these two books. Can someone please make a movie out of these two books? This I say with the complete knowledge that movie adaptations never do justice to the original books.

Wow... Rewriting your past. Isn't that a fascinating concept? I read this book again and again only to satisfy my appetite for happy endings. It makes you think that every little thing you do, any person you meet is instrumental in shaping your life and making it what it is today. Then that leads to you to take stock of your own life. Mind you, most of the time what you have is really good, because it took many little events, some painful some enjoyable, to reach what you have today. One important lesson I learnt from this book is you and you alone are responsible for making or breaking your life as it is.

What would you do if given a chance to rewrite your past?

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