Author: Brenda Whiteside
Genres: Historical Romance, Women’s Fiction
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Release Date: 8/27/2013
Three generations of women…and the secret that strengthens their love.
A line of women, all named Amanda, stretches back for generations. Each with her hopes, her joys, her pain—each pouring out her heart in correspondence with a dear family friend who shares their lives, understands their loves, and joins in their sorrows.
But within the correspondence lies a secret. And as the youngest of the Amandas retraces the journey through the years—beginning in post-war America and following through to modern day—the letters reveal, layer by layer, the Amandas who came before her. Soon, the truths and lies hidden in the letters lead her down a path of self-discovery that forges a bond between her past and future.
August 24, 1968
A few days of bliss with no one to talk to but the
seagulls. I have you to thank for this. I’m so glad you
popped back after Amanda, Robert, and Mother left. The
strain I put on all of us while you were here would’ve
dragged on for who knows how long if you hadn’t
returned. Once again, Tilly, you read the tea leaves and
My moods have been so ragged of late. Jealousy of
all things. Jealous that you could talk to my daughter,
get along so lovely with her, which I’ve had difficulty
doing these last few months. Jealous of your longer
running friendship with Robert than with me. I’m not
sure if I was jealous of him or you. You’re both mine.
And angry that the two of you are uncomfortable around
each other after so many years and not making sense of
that. When Robert left, I tried to give him the blue
swimsuit you had left behind and asked him to drop in
on you to return it. He said no, I could do it when I got
back. This was so unlike him and did more to unsettle
Purchase Amanda in the Summer here **Note--the book is FREE 10/22 thru 10/26**
This is an epistolary novel that takes the reader through several generations. It begins in the 1940s in an exchange of letters between Amanda and her dear friend Tilly. Actually, we only see Amanda’s letters, not Tilly’s responses. Though the two women are close friends, their lives take very different paths. Amanda, expecting her first child, has settled into married life while Tilly seems to be living a more exciting life in the city, single and free. Amanda spends her summers at a beach cottage, often with only her mother for company while her husband is working in the city.
We learn that Tilly was friendly with Amanda’s husband before Amanda married him, and as the letters continue, they are peppered with tantalizing hints as to the relationships among them. As time passes, Amanda’s daughter (also named Amanda) corresponds with Tilly, who remains unmarried. Through her we see the “peace and love” era of the 1960s. Further along, a third Amanda (a granddaughter) writes Tilly as well.
Though we’ve “come a long way, baby”, women still wonder if we can have it all, and if that’s even desirable. I enjoyed the way the author wove events of the time, and changing mores, into the story. As a reader I had to wonder if the 1940s Amanda, Tilly’s friend, was as innocent (oblivious?) as her letters suggested, or if she had doubts that she simply preferred not to face. I’m glad the author chose not to spell everything out, but left the mystery unanswered.
This is a story of mothers and daughters, love and friendship, and the decisions we all have to make. I recommend Amanda in the Summer to readers who enjoy woman’s fiction written with a light touch.
I was born and raised in Arizona. Outside of Arizona, my travels had only gone as far as California, Nevada, and New Mexico until I married a man doing a stint in the Army. If the Army offered nothing else, we at least had the opportunity to see a good part of the world. And we found we liked moving around.
Our frequent moves continued into our civilian life. Our gypsy lifestyle has finally landed us in the northern prairies of Arizona. We’re transitioning from city people to country folk. We share our rambling farmhouse with our son the farmer, his wife, my granddaughter and three dogs. Together, we’ve embraced an age-old lifestyle that has been mostly lost in the United States - multiple generations living under one roof, who share the workload, follow their individual dreams and reap the benefits of combined talents.
Although I didn’t start out to write romance, I’ve found all good stories have to involve complicated human relationships. I’ve also learned, no matter a person’s age, a new discovery is right around every corner. Whether humorous or serious, straight contemporary or mystery, all my books revolve around those two facts.
Follow Brenda on:
Her website: www.brendawhiteside.com
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/BrendaWhitesideAuthor
Blogs on 9th and 24th: http://rosesofprose.blogspot.com
Blogs about Prairie Life and Writing: http://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/