The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman

The Summer of Impossible Things

If you could change the past, would you?Thirty years ago, something terrible happened to Luna’s mother. Something she’s only prepared to reveal after her death. Now Luna and her sister have a chance to go back to their mother’s birthplace and settle her affairs. But in Brooklyn they find more questions than answers, until something impossible – magical – happens to Luna, a...

Title:The Summer of Impossible Things
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1785032410
Number of Pages:432 pages

The Summer of Impossible Things Reviews

  • Jules

    is the first book I’ve read by this author, despite her books having been recommended to me on many occasions. It’s my usual excuse of so many talented authors, thousands of great books, and not enough hours in the day. If only time would slow down each time I decided to read a book.

    Wow! The ‘Author’s Note’ alone at the very beginning had me completely fascinated and bursting with anticipation and excitement. I was fascinated by the idea behind the book and grippe

    is the first book I’ve read by this author, despite her books having been recommended to me on many occasions. It’s my usual excuse of so many talented authors, thousands of great books, and not enough hours in the day. If only time would slow down each time I decided to read a book.

    Wow! The ‘Author’s Note’ alone at the very beginning had me completely fascinated and bursting with anticipation and excitement. I was fascinated by the idea behind the book and gripped by this wonderful story. It had a feel of Back to the Future, Stephen King’s 11.22.63 and a non-scary version of A Nightmare on Elm Street, due to what appeared to be the ability to bring things back from a dream.

    I adored this story and the characters within it. For the days I was reading it, I struggled to think of anything else. I was consumed with concern about what the outcome of this story would be. My mind was working overtime trying to think of all the possibilities. I even found myself thinking about it instead of sleeping, as I felt torn between which outcome I thought would be best for everyone, and worried how I would cope if it didn't turn out as I hoped. I went through a variety of emotions throughout this journey, and yes, I did cry real tears.

    I feel so lucky to have read this beautiful, emotional and thought provoking story that introduced the magic of time travel and a lot of love into my life. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves reading, whether you enjoy science fiction, time travel, romance, women’s fiction, family sagas, thought provoking ideas, character led stories or books that make your heart ache and your eyes cry. This story has enough love and magic for everyone.

    On that note, I’ll leave you with this quote from the book:

  • Tracy Fenton

    Firstly, my thanks to the publisher, Netgalley and Rowan Coleman for the advance copy. I will admit to not reading the blurb before starting this book, so I wasn’t sure what to expect except if Rowan had written it – I was bound to love it. The Summer of Impossible Things is basically a book about making sacrifices for the people you love. I admit to only reading one other time travel book before (11.22.63 by Stephen King) so this isn’t a topic I know much about, but what I do know is how the b

    Firstly, my thanks to the publisher, Netgalley and Rowan Coleman for the advance copy. I will admit to not reading the blurb before starting this book, so I wasn’t sure what to expect except if Rowan had written it – I was bound to love it. The Summer of Impossible Things is basically a book about making sacrifices for the people you love. I admit to only reading one other time travel book before (11.22.63 by Stephen King) so this isn’t a topic I know much about, but what I do know is how the book made me feel. The Summer of Impossible Things is a book that made me question how far I would travel to protect my family, what would I do to ensure my loved ones are happy and safe? This wonderful story about Luna and Pea and their journey to save their mother was both moving and beautiful and thought-provoking (and whilst reading it I was hoping Hollywood would make this into a film too!)

  • Liz Barnsley

    This book is made entirely of magic.

    Beautifully written and stunning in its impact, this is a story about love in all its forms and the things we sacrifice for it.

    Also: Time travel and Disco. So what else do you honestly need?

    Rowan Coleman writes with such a gorgeous lyrical style that you get caught up in the narrative and come out the other side a little starry eyed. And a little tearful. Luna is such an engaging protagonist, thrown into a strange and unlikely situation, during a very sad time

    This book is made entirely of magic.

    Beautifully written and stunning in its impact, this is a story about love in all its forms and the things we sacrifice for it.

    Also: Time travel and Disco. So what else do you honestly need?

    Rowan Coleman writes with such a gorgeous lyrical style that you get caught up in the narrative and come out the other side a little starry eyed. And a little tearful. Luna is such an engaging protagonist, thrown into a strange and unlikely situation, during a very sad time in her life and ultimately making it her own – travelling a path of odd and emotional decision making events.

    The 70’s come to life, as we travel back and forth, the author paints the years with different colours, dark and light, shading each decade with it’s own sense of place – I loved it loved it, I couldn’t put it down and it was melancholy yet life affirming – when I got to the end I went back and read portions again just for the sheer joy of it. The ending was genuinely thought provoking and so so exquisite, the fact that the characters are so very alive on the page during the reading just making it more so.

    It’s hard to know what to say to be honest because as I started with, The Summer of Impossible Things is just made entirely of magic. Some of it dark magic, some of it light magic but pure pure magic. I think that’s really all you need to know.

    Highly HIGHLY recommended. Even for the most cynical readers. In fact even more so for the cynical ones.

    Go get it.

  • Laura

    Book reviews and more on

    This is a really special book; it's one that made me think and made me cry, ultimately leaving me pondering the story after I'd finished it.

    From the brilliant characters - hugely likable Luna and sister, dad and mum, as well as those around her in both the present day narrative and the one situated in the past - to the poignant, wistful feeling of possibly being able to change the past... everything comes together in The Summer of Impossible Things to

    Book reviews and more on

    This is a really special book; it's one that made me think and made me cry, ultimately leaving me pondering the story after I'd finished it.

    From the brilliant characters - hugely likable Luna and sister, dad and mum, as well as those around her in both the present day narrative and the one situated in the past - to the poignant, wistful feeling of possibly being able to change the past... everything comes together in The Summer of Impossible Things to create a wonderful read.

    I love books about time travel, specifically being able to change what's happened before you and how that could impact the future, so I knew this would be an intriguing read. The whole subject is so fascinating, and whilst storylines like this can often be a little bit 'mind boggling' as you try to keep up with what will change what another element in the future, this book manages to keep it all understandable. It kind of makes sense, even if the story is all about something that (as far as we know right now) is scientifically impossible, because it's written so convincingly by Rowan Coleman.

    There are some parts and some bits of dialogue which are very romantic and, some might feel, a little cheesy, but it all works with what is at stake for Luna and her family, even if not everyone else realises it. The writing is wonderful and the magical elements aren't too ridiculous to put me off - I'm not a huge fan of fantasy novels apart from the obvious popular choices, I have to say, but this was just right. I teared up, and indeed cried a little, at certain points and I felt the ending was just right for me. I don't want to give anything else away but just recommend that anyone looking for an emotional, smart and thoughtful read gives The Summer of Impossible Things a go.

    * Many thanks to Ebury Publishing for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review. *

  • Rae

    Gosh, where to start with The Summer of Impossible Things? An amazing setting - 1970s Brooklyn. Wonderful characters - in the shape of slightly socially awkward Luna and her loving, recovering addict sister, Pea. Not forgetting their wise Brooklyn landlady, Mrs Finkle. I already know this will be one of my favourite books of the year. It's the kind of novel I'm keen to press on/discuss with friends, that I'll remember long after I've finished reading. It's about love and hurt and time travel and

    Gosh, where to start with The Summer of Impossible Things? An amazing setting - 1970s Brooklyn. Wonderful characters - in the shape of slightly socially awkward Luna and her loving, recovering addict sister, Pea. Not forgetting their wise Brooklyn landlady, Mrs Finkle. I already know this will be one of my favourite books of the year. It's the kind of novel I'm keen to press on/discuss with friends, that I'll remember long after I've finished reading. It's about love and hurt and time travel and the lengths a family is prepared to go to to ensure the best for each other. Rowan Coleman's characters and writing are so superb that she makes it easy to believe in time travel. Something fantastical happens when reading The Summer of Impossible Things - time vanishes - whilst enjoying 'just one more chapter.' A brilliant read.

  • Sam

    Finished this book last night and I can't stop thinking about it.

    It was wonderful and exciting and magical and sad and I wish I could lean back and watch it as a series.

    Detailed review will follow shortly. :)

    The Summer of Impossible Things is a book about making sacrifices for the people you love.

    The most beautiful part of the book is, that it’s such a wonderful and heart-breaking story of a daughter’s love for her mother. There are so many stories about all the

    Finished this book last night and I can't stop thinking about it.

    It was wonderful and exciting and magical and sad and I wish I could lean back and watch it as a series.

    Detailed review will follow shortly. :)

    The Summer of Impossible Things is a book about making sacrifices for the people you love.

    The most beautiful part of the book is, that it’s such a wonderful and heart-breaking story of a daughter’s love for her mother. There are so many stories about all the sacrifices mothers do for their children and this book turned it around. Now it is Luna who wants to sacrifice herself for her mother. That's a fantastic, refreshing and emotional way to tell the story. Something I've never read before and Rowan Coleman did an amazing job in bringing so much feelings into this novel. I was captivated from page one and instantly felt like I was a part of this story. It was magical. I adore Rowan for making me sit in a rollercoaster filled with the highest ups and the saddest lows.

    And no one's mentioned the foreword! It was so well written and thought-provoking. As soon as I finished reading it, I had to read it again.

    Fantastic book, magical setting, emotional rollercoaster...I am in awe of Rowan Coleman!

  • Liz

    Confession time- I purely wanted to read this book based on the fabulous, classy cover. I love it! ❤

    Beautiful and ugly, romantic and heartbreaking, possible and impossible. The Summer of Impossible Things explores it all.

    A mother has died, leaving behind two heartb

    Confession time- I purely wanted to read this book based on the fabulous, classy cover. I love it! ❤

    Beautiful and ugly, romantic and heartbreaking, possible and impossible. The Summer of Impossible Things explores it all.

    A mother has died, leaving behind two heartbroken adult daughters and utterly loving and committed husband. Luna and Pia, sisters, travel to Brooklyn to settle the affair of their mother’s birth home. With their arrival, Luna starts experiencing more than her scientific degree could possibly explain away and as all the past’s dark secrets start to unravel, Luna has a choice to make. Risk losing her soul for the sake of guaranteeing the life and happiness her loved ones deserve, or deal with the pain of loss, let go of everything she has experienced and simply accept life as it is and just move on.

    There are so many little details to this story, so much beautiful time stopping writing full of love and yearning, made even more intimate and impactful by the first person narrative from Luna’s POV.

    But this is not just a love story entwined with time travel elements. A crime was committed in a small, tight knit community where everyone is well known and the mafia presence implies that a lot gets swept under the rug. It is this crime- bad, ugly thing- that Luna tries to prevent from ever happening to her mother which made her go on a downward spiral. But first, she needs to find out what exactly happened to her mother. This process reveals emotionally painful episodes from the sisters’ childhood that they had forgotten, as well as unearth an ugly truth that places Luna into a position where she feels she should never have been. The second task is to master the time travel aspect, and third- she needs to find a way to alter the events for a best possible outcome for all involved.

    Throughout this book, I had so many theories as to how the story was going to come to an end. Every page, turn of events and chapter brought about a flood of ideas and expectations to what I imagined the end game was going to be. The ending though? Was something I didn’t expect. The romantic notions throughout the book were so powerful and time bending, the ending, in a way, so unexpected for me, that I had an overdose warm fuzzy feelings and all the bad, the ugly and the dark was overpowered by the power of love. Love for your siblings, love for your parents, love for that special someone to share your life with. (I feel all sappy btw!)

    Actually, there were a lot of things in this book I didn’t expect. Just when I thought we had a clear direction with the story, a little hint was dropped but I decided at the time it must have been put there to muddy the waters and I thought nothing about it until BOOM! Something I didn’t expect was revealed and I felt as if my brain and thoughts up until that moment of reading had to undertake a mental time travel journey of their own to add all the pieces together again! It threw me for a loop and I admit, some small bits are still fuzzy and questionably but explainable.

    I have probably mentioned at some stage that I don’t do well with time travel plots. I think I just read a really poor example in the past to put me off. The Summer of Impossible Things redeemed time travel for me. It really did… Luna travels to 70s. The era of disco and cringy clothing. To the town where her mother grew up. The town where Travolta was filming a movie, a town where Luna’s father was a photographer… The two timelines were so well tied together, I didn’t feel like they should have been two separate books (like I had with me first experience of a time travel plot!). How and what triggered her time travel was really neat and executes beautifully on the feelings that this book was trying to portray. The Summer of Impossible Things made me feel like the impossible was possible!

    All of the side characters were well thought out and had their role to play- the story fit together like a perfect picture with a good flow and great balance in between the present and the past. One of the characters, Michael, was that piece that made me wonder about all those possible different outcomes. I was wondering was he the one that would make the impossible even more impossible? Where he was involved though- those moments were as much exhilarating, as they were downright romantic and at times heartbreaking.

    Overall: This book is about life that is no longer… but with time travel, could a life be again? It’s about making the right decision: to go and cause a Butterfly Effect risking one soul for the sake of others or risk living with regret. It’s about righting the wrongs… and maybe it’s even a bit about what it really means to sacrifice something, or someone that you really love for the good of other loves in your life. Yes, there is quite a lot of impossible in this book because of time travel but the impossible was beautiful! *****

    So, are you ready to take a magical time travel journey? If yes, be prepared to face some dark demons of the past, but remember in this book- love does conquer!

  • Emer

    I've been a fan of Rowan Coleman's books for a number of years. I always found that they were intelligently written and wonderfully stirring stories. That is until I read her two most recent novels. Both of which individually were wonderful..but when read one after another I found that there were too many similarities. Shared motifs. The writing felt sadly jaded and I was quite upset to think that perhaps I had fallen out of love with one of my favourite women's literature writers.

    Then I read t

    I've been a fan of Rowan Coleman's books for a number of years. I always found that they were intelligently written and wonderfully stirring stories. That is until I read her two most recent novels. Both of which individually were wonderful..but when read one after another I found that there were too many similarities. Shared motifs. The writing felt sadly jaded and I was quite upset to think that perhaps I had fallen out of love with one of my favourite women's literature writers.

    Then I read the blurb for this book.

    Magic. Time travel. Disco....

    It sounded fresh. So I jumped at the opportunity to request this on NetGalley.

    And I am so glad I did!!! I am pleased to say that Rowan Coleman is back on top form and has delivered a highly emotional and thought provoking read.

    The book follows the story of Luna as she somehow magically can time travel back to 1977 to when her mother was still a young woman and can there decide to help prevent a major incident in her mother's life that could have catastrophic results for Luna herself! This is a story of love between daughter and mother. And the lengths that Luna would go to to change the world of the person who means the most to her even to the possibility that she can no longer be part of that life.

    Certain leaps of faith are required when reading and I saw the twist coming a mile away BUT that didn't lessen my enjoyment. In fact it heightened it. I wanted to see how the characters would react to each unfolding piece of information and I was not let down.

    And the love story between Luna and a character from 1977 was COMPLETELY swoon-worthy. Every scene they were in together felt like it sizzled and crackled with electricity. DEFINITE chemistry!!!

    I also loved Luna's relationship with her sister. They had such a beautiful sisterly friendship and Luna really showed herself to be a very protective big sister which made her all the more likeable. Luna herself was a great character. I loved how she was portrayed as being both smart and yet lacking in certain areas. Her flaws and vulnerabilities made her feel all the more real. And her grounded nature was key to making this fantastical story feel strangely believable and therefore much more powerful.

    All in all this was a very enjoyable read and one that I would recommend to fans of emotional women's lit.

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