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
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:432 pages

The Summer of Impossible Things Reviews

  • Tracy Fenton
    Feb 19, 2017

    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
    Feb 19, 2017

    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.

    Enough said.

    Full review nearer to publication (June)

    Highly Recommended.

  • DubaiReader
    Mar 02, 2017

    What if you could change just one thing in the past of someone you love?

    I was so lucky to be approved by NetGalley for a preview copy of this book, I absolutely loved it - it's already my best read so far this year and it could well be my favourite book of 2017.

    It does require a bit of imagination, you have to travel back in time to 1977, but it's worth the stretch and if you loved the Time Traveler's Wife then you'll love this too.

    Luna and her younger sister, Pia, are devastated by the death of

    What if you could change just one thing in the past of someone you love?

    I was so lucky to be approved by NetGalley for a preview copy of this book, I absolutely loved it - it's already my best read so far this year and it could well be my favourite book of 2017.

    It does require a bit of imagination, you have to travel back in time to 1977, but it's worth the stretch and if you loved the Time Traveler's Wife then you'll love this too.

    Luna and her younger sister, Pia, are devastated by the death of their mother, but she had suffered from depression for many years and struggled to hold things together for the family.

    She had moved to UK to marry their father in 1977, but her childhood home had been Bay Ridge, in Brooklyn and there was a family house there that needed to be sold. Luna and Pia travel to Brooklyn to finalise the sale, hoping to find out something about their mother's life before she married their father.

    What they discover is the basis of the story, but that's not all, because Luna finds that she can go back in time to those last days while Marissa was still a vibrant young woman, before something happened that shattered her life. And if Luna can go back and meet her mother in that time, is it possible that she might also be able to change things just slightly so that Marissa's life takes a slightly different path - and if she does so, what are the implications?

    Beautifully written with wonderful characters and subtle twists, this was an excellent read. The only problem is that it's not out until June, but put it on your Wish List now, because this is one book you won't want to miss.

  • Julie Cohen
    Mar 17, 2017

    It’s a gorgeous, rapturous novel, intensely atmospheric. Reading it, I was transported back to Brooklyn in the summer of 1977, with the heat and music and shadows and disco. It was like watching a film and stepping right into it. The stakes are so high for Luna and her family and the rug-pulling moment, near the end, nearly took my breath away. I think my favourite part about it, though, was that it’s a beautiful and heart-wrenching story of a daughter’s love for her mother. We so often read sto

    It’s a gorgeous, rapturous novel, intensely atmospheric. Reading it, I was transported back to Brooklyn in the summer of 1977, with the heat and music and shadows and disco. It was like watching a film and stepping right into it. The stakes are so high for Luna and her family and the rug-pulling moment, near the end, nearly took my breath away. I think my favourite part about it, though, was that it’s a beautiful and heart-wrenching story of a daughter’s love for her mother. We so often read stories about mothers sacrificing for their children and this one turned that neatly on its head in such a satisfying, poignant way. Like all Rowan’s novels, it’s life-affirming and shows the best of what humans can be; I felt that the world was a better place when I put it down. As a novel about impossible things, it made me think that anything was possible.

  • Rae
    Mar 21, 2017

    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.

  • Liz
    Jun 23, 2017

    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
    Jun 10, 2017

    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.

  • Rachel Gilbey
    Jun 09, 2017

    Easily the most accomplished and impressive book that Rowan Coleman has ever written.

    With every will in the world I was wasn't expecting to even like the book, and it was only due to it being written by an author that I greatly admire that I was willing to give it a go.

    Let me explain, I like my fiction incredibly contemporary and always worry if I know in advance there is any history in the book, I am also very skeptical and knowing that there was a time travel element in the book worried me t

    Easily the most accomplished and impressive book that Rowan Coleman has ever written.

    With every will in the world I was wasn't expecting to even like the book, and it was only due to it being written by an author that I greatly admire that I was willing to give it a go.

    Let me explain, I like my fiction incredibly contemporary and always worry if I know in advance there is any history in the book, I am also very skeptical and knowing that there was a time travel element in the book worried me too. However I did know that if it was all dealt with in a way that didn't wrankle me that I would be fine. And somehow having now read The Summer of Impossible Things, and despite the story not fully being realistically believable in a real world sense, I don't think the book would have worked any other way.

    In fact the main character Luna, does everything in her power to try and explain away what is happening to her, before fully embracing it, and instead of the book being confusing, I found it made complete and utter sense. I had the timelines straight in my mind, and ever what should have been a huge outlandish thing, was understated in a way that I can't fully explain.

    This is a story that is far more than those first elements that I was obsessing over. It is a story about love, possibly the purest form of love, from a daughter to her mother and sister. The tale is beautifully written and drew me in completely, to the extent that I read the book in two sittings.

    Even when I wasn't reading the book, the characters and what was happening was playing on my mind, in fact I dread to start another book at the moment, as nothing will be able to compete. I really can't explain the story, as I'm not talented enough to do is justice, for it really is a work of art.

    From the start you are aware that Luna is a scientist and that the author must have put a fair amount of research, so that she could explain things about space/time and just how they work. Although I'm not sure how much understanding I have of it, even now it certainly led an air of intellect to the book.

    Ultimately The Summer of Impossible Things is just that, it takes place in the summer, in New York, where Luna experiences the impossible, and aims to make a believer out of the reader. It is an absolutely brilliant book and I would suggest you put your own beliefs on hold, and give it a go, or miss out on something really special.

    Thank you so much to Netgalley and Ebury Press for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

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