Cicada Summer by Maureen Leurck

Cicada Summer

In this moving, witty novel, author Maureen Leurck explores the intricacies and joys of renovation and rediscovery as one woman s improvement project promises to transform much more than a home . . People keep a house alive, not the other way around. Alex Proctor has seen the truth of this in every empty, rundown property she s bought and renovated since her divorce almos...

Title:Cicada Summer
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1496706528
Number of Pages:320 pages

Cicada Summer Reviews

  • Sue

    "The symbolic meaning of a summer when the cicadas come is one of rebirth and renewal." This novel takes place in Wisconsin during a cicada summer and is a story about rebirth and renewal - both of the house that Alex is renovating and in her personal life.

    Alex has been renovating old houses in the three years since her divorce and finally wins the bid on a very old, very trashed older home that she wants to renovate and sell. The house is in terrible shape but she sees so many ways to make it c

    "The symbolic meaning of a summer when the cicadas come is one of rebirth and renewal." This novel takes place in Wisconsin during a cicada summer and is a story about rebirth and renewal - both of the house that Alex is renovating and in her personal life.

    Alex has been renovating old houses in the three years since her divorce and finally wins the bid on a very old, very trashed older home that she wants to renovate and sell. The house is in terrible shape but she sees so many ways to make it come alive again by really digging in and working hard. Problem after problem happens and the cost of the renovation gets more and more expensive - the house had to be lifted up to re-do the foundation, the roof leaked and destroyed the upper floors and even more. Along with working on the house, Alex is the mom of a 6 year old and shares custody with her ex-husband. As the summer continues, Alex also finds that she still has feelings for her ex-husband. Can Alex find rebirth and renewal for the house and her past relationship with her husband during this cicada summer?

    I loved the characters in this book - Alex is so strong and determined while working on the house yet still questions herself and her decisions that led to her divorce. There is also a lot of information about old houses which I found very interesting. Plus there is a lovely older neighbor next door who adds information about the house but also an interesting mystery to go along with it. This is a great read.

    Thanks to goodreads for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.

  • Barb Klein

    I think that “Cicada Summer” by Maureen Leurck is a novel about hope, love, perseverance, starting over, and second chances at life. In more ways than one, Ms. Leurck gives the reader a glimpse at obstacles that can be overcome and the endurance to find other ways to succeed.

    Alex Proctor is a single mom, sharing her daughter with the father, Matt on every other weekend and designated custody days. She is providing for her daughter by renovating old houses into homes anyone would love to live in.

    I think that “Cicada Summer” by Maureen Leurck is a novel about hope, love, perseverance, starting over, and second chances at life. In more ways than one, Ms. Leurck gives the reader a glimpse at obstacles that can be overcome and the endurance to find other ways to succeed.

    Alex Proctor is a single mom, sharing her daughter with the father, Matt on every other weekend and designated custody days. She is providing for her daughter by renovating old houses into homes anyone would love to live in. This last home that she purchased has no limit on problems and unseen structural disintegration. I love to watch the reno shows that are so prevalent now and found that this book capitalized on this popular theme of these shows. This house comes alive as we find out more and more about past inhabitants. Can she use this same stubbornness to make her life right again? Can she begin to start a new life without constantly thinking of her ex-husband?

    Of course, the title has something to do with the theme of the novel. Cicadas lives are in a seventeen year cycle. Every seventeen years cicadas come out of their hibernating grounds, cover the area with their sounds and bodies until they mate, lay the eggs and die. The eggs hatch and the nymphs burrow underground to feed on plant roots. They re-emerge after another seventeen year to start the cycle all over again. I would say that the comparison to

    Alex’s life is the stubbornness, hope and renewal that the cicada experience brings to the dedication to starting over again.

    I thought the characters were very real and that Ms. Leurck did a wonderful job of tying up all the threads that ran through the novel. I would recommend this book highly. I received an advanced proof of this novel from NightOwlReviews.com for my honest review.

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  • Kate Olson

    One of my favorite reads of summer 2017, CICADA SUMMER brings my home state of Wisconsin to life in this vibrant and beautiful story. Alex is an incredibly strong female character and her fixer-upper passion is an absolute joy to read about as you cheer her along on her quest to bring a historic home back to its former glory in Lake Geneva, WI.

    CICADA SUMMER has home renovation details to drool over, as well as family, romance and second chances.....this is a must-read!

    Thanks to the author and p

    One of my favorite reads of summer 2017, CICADA SUMMER brings my home state of Wisconsin to life in this vibrant and beautiful story. Alex is an incredibly strong female character and her fixer-upper passion is an absolute joy to read about as you cheer her along on her quest to bring a historic home back to its former glory in Lake Geneva, WI.

    CICADA SUMMER has home renovation details to drool over, as well as family, romance and second chances.....this is a must-read!

    Thanks to the author and publisher for providing me with a finished copy of this book for review purposes - all opinions are my own.

  • Sarah Joint

    . I was in the mood for a nice light summery read and this book delivered. A great little comfort read, it would have been nice to enjoy it on the beach. I did manage to predict most of it, but I didn't pick this up looking for a story that would stun me. It's a sweet and easy to digest read perfect for a summer day. There's quite a bit of detail about restoring an old house that seems accurate and well-researched. Some readers might be a little bored by that

    . I was in the mood for a nice light summery read and this book delivered. A great little comfort read, it would have been nice to enjoy it on the beach. I did manage to predict most of it, but I didn't pick this up looking for a story that would stun me. It's a sweet and easy to digest read perfect for a summer day. There's quite a bit of detail about restoring an old house that seems accurate and well-researched. Some readers might be a little bored by that, but HGTV is my jam so it was fine with me! It's a moving and sweet story with just enough romance.

    Alex is trying to make a name for herself restoring houses.

    The house is over a hundred years old and a complete wreck. Restoring it will take long days, a decent amount of help, and a whole lot of money. More money than she initially thought, in fact. Everything that can go wrong seems to. The risk she took buying it starts to look less and less like it's going to pay off.

    She shares custody of her five year old daughter

    with her ex-husband.

    He's seemingly moved on, but she's having difficulty. When her best friend fixes her up, she reluctantly goes on a first date where she's surprised to feel a spark. Alex has also been bonding with an older lady named

    who lives next door to her work in progress, who has enlisted her in a project of her own. She also has stories about how the house once was, which makes Alex even more determined to restore it to its former glory.

    They're all waiting for the cicadas to appear... strange little bugs that appear every seventeen years. It's got them all thinking about the last summer they swarmed, and wondering where they'll be seventeen years from now when they appear again.

  • Heidi

    Four stars: A delightful summer read all about second chances.

    Alex has been peering in the windows of the dilapidated house on Maple Street for weeks, eagerly planning her restoration. When it is time to bid for the property, she finds herself in a bidding war against a man who wants to tear it down. Alex wins the property but at a much higher price than she planned. Quickly she tears into the restoration, hoping to flip the house and make some money. Unfortunately, the house is one disaster af

    Four stars: A delightful summer read all about second chances.

    Alex has been peering in the windows of the dilapidated house on Maple Street for weeks, eagerly planning her restoration. When it is time to bid for the property, she finds herself in a bidding war against a man who wants to tear it down. Alex wins the property but at a much higher price than she planned. Quickly she tears into the restoration, hoping to flip the house and make some money. Unfortunately, the house is one disaster after another. While working on the house, Alex meets Elsie, the neighbor across the street. Elsie knew the family who lived in the house, and she hopes to see it restored. Elsie and Alex quickly become friends, and soon Elsie asks Alex to help her reconcile her past. As Alex works to restore the house and to help Elsie, she reexamines her past. Is it too late for second chances?

    What I Liked:

    *The Cicada Summer is a nice, uplifting read all about second chances. I loved the themes, the story, the house restoration and the cicadas. This is a perfect read for summer.

    The story is centered around the restoration of the run down and abandoned house on Maple Street. *The house is nearly a hundred years old, and on its last leg. Many want to tear it down, but Alex believes that houses have a soul, and she is determined to save it. I loved learning about all that goes into a restoration. It was fascinating to read about the restoration process.

    *I loved the theme of second chances. Several of the characters as well as the old house get a second chance in this one. I enjoyed seeing the characters dare to take another chance at life and love. Whether it be Elsie wanting to reconcile her past or Alex reevaluating her decisions, it was wonderful to see them get another chance.

    *The cicadas were another interesting part of the story. The cicadas also fit into the second chance theme. Every seventeen years they hatch and take over the lake community. I am usually squeamish when it comes to anything that is grasshopper like, but surprisingly, I was intrigued by the cicadas. I liked their inclusion in the story.

    *The romance was a surprise. I wasn’t expecting it to turn out the way it did, but then when it happened, I was thrilled to see it go in that direction. The romance fits into the second chance theme, and I loved it.

    *The ending is sweet and satisfying. Everything settles out and ends in a positive way. No loose ends.

    And The Not So Much:

    After all the buildup, I felt like the ending was rushed. I wanted more of Elsie’s story, especially when it came to Corinne. What was Corinne’s life like? I wish that more of her had been included. I also wish that there had been a tiny bit more of the romance.

    *Usually when reading a book, I grow to like a character more and more, but that wasn’t the case with this one. In fact, as the book went on, I found myself liking Alex a bit less. Mostly I disliked her when I found out about her divorce. I thought she behaved rash and childlike. A lot of her behavior was immature. I didn’t hate her, but I didn’t like her ridiculous behavior. Thankfully, she grew and changed. Perhaps it would have been better to disclose her past up front so the reader can grow to like her more and more.

    Cicada Summer was a lovely summer read all about second chances. I loved the themes and the house restoration in this one. It was light and easy, perfect for a summer read. My only hesitation is that I didn’t like that the more I read about Alex and her past decisions the less I liked her. If you want a nice book for a summer day, this is one to try.

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and I was not compensated for this review.

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  • Karen

    "Their presence encourages us to reflect on life and how the world has changed since they were last here, as they symbolize a starting over and new beginnings." -Cicada Summer

    The above quote explains the meaning behind the title of Cicada Summer, written by Maureen Leurck. The cicadas come out every seventeen years, and when they do, it is considered to be a time of rebirth and renewal. The author beautifully weaves this concept into the story line, giving the reader a wonderful story that will

    "Their presence encourages us to reflect on life and how the world has changed since they were last here, as they symbolize a starting over and new beginnings." -Cicada Summer

    The above quote explains the meaning behind the title of Cicada Summer, written by Maureen Leurck. The cicadas come out every seventeen years, and when they do, it is considered to be a time of rebirth and renewal. The author beautifully weaves this concept into the story line, giving the reader a wonderful story that will stay with them long after they finish the book.

    Alex Proctor is divorced and lives with her five-year-old daughter, Abby, in the beautiful town of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Alex finds old homes to restore to their original beauty, and her current project is located at 4723 Maple Street. To anyone walking past this old house, all they would see is a crumbling, broken down house on its last legs, so to speak. However, Alex sees beyond the crumbling house...she sees the possibilities of bringing it back to life...back to its original beauty. In order to do that, she relies heavily on her trusted friend and contractor, Eddie. Alex knew this one would be more challenging than her previous houses that she restored, but she has a vision of what she wants and is determined to see it through. Of course, this is easier said than done. Along the way, she will experience many unexpected complications, and she will be tested in ways she couldn't have imagined, but she never loses her focus or her dream. While working on the house, she often reflects on her own life and where it went wrong. She is still hopelessly in love with her ex-husband, Matt, and has no idea on how to let go. She begins to realize the things that drove her crazy while they were married were things that should have been insignificant. She still misses Matt beyond belief, but unlike Alex, Matt has moved on with his life. Seeing him when she brings Abby to his house always makes her think about what they had and lost. Restoring the house on Maple Street is one thing...but restoring her personal life isn't as easy.

    What first attracted me to this book was the fact that it takes place in my home state of Wisconsin. I've been to Lake Geneva as a kid, and was instantly drawn to this book. This is the first book that I've read by this author, but it definitely won't be my last. Maureen Leurck brilliantly weaves together the story and meaning of the cicadas with Alex's life and the restoration of the house. Alex is a character I instantly liked, and I especially admired her hard working nature and constant determination. I loved the next door neighbor, Elise, and was intrigued by her story and history. Elise is also a main part of the story, and the author does an amazing job incorporating her story to fit in perfectly with the overall theme. The friendship that develops between Alex and Elise is heartwarming...and I loved that Elise had a history with someone that once lived in the house Alex is restoring. The author definitely did her research, and it comes through in vivid detail throughout the story. This is a story about so many things...family, friendship, life, and love. More importantly, it is about second chances...second chances not only for the house on Maple Street, but second chances for the characters in the book. I honestly can't stress enough just how good this book truly is! It draws you in, and keeps you there throughout the story. The characters are so well developed, and the overall story is truly a joy to read! I highly recommend reading this book!

    I was given an advance copy by Kensington Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. My views are my own and are in no way influenced by anyone else.

  • Themis

    A heart warming read!

    Although the story revolves around Alex Proctor, I believe the main character is really the Maple house. The author gave it a personality and it's delightful!

    The characters seem realistic and not one dimensional. It's a story of a woman renovating an old house and in the process rebuilding herself.

  • Linda Zagon

     "Cicada Summer" by  Maureen Leurck  is such an entertaining and enjoyable story that I finished reading this in one sitting.  "Cicada Summer" was published July 25, 2017 by Kensington. The genres for this story are Fiction, Women's Fiction, with a dash of Historical Fiction and Romance thrown in. The story takes place mostly in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. I love the way the author describes the crisp blue water of the lake, the boats, the people in this town. The timeline in the story varies betwee

     "Cicada Summer" by  Maureen Leurck  is such an entertaining and enjoyable story that I finished reading this in one sitting.  "Cicada Summer" was published July 25, 2017 by Kensington. The genres for this story are Fiction, Women's Fiction, with a dash of Historical Fiction and Romance thrown in. The story takes place mostly in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. I love the way the author describes the crisp blue water of the lake, the boats, the people in this town. The timeline in the story varies between the present and past, and is described in "Cicada Years". Every 17 years cicadas (insects) arrive for a period of  a few weeks. Some people regard a "Cicada Summer" as a period of renewal or second chances.

    The author describes her characters as complex, complicated and determined. Alex Proctor is a single mother to a 5-year-old and has joint custody of her daughter with her ex-husband.Alex's relationship with her ex-husband is complicated.She has problems moving forward to another relationship, and she has problems with the past.

    Alex befriends an older neighbor, Elise, who shares some history and secrets about the older house that Alex is renovating. They develop a friendship. Elise also bonds with Alex's daughter.  

     Alex's love and job is to buy and restore damaged, old houses, and  try to retain the original history and dignity of the house. To quote the author,"People keep a house alive, not the other way around," Alex tries to envision how  the house she renovates will make a home for a family to appreciate.

    To restore these houses requires a tremendous amount of  work, endurance and stress that comes with problems. Most of these houses have dead animals, or living ones to deal with bats, feral cats, dead rodents. There is rot from water damage, The plumbing, and electrical work has to be updated to code. Alex sees this as a challenge, and tries to maintain whatever structure from the past that she can. To Alex, these house hold family secrets, and treasures. Her workers are loyal and protective.

    There are other people in the real estate business, that would love to tear Alex's recent house down, and build a new house. There are major  big companies that eye that land that is near the water for a new development. There is a terrible storm that causes more water damage and then a fire to Alex's current property. How will Alex deal with these problems?

    But this is going to be a Cicada Summer, and with that there could be change and second chances. What do you think this will mean for Alex? I enjoyed this captivating and intriguing novel and would highly recommend it. I received copy of this novel for my honest review. I look forward to reading more of Maureen Leurck's books.

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