The Summer Hideaway (Susan Wiggs)

September 15, 2013
4 mins

At this point in my life, I’m past worrying about other people’s opinions. It’s remarkable how easy things are becoming now that I’ve stopped worrying about what people think. Should have done it a long time ago.


It turned out that editing Indonesian version of several books in this series wasn’t enough. So I helped myself in my favorite bookstore, all I saw was Susan Wiggs’ name. It was until later that I found out that it’s part of Lakeshore Chronicles.

Again, the author gave her readers opportunity to be confusion-free (for reading only some books in this series, not in order, and in quite some time after the last) by presenting a different main character. George Bellamy, soon to be fascinating, even though I’ve watched Bucket List containing some parts in common as an elder. A list of a dying man.

Being exhausted of continuous treatments and right after knowing that his severe illness was a terminal one, this man chose to go to a beautiful place of his past. Avalon. Along with a new person, a private young nurse he just hired, Claire Turner (made me imagining Claire Forlani, honestly). Despite suspecting choice he took, it was completely understandable that a man wished for peace during his last days.

No matter how stubborn George had been, Ross Bellamy – his beloved grandson – didn’t cease to care about him and agreed with Claire to make his wishes important. It’s really the best time to help George fulfill anything he wanted. Ross flew as soon as possible from where he posted as military pilot, met his mother for a short time. Even so, I got a valuable lesson to understand complicity of Ross relationship with his mother. Get along wasn’t that easy.

Still, let’s get back to man of the story. George Bellamy amazed me from chapter to chapter, took me to absorb his flashbacks. It wasn’t too hard to guess what he had been hiding all these years, a particular part only. But this is an awesome story of heart, as a testimony I’ve once found. Here’s one of his remarkable dialogues:

“I confess, I’m hesitant to disrupt other people’s lives. My own — well, that was thoroughly disrupted by this confounded diagnosis. Still, that doesn’t give me the right to barge in on unsuspecting people.”

Scared I was at the beginning, for this story might be full of sorrow and tears. But even though George was a dying man, he’s a strong person. He worked hard to be happy, and it’s his only wish before his time came eventually. From him I learned, that’s the very meaning of life. Ross, Claire, and other characters might seem less crucial, but in fact, George alone was the heartbeat of this lovely story.

Live. Just live your life. Quit worrying about what people will think, and fling yourself into things. Make mistakes. It’s amazing how much I missed because I was afraid to make a mistake. But if you realize you’re going to make mistakes no matter how careful you are, then maybe you’ll be less afraid.

Much to my worry of writing a lame review, here it goes. Hopefully I made it to conquer my fear of making mistakes, too. Susan Wiggs, what a greatly wonderful work of yours.

Publisher: MIRA, March 2010

Pages: 424


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