Just 18 Summers by Rene Gutteridge & Michelle Cox ~ A Contemporary Fiction Book Review

Rene Gutteridge & Michelle Cox
Contemporary Fiction

Back of the book:

With just eighteen summers . . . don't forget to make some memories.

After the tragic death of Butch Browning's wife, Jenny, four families begin to realize how precious--and fleeting--their time together is. Each is at a different stage in life: Butch is facing single parenthood. The O'Reillys are expecting their first child. The Andersons are approaching an empty next, and the Buckleys are so focused on providing their children with everything that they've forgotten what they truly need. With just eighteen summers before their children are grown, how do they make the most of that time when life so often gets in the way?

As summer flies by, each of these parents must learn about guilt and grace . . . and when to hold on to their kids and when to let go.


My thoughts:

No matter what stage of parenting you are at there is sure to be something in Just 18 Summers that will reach out and grab your heart. Rene Gutteridge has once again taken up her masterful pen and turned Michelle Cox's screenplay into a beautiful book.

In the first chapter we find out that Butch has recently lost his beloved wife Jenny in a tragic car crash. With that opening I was kind of expecting a sad story about what could have been. Trust me when I say it was anything but that. This story is full of hope. Yes it does delve into some of our deepest fears as parents, but it continually reminds you that it is never too late to change course and take advantage of what we have been blessed with.

One of the surprising things about the book was how funny it was. The scene with the dad taking his eight-year-old daughter to buy a dress had me rolling on the floor. The writers nailed it with all of the sales pitches that we are constantly bombarded with as women. Another priceless portion is the neurosis of being a first time pregnant mommy. Do you remember all of those crazy books you would read and think that you were never going to create a safe enough environment for your little one? Sheer insanity!

I absolutely cannot wait for the movie to come out. If it is even half as good as the book, it is going to be a smashing success. So until you can go see it on the big screen, treat yourself to a fabulous read about the eighteen summers that we are given.

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