The Summer GuestBook - 2006
On an evening in late summer, the great financier Harry Wainwright, nearing the end of his life, arrives at a rustic fishing camp in a remote area of Maine. He comes bearing two things: his wish for a day of fishing in a place that has brought him solace for thirty years, and an astonishing bequest that will forever change the lives of those around him.
From the battlefields of Italy to the turbulence of the Vietnam era, to the private battles of love and family, The Summer Guest reveals the full history of this final pilgrimage and its meaning for four people: Jordan Patterson, the haunted young man who will guide Harry on his last voyage out; the camp's owner Joe Crosby, a Vietnam draft evader who has spent a lifetime "trying to learn what it means to be brave"; Joe's wife, Lucy, the woman Harry has loved for three decades; and Joe and Lucy's daughter Kate--the spirited young woman who holds the key to the last unopened door to the past.
As their stories unfold, secrets are revealed, courage is tested, and the bonds of love are strengthened. And always center stage is the place itself--a magical, forgotten corner of New England where the longings of the human heart are mirrored in the wild beauty of the landscape.
Intimate, powerful, and profound, The Summer Guest reveals Justin Cronin as a storyteller of unique and marvelous talent. It is a book to treasure.
From the critics
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Harry: I slept but did not sleep, dreamed but did not dream, was awake every minute and also not. The final unmaking of time, all its solid, familiar order undone, so that even the rhythm of the day and night has lost its meaning and one is everywhere in one's life at once; all that night I drowned in time (during his morphine cancer time).
It's said that many marriages do not survive the loss of a child, that such grief is a room parents enter together but depart alone. I have no cause to argue the point, having sat in just that room. From that day forward we loved each other, Meredith and I, but we loved with broken hearts. And when, on a morning not long after we had buried Sam, I came into the kitchen to find Meredith standing at the window, cupping the curve o her stomach in a secret way that I alone understood I knkew we would go on.
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