Book Review: One Endless Summer by Laurie Ellingham

One Endless Summer

A friend said she’s really enjoyed this book and on her recommendation, and the fact it slotted into a category in my 2017 Reading Challenge (A book with one of the four seasons in the title), I downloaded it immediately without reading the blurb – but here it is for you.

“Three best friends.
Three continents.
Three months to live.
How long can you keep a secret?
Three best friends are embarking on an all-expenses paid trip of their dreams. The only catch? Every moment will be documented on film.
Lizzie’s battle with cancer is coming to an end, and now she’s ready to embrace adventure for the very first time. There are only three months, but it is Lizzie’s time to finally start living!
Jaddi is known for her stunning looks, flirtatious attitude and many conquests. But Jaddi has a secret and on this last trip together she needs to decide whether her best friends will ever know the real her.
Samantha has always been the ‘grown up’ of the group, the one with a five year plan. What Lizzie and Jaddi don’t know is that Sam is trapped, and her perfect life isn’t quite what it seems…
As they trek across the globe Lizzie, Jaddi and Samantha must come to terms with loss, love and trusting one another. But will it all be too late…”

When I started the first chapter it was evident that not only was this a book about cancer, but about brain tumours in particular.  Now far too many people close to me have been affected by this horrific disease over recent years, and I wasn’t sure I could face reading a book with this as a key theme.  But, I’d already paid to download it – so I decided to start reading and then stop if I found it too distressing.  (Giving myself permission to stop reading a book is rare – hey, I persevered through The Goldfinch – but these were extenuating circumstances.)

Well, I can tell you now – I didn’t have to give up.  Whilst Lizzie’s brain tumour was fundamental to the storyline – and some of the things she talked about were all too familiar – it was always there in the back ground rather than being totally in your face throughout the whole book.  And a bit like the current Macmillan adverts – it showed that just because you have cancer / a brain tumour doesn’t mean you’re not still a friend / daughter / sister / lover too.

The 3 best friends are all very different – and whilst initially you think Lizzie is the one fighting a personal battle with the brain tumour – actually, all 3 of the friends have different battles in their own lives.  Each chapter is told from a different friend’s point of view – and I don’t think there’s a rigid pattern to the chapters – but they link together really well.

The descriptions of the different places the girls visit were great – helped by the fact that I’ve been lucky enough to visit many of them!

The story twists and turns dramatically – some of it more guessable than others (I sussed Jaddi’s secret fairly early on) – but all makes for a very enjoyable summer read.

I don’t want to give too much away though – read it for yourself and see what you think! I will definitely be looking out for more books by Laurie Ellingham.

 

** It would be remiss of me at this point not to mention the fact that brain tumours are a massively underfunded area for research – and if the book has moved you to want to donate to further research  – then we are heavily involved in fundraising for Brain Tumour Research in memory of our family friend Finlay Church who died in 2015 aged just 11.  You can donate in his memory here.  Thank you. xx **

 

 

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