Review: Summer at Tiffany's by Karen Swan

Thursday 2 July 2015
Title: Summer at Tiffany's
Author: Karen Swan
Publisher: Pan
Publication Date: 2nd July 2015
Pages: 468
ISBN: 9781447280194
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon
A wedding to plan. A wedding to stop. What could go wrong?

Cassie loves Henry. Henry loves Cassie. With a Tiffany ring on her finger, all that Cassie has left to do is plan the wedding. It should be so simple but when Henry pushes for a date, Cassie pulls back.

Henry's wild, young cousin, Gem, has no such hesitations and is racing to the aisle at a sprint, determined to marry in the Cornish church where her parents were wed. But the family is set against it, and Cassie resolves to stop the wedding from going ahead.

When Henry lands an expedition sailing the Pacific for the summer, Cassie decamps to Cornwall, hoping to find the peace of mind she needs to move forwards. But in the dunes and coves of the northern Cornish coast, she soon discovers the past isn't finished with her yet . . .

Summer at Tiffany's is my first Karen Swan book. I did want to read Christmas at Tiffany's beforehand to get the backstory of our main characters but this book can be read and enjoyed as a standalone. Some of my fellow bloggers speak very highly of Karen's books so I went into Summer at Tiffany's with high expectations.

Cassie and Henry are due to get married and with a Tiffany ring on her finger all that's left is for Cassie to plan her dream wedding. But it's actually Henry who is pushing for a date, with Cassie appearing quite reticent and not wanting to plan the wedding at all, not sure if she ever wants to get married. Somebody who does want to get married is Henry's young cousin, Gem and it's down to Cassie to head to Cornwall to prevent that wedding from going ahead, while Henry goes off on a sailing expedition, things between him and Cassie being more than a little strained when he leaves. Cassie's arrival in Cornwall isn't without its problems (or drama) and she is soon forced to make some life changing decisions.

Summer at Tiffany's is a hefty read, but Karen Swan really does keep the story going on every single page. I was never bored because of the really strong characterisation and, as the story progresses, drama that Karen fills the story with. I very quickly saw the characters as real people, and found myself becoming caught up in their lives, as everything began to unfold. I think what I liked the most was how 'real' the story felt, rather than the predictable 'let's fall in love, get married and live happily ever after' we actually see Cassie, and her relationship with Henry as anything but perfect. Life after the engagement soon bringing them both crashing down to Earth, them having to contend with the stresses and strains of everyday life. I can't relate to Cassie personally myself, but I think she's a character that some people will really be able to relate to and understand, especially those who might have found themselves in a similar situation.

It's hard to talk about the story or the characters too much but I liked how we had Gem, eager to get married, and Cassie, not so eager and having to somehow make Gem understand that rushing into things might not always be the best decision you could make. And Cassie is speaking from experience after all. At the same time though I think Cassie discovers so much more about herself through being with Gem, and being in Cornwall with such a varied mixture of characters, especially the return of a very familiar face from her past. Say no more. The friendships between the characters was a particular highlight of the book. Despite all that was going on, I loved the settings in this book, Karen has created such wonderful settings for the story to take place, almost transporting you there yourself. For parts of the book I can't talk all that much about, Karen has done some great research, and she mentions something in the book which I have since read more about online and Henry's expeditions allow for some quite dramatic events to take place. All in all I very much enjoyed Summer at Tiffany's and especially liked that it could have ended in a number of ways. I hope it won't be too long before I am reading another of Karen's books.


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