Barefoot Summer by Denise Hunter
Thomas Nelson, 2013
Ever since her twin brother died, Madison McKinley has had trouble trusting God and has closed her heart to other people. Now, a few years later, Madison still struggles to move on with her life without her brother.
Beckett O’Reilly’s reputation as a ‘bad’ guy precedes him, but he has grown into a mature adult who is wholly committed to God. With an alcoholic dad in jail and a grandfather who has dementia and doesn’t remember him, Beckett has a complicated life.
As Madison and Beckett both face the tough issues in their lives, will they be able to open their hearts to each other?
Madison has been plagued with nightmares ever since her brother died almost ten years ago. Before he died, Michael’s dream was to be the youngest winner ever of the sailing regatta. So, when the 45th Annual Sailing Regatta arrives, Madison’s greatest desire is to win the regatta for her brother. Somehow, she believes that it will free her from her nightmares and help her move forward with her life. However, she has a hard time seeing that she can only move past this if she gives her worries and fears to God.
This is a story of two people who have a hard time figuring each other out. Madison and Beckett aren’t always on the same page, which makes for some interesting interactions between the two. Not only are they trying to understand each other out, but their personal lives are filled with difficult struggles that are hard to find solutions to.
There are a few ‘twists’ or ‘surprises’ in this story. They made the story more complicated and added a layer to the plot. However, the second revelation is a bit of a cop-out to the problem that the main characters face, in my opinion. There is this huge issue, and then, “just kidding, that’s not what really happened, you’re not at fault after all.” It just didn’t sit well with me. The problem seemed to go away too easily.
I very much liked the book’s title, Barefoot Summer, and how it fit into the story overall. I loved the meaning of letting go and feeling everything, good and bad. And when you are barefoot, you feel everything.
Overall, a good book. A story filled with the levity of summer and the difficulty of real issues that are hard to work through.
Rating: 3 stars
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