Friendships weather loss in 'Summer We Came To Life’

Summertime is usually all about friends and fun, and in “The Summer We Came To Life,” Deborah Cloyed explores the power of friendship in a charming novel that spans two generations.

Since childhood, Samantha Wheland looked forward to the annual summer vacation she would take with her friends Isabel, Kendra and Mina. Isabel and Kendra’s mothers, Lynnette and Jesse, began the tradition when the girls were small, picking out a new place each year for the group to explore and enjoy.

But this year has brought about changes that makes the thought of spending a fun-filled week on vacation a little harder. Mina has passed away after a long battle with cancer, and for Sam, it just doesn’t seem right to take a trip without her beloved friend. However, Sam’s friends have different ideas, and instead of Sam traveling to meet them somewhere, they decide to come to her — in the wilds of Honduras.

One generation is Sam and her girlhood friends, Isabel and Kendra — who all are experiencing the dramas of young adults. The second generation is the parents of the girls — Jesse, the glamorous former model who is looking for love in her later life; Lynnette and Cornell, the mixed-race couple who have weathered hard times and still have affection for each other; and Mina’s father, Arshan, who is finding that there is a second chance at love with an unexpected admirer.

Cloyed fashions a tale that is moving and heartwarming, weaving the characters' stories together as they discover important aspects of their lives on the beaches of Honduras. Passages from Mina's journals offer wisdom, sage words and advice that help everyone to move on from her loss.

“The Summer We Came To Life” is a dramatic story balanced by light and pleasant moments that make this book a great choice for summertime reading — or the perfect gift for that special friend that makes life a bit easier to enjoy.