Australian Author · Contemporary/Literary · Domestic Drama · Read-Reviewed-2020

The Lost Summers of Driftwood by Vanessa McCausland. (2020).

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The Lost Summers of Driftwood by Vanessa McCausland. (2020).

**4.5 out of 5 stars**

Phoebe’s life has fallen apart and there’s only one place left to go. Alone and adrift after a failed marriage proposal, she flees Sydney to her family’s abandoned holiday cottage. On the slow-moving river Phoebe is confronted with the legacy of her older sister’s suicide, a year before. Why did Karin leave a note written in flowers and walk into the water? Phoebe’s childhood love, Jez, has moved back to the beautiful old house, Driftwood, one jetty down. He’s married now and the home has become a refuge for an unlikely little community. As the river begins to give up its secrets, Phoebe finds herself caught up in old feelings and new mysteries.

I seriously enjoyed this moving story. From the very beginning I quite liked Phoebe and was really hoping that she’d have a happy ending with some answers about her beloved sister. Something that stood out in this story for me was that it clearly demonstrated how most situations are not black and white; there are many shades of grey and you may find yourself doing something you’ve always thought wrong but when you are in the scenario you realise that’s it’s not as clear cut as simply wrong versus right. At it’s core this book is about love: family love, friendship love, love of oneself and romantic love. It also covers several important relevant social topics – being ‘perfect’ on social media, infertility, adultery, tragedy, grief, death, complex family relationships, secrets, mysteries, betrayals and so on.
I’d highly recommend this well-written and engaging novel that kept me totally absorbed while reading it.

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