Title: One Last Day of Summer
Author: Shari Low
Published on: 19 July 2022
Genre: General Fiction | Women’s Fiction
As the flight to St. Lucia leaves the runway, four passengers meet for the first time.
One Last Day of Summer by Shari Low is a heart-warming and uplifting story of get chances in live – be it love or friendship. It’s story of finding our inner voice, standing up for what’s right and living life to the fullest.
This is the second Shari Low book I have read and I absolutely loved every bit of it. The story begins with Bernadette ready for her trip to St. Lucia. But she receives a call from her best friend saying she cannot make it. Bernadette is in two minds now – should she cancel the trip? Or, go alone? She calls her daughter Nina and talks to her about it. Nina suggests Bernadette should go alone and have a good time in St. Lucia.
Bernadette did not have a happy married life. Her husband was unfaithful, controlling and gaslighting her throughout their married life. When her kids grew up and settled into their own lives, Bernadette decided enough was enough and walked out of Kenneth’s life for good. This trip to St. Lucia might just be the break she was hoping for.
Tadgh Donovan is about to get married in St. Lucia. He and Cheryl had been together for a long time. When they had planned to get married years ago, Tadgh’s mum passed away and they had to postpone the event. Tadgh, his brother Shay and best friend Conlan wake up with just an hour left to catch the plane to St. Lucia.
Shay drops his phone and when Tadgh picks it up, he sees a message from Cheryl – “I don’t think I can do this. We need to tell him as soon as you get here. It wasn’t a mistake for me. I love you. Cxoxo”. Did Shay and Cheryl have an affair behind Tadgh’s back?
Meanwhile, Dev has spent all his savings to purchase a flight ticket to St. Lucia. Dev met a woman at the pub and they had a one night stand. She had told him that she would be leaving for St. Lucia the next day to attend a wedding. So, Dev decides to go to St. Lucia and confess his love for her. His best friend since childhood, Lizzy, is going to drop him at the airport.
Hayley Ford was over the moon when she met Lucas a couple of years ago. Fast forward to the present, Lucas and Hayley have drifted apart. Reason? Hayley and Lucas are trying hard for a baby but nothing seems to be working. Lucas takes this personally as he is a fertility specialist and not having a baby of his own might be considered as a failure. Their trip to St. Lucas would be one of those ‘trying for a baby’ vacation.
The stories of these four characters was quite relatable. Bernadette and Hayley were in an emotionally draining relationship. They were being gaslighted and controlled by their husbands. While Bernadette took decades to walk out of it, Hayley is still second guessing about it.
When they meet for the first time, they have no idea what the future holds for them. 9 hours on a flight can get a bit boring unless you have company. As the four start to talk – Tadgh prefers to brood rather than converse in the first half of the book – they realize they all a lot in common.
It soon becomes clear to the reader that Dev and Tadgh might be in love with the same woman. Dev says the woman he met at the pub was called Cheryl. Tadgh’s fiancée is called Cheryl. One cannot ignore the fact that things are not quite right between Tadgh and his brother Shay. The same is true for Hayley and Lucas.
Two side stories that stood out the most (for me) are that of Bernadette’s and Hayley’s. Both woman were snubbed and treated like trash by their husbands. At the airport, Hayley and Lucas are told that one’s seat can be upgraded to business class and Lucas doesn’t think twice before grabbing it. He’s very thankful to Hayley for understanding that his needs should come before hers. What an ass!
Bernadette’s ex cheated on her many times – one such incident happened years ago when the whole family had gone on a trip abroad. His kids caught him with a woman in the pub – Bernadette ignored it for the sake of her kids. But it soon became clear that her husband was repeatedly cheating on her.
Majority of the story (present events) happens on the 9 hour journey to St. Lucia. From hurtful memories to happy times, we readers are given a glimpse of each character’s past. I really loved the ending. It was quite nice to see all the characters stand up for what’s right and what they truly want in their lives. A dash of romance made the read even more interesting.
I was so invested in the characters and their lives that I did not want the story to end. Excellent storytelling and character portrayal. I am looking forward to catch up on Shari’s other books. I absolutely adore her writing.
If you are looking for an uplifting and charming read, I highly recommend you to give One Last Day of Summer by Shari Low a try.
Many thanks to Boldwood Books and NetGalley for the ARC. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.