The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman

Updated: May 30

Rating - 8/10


I would like to thank my dear friend Nicole, a fellow book-lover who runs quite a fabulous podcast (Podcast-Shelf Life), for giving me this lovely summer read. Nicole had actually given this book to me as a little goodbye present for when I left London for good to read on my flight to the US. Unfortunately I did not read it during my flight, but I am so glad I read it now as it is the perfect book for this current time and place that we are all in during the pandemic. What an up-lifting read this was! Shall we see what this quirky book is about? Read on peeps!

The Summer of Impossible Things follows a woman named Luna and her sister Pia, they get a chance to journey back to their mother’s childhood home in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn to settle her affairs. Thirty years ago, something terrible happened to Luna and Pia’s mom Marissa, something so bad that she only revealed to her two daughters after her death. During their time in Brooklyn, Luna and Pia find more questions than answers, then mysteriously, something impossible happens to Luna, something magical. Luna somehow finds herself back in the summer of 1977 when her mother was a young twenty something year old woman. At first, Luna thinks she’s lost the plot, gone crazy, as none of this makes any sense given she is a physicist. But as time passes, she wonders, if she can go back in time, can she reverse or change what happened to her mother that fateful summer? Could she change the course of history and re-write a better future for her mother and family? And in doing so, is she willing to sacrifice her own life? These are the challenges that Luna and Pia face in this magical and gripping read from Rowan Coleman.

I loved this read. It’s a perfect book to escape into a whole other world for a few days. It’s a story about love, family bonds, and the things we sacrifice for the people we love. This was a super easy book to read, you literary whiz right through the pages. I wouldn’t say it’s the most beautifully written book, but it's definitely an entrancing read. I found myself thinking about the story when I wasn’t reading the book, and how the plot would play out, which to me is an excellent quality in a book! So I did respect Rowan Coleman for having the gift of keeping you wanting more and more with each chapter you read. The story is told entirely from Luna’s perspective which was great as you really got to know her well and where she was coming from. There are only two to three main characters in the book which meant you got a sense of who the characters really were, it made for a simpler read. It’s not a complicated story and I quite liked that about the book. It was an emotional read though for sure. I admired the relationship between Luna and her mother each time she got transported back to the 70s. It was almost like they were friends as they were quite similar ages, I thought that was quite special. I also liked the relationship between Luna and Pia, the two sisters. Lots of family bonds in this book. It’s one of those books where you were dying to know what happens next, it’s a fast paced read, and it had a couple of little twists which I wasn’t expecting. I also enjoyed the setting of the book, there’s nowhere cooler than Brooklyn, NYC so I enjoyed reading a bit about what it was like in that particular part of Brooklyn in the 70s during the time of disco (I love disco, haha). It also makes you think about your family, and reminds you to not take the fragile gift of time for granted.


The reason why I didn’t give this book a higher rating is that it was simply not complex enough for me, it’s a fun and easy read, perfect for summer or for anytime you need a little ‘pick me up’ type of book. The writing as well is quite simple and I wouldn’t describe it as ‘poetic or riveting’. It’s not exactly filled with a diverse range of characters, they were all quite ‘vanilla’ for me,not a lot of depth and they were all too similar to each other. That’s really the only criticism as to why it didn’t get a higher rating. But all in all, I bloody enjoyed reading this book you guys!

Rowan Coleman who is an English writer, has written a lot of books. I may pick one of her other novels sometime in the future as this was my first book I read by her. The story had warmth, it was an uplifting read, magical, exhilarating and an emotional feel good read. I was hooked in from the very first chapter to the last. This is a perfect summer read! If you liked the novel - ‘ The Time Traveler's Wife’ then you will love this book.

Genre: Science Fiction, Romance, Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy


Originally Published: January 10, 2017


The perfect theme song to compliment this book for me, would be: We Are Family by Sister Sledge




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