The Summer of Letting Go, by Gae Polisner (2014)

The Summer of Letting GoThis book killed me. Not only is it unputdownable, I received a review copy from the publisher last November. It was one of my favorite books of the year, and yet I COULDN’T PUT IT IN MY TOP TEN! FINALLY, it’s released for Kindle, et alia, and hard copies should be in all the book stores soon (If the weather cooperates), and I can talk about my reaction more than my original review.

This is a story of pain and loss, where people implode into themselves, and it takes something–or someone–special to plant the seeds of healing. (non an innuendo)

There’s romance, sure, but the main theme is Francesca–Frankie–a teenaged girl realizing she wasn’t at fault for a tragedy, and finding her personality and patience tried by a little boy she babysits, a boy much like her little brother. Her brother and Frankie–the babysittee–were nearly identical in their behavior. “Don’t go into the deep end of the pool.” Fifteen seconds later, the kid was in the deep end of the pool.

This is a book about redemption and self-forgiveness. In many Twelve Step groups, in fact, the most common answer to the question “Who do you blame?” is “Myself.” Frankie believed the accident was her fault. Then she found herself letting go of the guilt. She’ll never stop loving nor missing her brother, but the events that summer–Frankie, her BFF, her BFF’s boyfriend–drew Frankie out of her self-imposed exile. It was time to get on with life.

It was the summer of letting go.

Grade: A

( is the original review I wrote last fall, just in case you’re curious. Either way, READ THIS BOOK!)


About tom

B.A. in Literature, Minor in Film Theory and Criticism, thus meaning all I’m trained is to write blog posts here. Neptune is my favorite planet–it vents methane into the solar system like my brother does. I think Chicken McNuggets look like Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Indiana. There are times when I’m medicated, which is why I wrote about McNuggets. Buy some today and tell me I’m wrong! Anyway, Beyond that: mammal, Floridian, biped.Good Night, and Good Luck. Besos, tom
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7 Responses to The Summer of Letting Go, by Gae Polisner (2014)

  1. tsizzles says:

    That is such a touching story. I know many can relate in one way or another. It’s very thought-provoking too. Makes you think about some of the things we take for granted and yet if left for too long without being cared for, then the depth of it’s value may only be recognized after it’s gone.

    Why couldn’t you put it in your top 10? Does it not rival one of the other 9?


    • tom says:

      Great question! It would easily have been #1 or #2. The problem is that I read an advance review copy in November,I think, and the book came out in 2014, so I could not have counted it. (It would have been between this and “If You Find Me” for #1.) Anyway, look for it atop or near the top in 2014’s Top Ten! 🙂


  2. Stephanie says:

    I’m with you all the way….but it’s “Francesca” (not Francine) 🙂


    • tom says:

      Glad I got all the Francescas right in the long review, as opposed to the lone Francine in the second. Oddly, I read and reviewed Pete Townshend’s autobiography, and I messed his wife’s name up the whole time. I’m either getting old or stupid.
      Perhaps both.


  3. gaepolisner says:

    This review and the full one make me blissfully happy, Tom. So pleased that my book connected with you so very much. Thank you for taking the time to review it and talk about it.



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