Image of When Summer Comes (Whiskey Creek)


Image of When Summer Comes (Whiskey Creek)

If you can get past the implausible premise— that a fatally ill woman would trustingly harbor a drifter with a litany of dark secrets — you’ll find plenty to like about Novak’s third Whiskey Creek novel. As always, Novak’s characters are beautifully drawn and their relationships deeply felt. But this installment strains when its focus shifts from the protagonists and labors to keep the various friends’ (and future main characters’) plotlines moving forward.

Waiting for a liver transplant, Callie Vanetta is spending the last weeks of her life alone on a tranquil farm when a gravely injured drifter bangs on her door in the middle of the night. Veteran Levi McCloud has taken to the road to numb the painful memories of his murdered Afghani fiancée and their unborn child. With nothing to lose, Callie opens her home and her heart to this wounded warrior, surprising them both with the realization that life — and love — is still worth fighting for. (MIRA, Feb., 400 pp., $7.99)
Reviewed by: 
Carolyn Martin