The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman – Book Review

Title: The Summer of Impossible Things (review copy)

Author: Rowan Coleman

Genre/Themes: Fiction, Time Travel, Contemporary Fantasy, Paranormal Twist, Magical Realism

Blurb from Goodreads

If you could change the past, would you?

Thirty years ago, something terrible happened to Luna’s mother. Something she’s only prepared to reveal after her death. 

Now Luna and her sister have a chance to go back to their mother’s birthplace and settle her affairs. But in Brooklyn they find more questions than answers, until something impossible – magical – happens to Luna, and she meets her mother as a young woman back in the summer of 1977.

At first Luna’s thinks she’s going crazy, but if she can truly travel back in time, she can change things. But in doing anything – everything – to save her mother’s life, will she have to sacrifice her own?

My Review

I’ve been a fan of Rowan Coleman’s books for a number of years. I typically find that they were intelligently written and wonderfully stirring stories. But in recent years her no did were beginning to feel quite “samey”. I felt that there were too many similarities between plots. Shared motifs. The writing felt sadly jaded and I was quite upset to think that perhaps I had fallen out of love with one of my favourite women’s literature writers.

Then I read the blurb for this book.

Magic. Time travel. Disco…. And it sounded fresh which made me excited again. And my excitement was rewarded as I am pleased to say that Rowan Coleman has delivered a highly emotional and thought provoking read with “The Summer of Impossible Things”.

The book follows the story of Luna as she somehow magically can time travel back to 1977 to when her mother was still a young woman and can there decide to help prevent a major incident in her mother’s life that could have catastrophic results for Luna herself! This is a story of love between daughter and mother. And the lengths that Luna would go to to change the world of the person who means the most to her even to the possibility that she can no longer be part of that life.

Certain leaps of faith are required when reading and I saw the twist coming a mile away BUT that didn’t lessen my enjoyment. In fact it heightened it. I wanted to see how the characters would react to each unfolding piece of information and I was not let down. 

And the love story between Luna and a character from 1977 was COMPLETELY swoon-worthy. Every scene they were in together felt like it sizzled and crackled with electricity. DEFINITE chemistry!!!

I also loved Luna’s relationship with her sister. They had such a beautiful sisterly friendship and Luna really showed herself to be a very protective big sister which made her all the more likeable. Luna herself was a great character. I loved how she was portrayed as being both smart and yet lacking in certain areas. Her flaws and vulnerabilities made her feel all the more real. And her grounded nature was key to making this fantastical story feel strangely believable and therefore much more powerful. 

All in all this was a very enjoyable read and one that I would recommend to fans of emotional fiction.


*This is an old review that was originally posted to Goodreads. An e-copy was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley for honest review*

Other Works by Rowan Coleman I’ve Reviewed

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