Review: The Summer of Good Intentions by Wendy Francis

The Summer of Good Intentions by Wendy Francis
Published: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Challenges: 2015 NG/EW
Rating: 4/5

Cape Cod summers are supposed to remain reassuringly the same, but everything falls apart when three sisters and their families come together for their annual summer vacation—and they are carrying more secrets than suitcases.

Maggie is the oldest. She feels responsible for managing the summer house and making sure everything is as it always has been. But she’s hurt that her parents’ recent divorce has destroyed the family’s comfortable summer routines, and her own kids seem to be growing up at high speed. Is it too late to have another baby?

Jess is the middle sister. She loves her job but isn’t as passionate about her marriage. She’s not sure she can find the courage to tell Maggie what she’s done—much less talk to her husband about it.

Virgie is the youngest, her dad’s favorite. She’s always been the career girl, but now there’s a man in her life. Her television job on the west coast is beyond stressful, and it’s taking its toll on her—emotionally and physically. She’s counting on this vacation to erase the symptoms she’s not talking about.

The Herington girls are together again, with their husbands and kids, for another summer in the family’s old Cape Cod house. When their mother, Gloria, announces she’s coming for an unscheduled visit—with her new boyfriend—no one is more surprised than their father, Arthur, who has not quite gotten over his divorce. Still, everyone manages to navigate the challenges of living grown-up lives in close quarters, until an accident reveals a new secret that brings everyone together in heartbreak…and then healing.

My Thoughts
The Summer of Good Intentions focuses on the Herington family and how one summer has changed their lives forever. When all three sisters and their families comes together for their annual summer getaway at the family house but this year feels and is very different from summers past. Their parents are recently divorced and they have to deal with having them there separately since their mother is bringing a new boyfriend and their father just isn’t acting himself these days. Plus they all have to deal with their own lives and families and how their choices will not only affect themselves but the family as a whole.

Maggie is the oldest the family’s rock. Her life and marriage is the most solid and she is the one who is determined that her family doesn’t fall apart, so much so that she takes on everything only adding more stress to her own life.

Jess is the middle sister who we discover is having an affair after she feels her life is boring and her husband doesn’t give her what she feels is missing. She takes this summer to discover if she wants to save her marriage or if she wants to see if this “affair” is really anything or just a fling.

And then there is Virgie. She is the baby of the family her father’s favorite who up to this point has put her career first and personal happiness second. She recently has met a nice guy who she is quickly falling for and for the first time she rethinks her decisions in life.

The Summer of Good Intentions gives us everything that makes it an amazing read. I loved this story of family and how while everyone has their own problems in the end it’s all about family. They are truly there for one another and this summer of the tragedies, illnesses and obstacles they face will truly test just that. This book defines a summer read. It gives you a nice summer background of sun and fun but it is so much more than that. I loved the family dynamics between everyone; however the bonds the sisters have with one another is so true to life. It isn’t perfect they fight and argue and I liked how the author didn’t try to sugar coat this family and showed them flaws and all. In the end this read digs below the surface and shows us that family is the most important thing, that you can have all the money, fame and career but nothing means anything if you don’t have that backbone of love and support behind you. This is one is a MUST on any summer reading list.


  1. You are right, Monica; this sounds like a GREAT summer read!! I love everything about this story! Thanks so much!

    1. I loved that it had so many layers.

  2. I"m not sure if The Summer of Good Intentions is for me but I'm glad you enjoyed it! Great review :)

    Zareena @ The Slanted Bookshelf