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Summer by the Sea Mass Market Paperback – 1 May 2004

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 411 pages
  • Publisher: Mira Books; Reprint edition (1 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778325717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778325710
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 477,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I like to believe I am the person my dogs think I am.

I phone my parents every day, as they are elderly and adorable, and they read me stories every day of my freakishly normal childhood. I was a writer before I learned to read, by creating scribbles on paper and dictating the stories to my saintly mother. You can see examples here:

Untold eons later, I still read and write everyday and I've gotten very good at it. I live in a ridiculously gorgeous place in the world--an island in Puget Sound, Washington where we have a lot of the same flowers you grow in the UK. But bigger slugs. Much bigger slugs.

I have lots more to tell you, so please join me on Facebook and check out pictures of my dogs and tell me what's on your mind.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mia Maya on 16 Aug 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have never come across a story of such true love. If you have ever had a childhood love then you will understand what Maria goes through when he returns after years of 'not knowing'. I could not put this book down! It's captivating and such a fantastic read! I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say this is one of the best romance novels i have come across since the notebook!!!!!

So if you loved 'The Notebook' by Nicolas Spark, then you will love this book!!!! A must READ!! so buy it!!!!!!!
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By Lincs Reader TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Oct 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Susan Wiggs is an American author, she's written many stand alone novels and also a couple of series. Summer By The Sea is a romance novel, no getting away from it - if you don't like a bit of love and heartbreak then don't bother. If you like a story that makes you feel good, with a cast of interesting characters and a dollop of Italian food thrown in, then this one will suit you down to the ground.

Our heroine; Rosa, is the owner of a succesful Italian restaurant in a small coastal US town. Her restaurant has been voted the best place to propose for a few years now and it is the perfect setting for romantic couples. Rosa's food is legendary, Italian and learnt at her mother's knee. The only thing missing in Rosa's life is a romance of her own. She's been single since her childhood sweet heart Alex up and left her ten years ago. But now he's back in town. Rosa is determined not to let him back into her life, he's from an upper-class family, she's a small town girl who didn't even go to college. Alex thinks differently, he's changed over the years and wants to make amends.

This is great writing, easy to read, light but not fluffy - there is a bit of a mystery in the story too and the added bonus of gorgeous sounding recipes from Rosa's kitchen at the beginning of each chapter.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 57 reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
A wonderful beach read 31 July 2004
By Ratmammy - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
SUMMER BY THE SEA by Susan Wiggs

If you are looking for a beach read romance, SUMMER BY THE SEA by Susan Wiggs is not a bad place to start. It's a light summer romance about two lovers, Rosa Capoletti and Alex Montgomery, who are from two different worlds. Her father is a gardener, and Alex's family is wealthy enough to have a summer home in Winslow, where Rosa grows up. It is during the summer months that Alex and Rosa spend time together and eventually fall in love. But due to reasons unknown to Rosa, Alex one summer leaves Winslow, never to return. No phone calls, and no letters. It is as if their relationship, their friendship, never happened.

Rosa is now a successful restaurant owner, burying herself in her work, and Alex lives in the big city, working for his father's firm. When Rosa finds out that Alex has come back to Winslow, after being gone for twelve years, she is filled with conflicting thoughts. She realizes she has never gotten over him, and she also knows that in order to move on, she needs to confront her feelings. Whether she is successful or not is up to the reader to find out.

In the midst of this romance, Susan Wiggs has placed delicious Italian recipes that will have your mouth watering. It also helps lend a summertime atmosphere to the book, enhancing the feel of this romance.

I enjoyed SUMMER BY THE SEA and it's made me a new fan of Susan Wiggs. This was a delightful romance, very enjoyable and fun to read, and I recommend to other romance readers. It's a great escape and probably best read during the summer months. If anything, the recipes will make this book a keeper!
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
An enjoyable summer read 4 Aug 2004
By Bookreporter - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
SUMMER BY THE SEA is a delightful summertime story of star-crossed lovers, Rosa Capoletti and Alex Montgomery. Their story begins with Alex having just returned to his beloved summer home, and Rosa, who is determined to forget the love of her life, finds herself still attracted to her childhood flame.

In chapter one, Rosa, who is working in her own restaurant "Celesta's by the Sea," is watching as her best friend Linda is being proposed to by her soon-to-be fiancé, Jason. Rosa is filled with happiness for her friend, but also feels a bittersweet ache inside. She soon finds herself arguing with her employees, who also happen to be some of her closest friends, about her own love life. They are worried about her --- that her relationships are going nowhere and that all she does is focus on the restaurant. Rosa, however, sees nothing wrong with her life. She's at a good place financially and owns her own restaurant that has garnered rave reviews from the New York Times. Celesta's is her dream come true, and a tribute to the mother who lost her life at such a young age.

While Rosa is contemplating the status of her love life, into the restaurant walks a customer who she recognizes immediately, and she's not very happy to see him. It is Alex Montgomery, who had spent his summers in Winslow along with his mother and their servants. Alex was once the love of her life, a childhood sweetheart and best friend. But somewhere along the way their romance turned sour, and for reasons still unknown to her, Alex left town without a word. Since that last summer together with him, she had decided to forget him and move on with her life. She felt that their love was never meant to be, because their social backgrounds were so different. Her father worked as the Montgomerys' gardener, while Alex and his family were from "old money." The two families would never fit in each other's lives.

Alex, however, is now determined to make amends for the past mistakes he has made, and tries his best to get Rosa's attention. But Rosa doesn't want anything to do with him. He had hurt her deeply at a time when she needed him more than ever. It had been twelve years since he left her, and she never forgave or forgot him.

The book then turns to the past and the reader returns with Rosa to her childhood, when Alex was a very sick boy with asthma and Rosa was a tomboy looking for a friend. Every summer the two of them were the best of friends, and every September Alex would return to his own world. They were friends only during three short months of each year, but they were special months filled with fun and adventure. One summer Rosa and Alex fall in love, and something magical happens between them. But as soon as they profess their love for each other, the romance ends abruptly after a serious accident changes Rosa's life forever.

Now, back to the present, the two of them are a part of each other's lives again. There's no telling what's in store for the two of them. Rosa sees that the past needs resolving in order to move forward, and is willing to work at it until she can get closure to her past. And Alex is desperate to explain to Rosa the reason why he left her so abruptly twelve years ago.

SUMMER BY THE SEA is a light, fluffy read, but at the same time delves into a few serious issues. In between chapters, Wiggs intersperses wonderful delicious-sounding Italian recipes, which help give the book a very summery type of feel, as if one is on holiday at a quiet summer resort. It lends to the mood of the book and is a very clever idea that works. The story itself could have been written in a tighter fashion. At times one is not sure if one is reading about the past, or is back in the present. Some chapters are marked with the year in which it is taking place, while others are not. Outside of these inconsistencies, the romance reader will enjoy SUMMER BY THE SEA. It's made a new fan out of this reviewer.

--- Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton (
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Lovely romance 30 July 2005
By Patricia Kay - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a really sweet, romantic book, with wonderful characters and a great background. I especially enjoyed all the Italian recipes and slices of life. Since I'm half Italian myself, I relived some of my childhood memories when reading about the Capoletti family and their traditions. Susan Wiggs has really hit her stride as an author; a new Wiggs book is a treat to look forward to. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for all lovers of and believers in romance.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A life-affirming story - Highly recommended! 24 July 2005
By Donna K. - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love books set in Italian restaurants, and that it included such delicious-sounding recipes is a nice bonus! I will be jotting down a few to add to my recipe box, and to compete with my own Italian-family recipes!

This was an engaging sweet story that warms the heart and makes the reader believe in the soulmate, meant-to-be, kind of love.

Alex and Rosa are both top-notch sort of people, sweet, good-natured, kind-hearted towards others, sense of family-responsibility, hard-working and ambitious. I admired them, and would like to live in their community where I would be honored to count them amongst my friends and neighbors. Childhood sweethearts who initially came together in a compassionate friendship, they were torn apart by family objections, social class differences and gross misunderstandings. The tender and loving way they come back together leads them on a journey of self-discovery and a new understanding about life and love.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A Sweet, Romantic Summer Read 5 July 2004
By Aimee - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Awww, this was sweet! It left me with a happy glow when I finished reading it. A lovely story of a innocent childhood friendship between Alex Montgomery, son of a wealthy couple who had a summer home at the beach, and Rosa Capoletti, daughter of the Montgomery's gardener -- a friendship that develops into something more as they grow older. They're seperated by circumstances, and then meet up again as adults, and carefully try to reconnect with each other.
This book is full of warm-hearted characters who I loved getting to know, as well as some scrumptious-sounding Italian recepies that I can't wait to try. All in all, it's the perfect summer read, sweet and satisfying.
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