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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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The book begins by introducing us to the life of high-flyer Polly. She's moved away from the small village she grew up in, and now lives in a flash London apartment, gets paid a lot of money to work in the financial sector, and loves to live her life to the full - she's not afraid to splash her cash either. So when she is suddenly made redundant without warning, Polly feels life crumbling around her, and is forced to return home to live with her parents. Sister Clare, a divorcee and mother of two makes ends meet by working as a doctor's receptionist, and making homemade gifts for her friends and family. When her successful sister is suddenly back in her life, Clare becomes resentful of Polly's attitudes, and the women fail to get along. But they are both hiding guilt over something that happened in their pasts. Will they get past it to finally realise the importance of their sister?

There was something about this book I just loved. I loved that there weren't too many characters to get confused with, I loved that the book had a point and got to it straight away re Polly and Clare not getting along as sister's, and I loved the development of the story as it went on. I found Diamond's writing was easy to read and enjoyable, and really brought the characters to life with ease. Polly was a bit of stuck-up snob at the beginning of the book, and as we aren't immediately told why, it's difficult to be sympathetic towards her in any way. I found Diamond's descriptions of Polly and her lifestyle really good, and made it vivid in my mind. It was hard to feel sorry for her, even when her life started crumbling, but something bout her made me like her in a small way.

Clare was the character I could really relate to - a single mum working hard to do her best for her family. She's bogged down with everyone else's perceptions of her and when an opportunity arises that could change her life, she's reluctant as she doesn't have the confidence. Also, she's resentful of Polly returning and acting like the world owes her a favour, and you can really sense that resentment through Diamond's writing. Both of these female characters seemed so realistic, and were both strong females who carried the book easily. The way Diamond progresses their relationships, both with each other and with the new respective males in their lives, was enjoyable, and I really loved the whole book, I couldn't put it down. The whole thing just felt very believable as I was reading, and I was really praying for a happy ending for the women!

This is a book I highly recommend for summer reading - it's a great read with lovely characters that will have you wanting happiness for both of them, especially as secrets are revealed during the book that are both shocking and heart-breaking - I was actually shocked when it was revealed as I hadn't expected it at all. The sisters, Polly and Clare were great characters, each with their own problems and resentful of each other's lifestyles without realising it. The book makes you realise the importance of families and siblings, and sticking together when you most need it. I loved every page, and this is most definitely Diamond's best book yet.
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I have never read a Lucy Diamond before, despite having had 'The Beach House' on my shelf for a while. I was attracted to this one simply because of the beautiful cover. It really is lovely and very summery! The synopsis sounded good as well.

The story follows Poppy, a workaholic who, for reasons I won't reveal, has to move back home. Claire, her sister, is the complete opposite and not at all happy about her sister moving back home, especially as she hasn't paid a bit of notice to her niece and nephew since they were born! However, as the story goes along, they begin to appreciate each other more. There is also a more serious storyline which is dealt with really well. I like how this isn't just a 'light' read.

I really enjoyed this book and felt like I really got to know all the characters. I think Diamond's strength with this novel is that she hasn't got a great big cast list and this really allows you to build up a relationship.

A perfect book for Summer. I will be hunting out more of Lucy Diamond's work in the future!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 June 2012
Sisters, Clare and Polly have never had what you call a sisterly bond, but that's all about to change.
Craving success, Polly had turned her back on her family several years ago. Her demanding, high powered job in London, with glamourous lifestyle to match helped her to forget the past and being successful was more important to her than anything else.
However, Polly's life changes when she loses her job and home. With no money and nowhere to go, she finds herself living back with her family.
Single mum Clare still lives in the village where Polly and Clare grew up. She struggles to make ends meet, working part time at the medical centre, but her parents and friends are close at hand and always there to support her.
Clare is not exactly pleased with the news of Polly's return and reluctantly decides to help out. Polly comes to stay for the summer - it's an eventful one, but by the end of it, the future looks better for both of them and in more ways than one.
This is a great read. I instantly warmed to Clare. Polly is not so easy to like initially, but she learns to be true to herself and as the story progresses, I really warmed to her.
The story has several themes; family secrets, sisterhood and romance, to name a few, and all combine to make an entertaining read. The story also has a deeper side and a good balance of funny/light and serious moments.
Yes, the plot is a little predictable on the romance side, but the believable characters and really good storyline make this book a very worthwhile read.
I've only recently discovered Lucy Diamond's books and have been delighted so far. Lucy's last novel, The Beach Café, is a wonderful read with a warm central character, and a stunning location - a café on a Cornwall beach. Pure escapism!
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on 18 January 2016
I recently finished this book and really enjoyed it. Enjoyable characters and it left you with a nice cosy feeling. What I particularly liked was that Polly wasn't exactly a character to warm to for the most part but I'm OK with that because I hate sickly sweet, too good to be true characters you find in some books. It's one of those books where you wish you knew some of the characters and that you lived in the same area. And with siblings myself I related a lot to that aspect especially the tensions that can arise in sibling relationships.

If I had any minor complaints it would be that I think it ends quite abruptly and could benefit from one more chapter and maybe this is quite *SPOILERISH* but I think Polly's attitude changes quite quickly she goes from being a complete cow to suddenly nice it's not a gradual change in my opinion. *END* but these aren't enough to give it less than 5 stars.

So yeah a very nice read and I want to look into more by this author.
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on 5 August 2012
A new author for me and a first download for my kindle. Normally I am drawn to books by the cover but with the kindle I am finding this changing, I look at the cover on Amazon and read the blurb but after downloading a few books at a time I cannot remember which is which, so approach each book with an open mind and no expectations, as by then I will not even know the genre.

I was please by this book. I too have a sister and some of the strands of rivalry and abosolute support sitting side by side ring true for me, as do the feelings of blame, grief and one-up-man-ship.

I would definately recommend this.
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on 29 July 2012
Summer with my Sister is the first of Lucy's Diamond's books that I have read. I wanted a quick, easy read and it didn't disappoint.

The story focuses on Polly, an unlikeable character who finds herself at the top of her game working in `The City' making unspeakable amounts of money. Inevitably she loses her job, and with it her swanky London flat, designer clothes and entire lifestyle. Humiliatingly (or so she thinks) she has to move back to the sleep village of Elderchurch to stay with her parents and newly divorced mum of two sister.

The story is predictable, but then I knew from reading the blurb that this story was only going one way. It's reasonably well written and the characters are diverse enough to appeal to most readers. I liked the home made toiletries recipes at the back of the book - that was a really nice touch by Diamond and I'd love to try them myself at some point.

Summer with my Sister is an easy read to pass a few hours on the beach, by the pool or on a Sunday afternoon. Diamond introduces her characters well and, despite it's predictability, is a nice guilty pleasure.
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on 10 August 2014
Polly, a high flyer, lives in London and has it all until she is made redundant and has to return home. There many truths have to be faced and relationships mended on a life changing journey. To begin with Polly was really annoying and uncomfortable to read but she turns softer and becomes a joy to read and discover. The other characters are well written and a joy to discover their stories. There are many side plots that add to the enjoyment of this. Overall this is a perfect summer beach read and is immensely entertaining.
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on 2 July 2012
I'm sure most readers could reel off a list of authors for whom they are eagerly awaiting the publication of their next book, and for me Lucy Diamond is one of mine having read and loved all her previous books especially The Beach Cafe. In fact I think Summer with my Sister has been on my wishlist the longest as I added it as soon as I knew it was coming out.

Polly has always been the success story of the family, the small town girl who has made a name for herself in the big city but at what cost... She works non-stop and her friends are merely acquaintances really not anyone she can rely on in a crisis. So when her world comes crashing down around her when she's made redundant she realises she'll have to sell her flat and return home to her family as she has no-one else to turn to for help.

Whereas sister Clare is a single mum who struggles to make ends meet following her divorce, and her ex certainly doesn't make things any easier for her, but she has a great network of friends who support and help her whenever she needs them as well as her parents living nearby.

At first glance the sisters couldn't be more different but after spending many hours together over the summer, they begin to build a new friendship that they've never had before. Before long they are helping each other to rebuild their lives.

I have to confess that I didn't really warm to Polly's character but the more you got to know her the more she grew on you, whereas I instantly emphasised with Clare and wanted things to work out well for her.

This book had it all, family secrets, sibling rivalry as well as a love interest or two. The storyline flowed well and my only criticism would be that I wanted the story to continue, I could easily have carried on reading this for another few hours!

This is a wonderful feel-good book that I would have no hesitation in recommending.
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Summer With My Sister by Lucy Diamond

I am ashamed to say that I only picked up my first Lucy Diamond book last month. I was so glad that I did because I loved that book and made sure that I had her new one ready to read. Sue Mongredien (the author's real name) has produced another fantastic book with this latest release. Polly has always been the sister that `made it'. With her high flying career she is lucky if she can even make time for her family, let alone friends and a social life. So when she loses her job and her home she is awoken from her idealistic bubble with a very sharp shock! On the other end of the scale you have Polly's sister Clare, a single mum who struggles to make ends meet. Clare still lives in the village she grew up in and although nearly always broke she has her friends and family close by.

Polly has to face up to things and eventually returns to her home village and she ends up living with Clare and the two kids. The story drew me in almost instantly and I found myself disliking Polly and falling in love with Clare. The two sisters are poles apart and as a reader you can see Polly's demise coming. When it does happen and the two sister's end up living together the story takes an interesting turn. As the story goes on you begin to see the reasons that the two sisters have different outlooks and their past family history becomes clearer.

Although I originally disliked Polly you can see the changes in her as time goes on and before too long I was rooting for both sisters to work things out. The writing flows so easily that before I knew it I was into the last quarter of the book and once again chastising myself for reading too quickly. I really liked the odd character that was thrown in as well such as Clare's slightly barmy next door neighbour as well as her work colleague Roxie. Towards the end, the only thing that I can honestly say was a negative was the final three or four chapters. I felt like things had wrapped up too quickly and I could have easily read another 60-70 pages with the conclusions drawn out a little bit more.

Overall, this particular book is one that is perfect for the current climate that we live in. It makes you realise that there are many `Polly's' in this world and maybe you should just appreciate what you have (there's nothing quite like a good `moral to the story'). I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it was a pleasure to read. The only reason I knocked a star off was because the ending was far too quick and I could have easily read more; other than that just brilliant!!!
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on 1 November 2014
I first read 'The Beach Cafe' which I loved and it was free on Amazon, I enjoyed that book so much that I purchased this book and was not disappointed. I don't usually buy books as so many books are free but I have just loved Lucy Diamond's books so much that I just had to buy this one. They are light to read, a decent length and the stories are really enjoyable. Have now purchased three more for my short holiday away and cannot wait to start them.
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