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Susan: Down to earth and family-oriented, “The Summer Garden” by romance writer Sherryl Woods values several time honored traditions such as meddling in someone else’s affairs equates to caring, and compromise is the key to every marriage. In the center of the story is Luke O’Brien, a young man who is driven to build an authentic Irish Pub in the comfy alcove of Chesapeake Shores, outside of Baltimore, Maryland. The woman whom he desires to court but does so in an obtuse way is Moira O’Malley, a waitress from Ireland who comes to Chesapeake Shores with her grandfather Dillon for a short visit to see Luke’s grandmother Nell.
The tugging and pulling between Luke and Moira has a realistic ring, like so many couples before them have been there and done that needing to work through the impasses they encounter if they have any chance of breaking through their personality differences. For Luke and Moira, their personality differences create familiar rifts and contention that many couples can relate to and wish, like Luke and Moira, to find a way around the frustration. Woods’ book, at certain times, reads like a therapy session offering self-help advice that has practical use. It’s a story that after awhile grows on readers making them see themselves from another perspective while allowing them to break through those impasses in their lives.
In the end, everyone realizes that family is the most important element in their lives and worth saving even at the expense of swallowing their pride.