Dedicated: The Summer Seekers by Sarah Morgan (Review by Missi Gwartney)

3 min read

Rating 4.5/5 Stars

 “It’s never too late for an adventure.”

This is the only sentence on the very first page of the book and I did not realize how true this sentence would be as one of the central themes throughout the book. The Summer Seekers by Sarah Morgan is the story of not only a once in a lifetime road trip but also the importance of being true to oneself. Morgan was absolutely fantastic at reminding the reader that sometimes the past needs to stay in the past, but it may not be a terrible thing to relive and/or revisit as well. The Summer Seekers will take the reader on the quintessential American Road Trip, Historic Route 66, while emphasizing the importance of self-care and never leaving things unsaid.

Kathleen is 80 years old and has always lived her life to the fullest. As a past TV star, she has travelled all over the world always looking for her next adventure. However, these trips came with a downside when they required her to be away from her family, especially her daughter, Liza, quite frequently. Now ready to leave the country to travel again, Kathleen has no idea just how much different this trip will be than all her others.

Liza has always dreamed of a close relationship with her mom but never quite got there. Always feeling left behind or put second for her mother’s next job/adventure, she’s determined to never let that happen with her own family. When Liza gets lost in the mundane day-to-day bustle of life, she learns that living completely opposite of her mother also has its faults. Desperate for change and some solitude, Liza is determined to figure out what’s next for her. But, just like Kathleen, Liza soon learns that “life” has a funny way of working things out.

Enter Martha… a girl who habitually “makes bad choices” and has a family that continually reminds her of it. She never feels good enough and has almost resigned herself to the fact that she doesn’t even deserve better. When a newspaper ad leads her to Kathleen, it may just be a way to start over and run from a past (and a future) that seems to have nothing good in store for her. But again, just like Kathleen and Liza, Martha will find her own “adventure of a lifetime” that takes her far beyond what she thought possible.

These 3 women, who would never cross paths in their current lives, are all hopeful for more. Kathleen wants one more trip, Liza wants more meaning in her life, and Martha wants more for her future. With a seemingly crazy idea of a road trip for Kathleen and Martha and Liza staying at her mother’s cottage (and updated on their trip), they begin to individually, and collectively, define exactly what the word “adventure” means.

I enjoyed this book so much and since I live right off route 66 and have traveled it (at least in my home state) several times, it was fun to “journey” with Kathleen and Martha as they passed through! The cover led me to believe I was in for a simple fiction book that would give me a quick read without too much “thinking/relating” required. Boy, was I surprised and I’m so glad that I was! This book was a quick read, but packed with so much adventure and self-discovery that it could quite easily have also been a little bit of a “self -help” book for me. The themes that are interwoven into the story were addicting and kept me turning page after page after page. I found myself right in the middle of each of these characters’ stories and found bits and pieces of my life that were so similar to theirs that it was uncanny. I’d absolutely recommend this book as I think it will resonate with every reader no matter how old, what stage of life you’re in, or what part of you that you may need to be rediscovered. I’d invite you to ask yourself, “What will my next great adventure be?”

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