Monday, August 3, 2015

Review/Giveaway: The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach by Pam Jenoff

Adelia Montforte begins the summer of 1941 aboard a crowded ship bound for America, utterly alone yet free of Fascist Italy. Whisked away to the seaside by her well-meaning aunt and uncle, she slowly begins to adapt to her new life. That summer, she basks in the noisy affection of the boisterous Irish-Catholic boys next door, and although she adores all four of the Connally brothers, it’s the eldest, Charlie, she pines for. But all hopes for a future together are throttled by the creep of war and a tragedy that hits much closer to home.

Needing to distance herself from grief, Addie flees – first to Washington and then London, where the bombs still scream by night – and finds a passion at a prestigious newspaper. More so, she finds a purpose. A voice. And perhaps even a chance to redeem lost time, lost family – and lost love. But the past, never far behind, nips at her heels, demanding to be reckoned with. And in a final, fateful choice, Addie discovers that the way home may be a path she never suspected.

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Mira (July 28, 2015)
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arc via netgalley

Recently a friend made a comment about this book, how once she starts a Pam Jenoff book it grabs her and she can't stop reading.  This being my first book by this author my anticipation was peaked and I wasn't disappointed, I agree with my friend as I needed to find out what was going to happen to Addie.

Set against the backdrop of World War II we are first introduced to Adelia as a young teen being shipped off to relatives in the US from Italy.  With the war going on across the ocean it isn't long before those in the US are affected as well.  But this book is more a story of Addie's search to belong, of love and loss and making hard decisions.  I liked Addie, she was determined but vulnerable at the same time, running from grief and pain she ends up in England searching for something and not even sure herself what it is.  With the war going on things change in a heartbeat as is the case here.

I enjoyed the authors writing style, it was smooth and it wasn't hard to lose track of time while reading.  The plot was interesting, unique in some ways but also a little predictable, but not enough to hamper my enjoyment.  I think the only issue I had with this book was the timing, at times feeling like many years have gone by since tragedy stuck but it was only 2 years which I felt was a little rushed for what took place to actually happen.  I won't go into detail here for fear of spoilers.

The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach reminds the reader about second chances and the power of healing - a powerful combination here that works.


The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach is a beautiful story of love and redemption about a woman struggling to find her voice and her way amidst the turmoil of World War II.”—Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author

The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach is a heartfelt, stirring love story set against the turbulent backdrop of war-torn Europe and the American home front.  Jenoff’s meticulous research, a feisty heroine, and a sweeping plot makes this book a real page-turner.   A lovely story with a delicious and unexpected ending, The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach is definitely one for my keeper shelf.”—Karen White, New York Times bestselling author

“Pam Jenoff’s unforgettable story of a life disrupted by the chaos of war held me captive from beginning to end. When it comes to bringing an era to life, this author has no peer. It’s a powerful, moving drama of love, loss and redemption—heartbreaking, authentic and ultimately uplifting.”—Susan Wiggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“I won’t soon forget Adelia Monteforte, the strong, loving and compassionate heroine in Pam Jenoff’s The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach. I was moved by Adelia’s courage as she navigates family, career and a tender, surprising romance, all in the shadow of World War II. A warm and heartfelt story of emotional survival.”—Diane Chamberlain, bestselling author.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble


  Pam Jenoff credit Dominic EpiscopoPam Jenoff is the Quill-nominated internationally bestselling author of The Kommadant’s Girl. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University and a master’s degree in history from Cambridge, and she received her Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania. Jenoff’s novels are based on her experiences working at the Pentagon and also as a diplomat for the State Department handling Holocaust issues in Poland.

She lives with her husband and three children near Philadelphia where, in addition to writing, she teaches law school.


Connect with Pam

Website | Facebook | Twitter


Monday, July 27th: Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, July 28th: Raven Haired Girl – review and guest post
Tuesday, July 28th: The Lit Bitch
Wednesday, July 29th: Bewitched Bookworms – excerpt #1
Thursday, July 30th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy – excerpt #2
Friday, July 31st: Lavish Bookshelf
Saturday, August 1st: Romantic Historical Reviews – excerpt #3
Monday, August 3rd: Just One More Chapter
Monday, August 3rd: Books a la Mode – author guest post
Tuesday, August 4th: The Romance Dish
Wednesday, August 5th: Bibliotica
Thursday, August 6th: Mom in Love with Fiction
Monday, August 10th: Read Love Blog – author guest post
Tuesday, August 11th: West Metro Mommy Reads
Wednesday, August 12th: Let Them Read Books – Q&A or guest post
Friday, August 14th: Written Love Reviews
Monday, August 17th: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, August 17th: Luxury Reading – guest post
Tuesday, August 18th: A Novel Review
Wednesday, August 19th: Savvy Verse and Wit
Thursday, August 20th: A Literary Vacation
Friday, August 21st: Kritter’s Ramblings – Review and Q&A
Monday, August 24th: One Curvy Blogger
Tuesday, August 25th: The Reading Date
Wednesday, August 26th: Time 2 Read
Thursday, August 27th: Life is Story
Friday, August 28th: Bookshelf Fantasies

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  1. Lately I've been reading books based during or around the time of WWll. This sounds like an intense & emotional read. It's on my TRL
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. I'm glad that your friend's recommendation was so correct! Thanks for being a part of the tour.