It probably sounds dismissive to describe Jude Deveraux’s “The Summerhouse” as perfect airplane reading, but it is.

And that is not a bad thing at all.

A slightly improbable premise – 3 young women meet briefly on their (joint shared) 21st birthdays, all waiting to get their driving licenses. They all then go their separate ways, losing contact with each other.

On the eve of their (joint shared) 40th birthdays, Leslie, Madison and Ellie somehow contrive to get together again and spend a long weekend talking, catching up on the intervening years, and lamenting all the might-have-beens and wrong turnings they have all taken.

Life has taken its inevitable toll on their youthful dreams and ambitions, and one by one they share their stories, and regrets, and mistakes with their 2 companions.

Enter Madame Zoya.

They meet this mysterious lady, who offers them the chance to go back in time, to any 3 weeks in their past lives and relive them. They can then decide whether to stay in their past lives, or return to their present.

Missed opportunities, wasted opportunities, misunderstandings, regrets – all these are revisited, and when the 3 women return to their about-to-be 40 selves, they all decide.

Ah, but you must read this entertaining novel to see what our 3 heroines decide.

Light, entertaining, it made this reviewer reflect for a moment (on a long plane journey) about which 3 weeks she would’ve chosen…

Published by Pocket Books, the paperback sells for $7.99, Can $10.99

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