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A Summer Breeze by Colette Caddle

Writing.ie | Women’s Fiction

By Margaret Madden, BleachHouseLibrary.Blogspot.ie

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The world of theatre can be a fickle one. When Zoe Hall put her actor husband’s career before her own, she made a huge mistake. Now she has returned to Dublin, newly divorced and ready to start over again. With some help from veteran actor, Terence Ross, she auditions for the role of a lifetime and holds her breath in anticipation of its outcome.

Meanwhile, Terence’s daughter, Tara, is struggling in her new role as the main breadwinner in her household. Her husband’s redundancy has affected their marriage and she wonders if she could be bothered fighting to keep it intact. When Zoe’s brother, Shane, makes contact with his old flame, things get a little more complicated.
A tale of lost love, a missing childhood and the insecurity of actors, this novel brings the readers through the acts and scenes of the theatre world and blends it with the unfolding of some hidden secrets…

I have been a fan of Colette Caddle’s work for a long time now.

This novel looks at the casting of a play written by an Irish playwright and how it moves from the early audition stages, through to script edits and finally, opening night. The main characters are female; Zoe and Tara, but there is a wide supporting cast of males to balance the equation. Tara is a caterer with a damaged marriage and Zoe gives her a dig out on occasion. Terence is Tara’s father, Shane is Tara’s ex but also Zoe’s brother. Then there are a host of guys who are connected via Shane and his play or his childhood. Terence encounters a few old friends along the way too, so there is definitely no shortage of characters. A bit too many when you throw in Shane’s fling in Spain, (in his ex-lovers villa) and his old friend, Adam and a quick mention of his housebound mother.

Colette keeps the writing fluid throughout, gently paced with two main story lines. There are hints at hidden secrets, which are not revealed until the latter part of the novel, with Shane carrying the darkness throughout. I couldn’t connect with Tara, she was very hard and emotionally detached, but considering her parents, this may have been an inevitable outcome. Zoe and Shane were close siblings, being orphaned at a young age but leading very different adult lives. The overall feeling of of the book is light, with some darker elements creeping in at the end, not taking away from the summery atmosphere. Ideal for fans of Sheila O’Flanagan and Cathy Kelly…

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