I think that “Cicada Summer” by Maureen Leurck is a novel about hope, love, perseverance, starting over, and second chances at life. In more ways than one, Ms. Leurck gives the reader a glimpse at obstacles that can be overcome and the endurance to find other ways to succeed.
Alex Proctor is a single mom, sharing her daughter with the father, Matt on every other weekend and designated custody days. She is providing for her daughter by renovating old houses into homes anyone would love to live in. This last home that she purchased has no limit on problems and unseen structural disintegration. I love to watch the reno shows that are so prevalent now and found that this book capitalized on this popular theme of these shows. This house comes alive as we find out more and more about past inhabitants. Can she use this same stubbornness to make her life right again? Can she begin to start a new life without constantly thinking of her ex-husband?
Of course, the title has something to do with the theme of the novel. Cicadas lives are in a seventeen year cycle. Every seventeen years cicadas come out of their hibernating grounds, cover the area with their sounds and bodies until they mate, lay the eggs and die. The eggs hatch and the nymphs burrow underground to feed on plant roots. They re-emerge after another seventeen year to start the cycle all over again. I would say that the comparison to Alex’s life is the stubbornness, hope and renewal that the cicada experience brings to the dedication to starting over again.
I thought the characters were very real and that Ms. Leurck did a wonderful job of tying up all the threads that ran through the novel. I would recommend this book highly. I received an advanced proof of this novel from NightOwlReviews.com for my honest review.