It can change life… no matter how good a person you are or how well you plan and try to dot your I’s and cross your T’s it can all just change. In One Summer author David Baldacci introduces us to the Armstrong Family. It is almost Christmas, but there is no joy in the house of Jack Armstrong who is terminally ill. Jack with only a short time left to live spends his last days trying to find the words to say goodbye to his wife and best friend Lizzie and their three children. Jack who can barely speaks puts his thoughts to paper one letter for each day before the week of Christmas. If that isn’t enough to make you cry just wait… Another tragedy is geared to strike, right before this tragedy we realize just how perfect these two people are for one another how theirs is a love that should last forever, but just because that’s the way life should be doesn’t mean it will be. Readers I saw what was coming and I knew what was coming because of the Book summary on the audible site… I borrowed this from my Father-In-Law’s libraries… why do my in-laws read such tear jerker’s? Okay, so tragedy strikes again right, Lizzie is killed in a car accident. That’s right readers not only is Jack dying a fast painful death that he’s fighting just to spend one more Christmas morning with his family, but then his wife dies! And, since Jack is going to die the children are separated from each other and sent to live with family members around the country. I don’t know about you but I’d make damn sure my kids were kept together were I to have any separating children amongst family doesn’t exactly yell comfort when one parent is dead and the other dying….really disappointed in Jack’s and Lizzie’s family here. I actually was listening to this walking to my husband’s office and made sure I kissed him like there was no tomorrow readers, and then continued to make him promise he would never do a certain something and leave me. Dramatic yes, but he’s the one thing in my life that is perfect and I would not want to live without him. Seriously forgive the Drama readers, but I think the fact true love is separated in a world where it is so sorely lacking is just well sucky. Okay, moving on. Now, as if fate realizes this is even too cruel of a joke for them… or maybe they would like to play another one on this poor family. Jack… gets better! A miracle… Jack rises from his deathbed, he is determined to bring his fractured family back together. This is a pretty daunting task readers not only from now being a single father of Mickey, Jack’s 15 year old girl who is very giften as well as independent and willful, his introverted and talented 12 year old son Cory, and two year old loveable but confused son Jack Jr. great kids, but having all spectrums of the kid years does prove a bit tough for a former career military man and carpenter who was mostly out of the house. Jack decides to reunite everyone at Lizzie’s childhood home on the oceanfront in South Carolina. It is here where over one unforgettable summer, Jack will begin to learn how to love again, and he and his family will learn how to become a family once more. Words of Wisdom did this book hold hmmm (said in Yoda Voice), but for all of those words of wisdom, I couldn’t accept a lot of them. I hate the life doesn’t match what should be and we just have to accept it…I hate it, but yeah sometimes we can’t help it and we really can’t live in the past. The story itself is very amazing and had so many little twists from those that should be loyal to Jack and his own kids faced a lot of their own issues. I really had to keep myself glued to my seat and from yelling out in frustration a few times. Teenagers, kids, grandparents, can be frustrating… even Jack at times I had to question just what the hell was he doing? This is a beautifully narrated book by Ron McLarty who reminded me of the late Casey Kasem in how soothing his voice could be at times, but I did enjoy his other cadences too. Then for the female voices we had the talented Orlagh Cassidy. These two really brought the emotions and story to life for me, I’m really enjoying books in audio format, and I’ve listened to a few where the narration wasn’t great, but these two wow, when those letters come along readers…grab a box or two or three of tissues. Also, if you can have your loved ones nearby so you can hug them or at least call them and let them know just how much you love and appreciate them. A very touching book that very well defines the ye old American saying… “Shit Happens.” But you just have to pull yourself up and move on, because what choice have we?