I’m thrilled to announce that my seventeenth novel, Summer Secrets, was released on Tuesday, June 23rd and now available in the U.S.. I love this book, and I hope you do too!.
Summer Secrets was released in the UK on July 3rd. It would mean the world to me if you would dash out to your local bookstore or go online and order it.
“A gripping and powerful novel about finding the courage to make the life you want. This is Jane Green at her absolute best.”- Emily Giffin
“Summer Secrets is the quintessential beach novel, complete with juicy drama and characters you fall madly in love with. You will devour it!” –Elin Hilderbrand
“Warm, witty, sharp and insightful. Jane Green writes with such honesty and zing, it’s impossible to stop turning the pages.” – Sophie Kinsella
“Summer Secrets is the perfect summer read. Once you dive into this story about a recovering alcoholic who must finally face her own dark past and make amends, you’ll be hooked.” – Kristin Hannah
“A compelling story of a woman struggling with addiction and seeking forgiveness…Green’s latest will bring in droves of readers.” – Booklist on Summer Secrets
“Green handles grim issues with a sure hand, balancing light romance with tense family drama…sets up a surprising karmic lesson.” – Kirkus Reviews
A whirlwind week of book tour in London filled with wonderful things – radio, interviews, book signings, luncheons, old friends. And best of all, the most fantastic reviews of Summer Secrets everywhere I look. Thank you to all those who have posted reviews (if you haven’t read it, apparently it’s my best book in years so hurry up and buy it NOW!).
Every year, on the last day of book tour, the same thing happens, and every year I forget it’s going to happen. My throat gets scratchy, my glands get swollen, my nose starts running, and I end up with a cold, bronchitis, sinus infection, or, this time, all three.
I sneezed my way back on Virgin Atlantic, with a gorgeous flight attendant who made me endless Lemsips and brought me plastic cups of tissues soaked in Olbas oil to clear my sore nose.
The flight was delayed, my best laid plans of arriving at lunchtime in order to avoid rush hour and make it home for fireworks were completely scuppered, as I found myself sitting in a car on the bridge in Westport, for over an hour, in the lines of people all making their way to Compo beach for our town’s brilliant fireworks. I happen to live at Compo beach, and I felt so miserable, all I wanted to do was get home and crawl into bed, but after an hour of standstill traffic, I couldn’t sit anymore.
“I’m walking,” I told the driver. “I’ll leave my suitcase in the car and meet you at the house.” Within five minutes I passed a crowd of people in the front garden of a house, wine glasses in hand, including an old friend I haven’t seen in a few years. She beckoned me in to the back garden, where a fantastic bar was set up, filled my cup, quite literally, with a delicious white wine that instantly made my cold feel a whole lot better, and introduced me to a crowd of lovely people I am quite certain will become my new best friends.
I continued home with a second ‘roadie’ plastic cup of wine for the walk, meeting my husband who had cycled up to accompany me. He mentioned friends of ours were dropping in to watch the fireworks at the people across the street.
“That’s where we’re going?” piped a voice behind us, and two women we didn’t know started chatting, and of course they knew everyone we know. Everyone waved hello, everyone in the best of moods, and we continued on, pausing all the while to chat with people we haven’t seen in ages (which is what happens when you work like I do and have a hundred children – it always ends up being the social life that suffers…).
And I realize, knowing people makes this feel like a small town, and living in a small town feels like home. Growing up in Hampstead was home, just as Westport now is. There are things I will always miss about London. My friends and family. Cabbies (see previous post!). Sitting in café’s and wasting four hours talking about nothing and everything. Clever conversation and self-deprecating wit. Hats. Tea. Sausages.
But I don’t miss being anonymous in a sea of strangers, I don’t miss the hustle and bustle, and I don’t miss the bacon.
I definitely don’t miss the bacon.
On that note, if you have read Summer Secrets, let me know what you think, and if you haven’t, public opinion seems to be giving it a resounding yes, and you really ought to do so now!
Happy to be home, whether it’s home away from home or not.
I am back in London this week for the publication of Summer Secrets on Thursday, and am struck, as I always am, by how wonderful, and strange it is, in equal measure.
Last night I stayed at the Soho Hotel, and this morning I walked the streets of Soho, memories flooding back on every corner, my childhood and adulthood spent roaming these streets. There used to be the cafe we used to come to for breakfast after a night clubbing; there was the shop I bought fabric from as a teenager; there where we used to have Dim Sum on Sundays as a child; there was my best friend Julian’s first office, up a narrow flight of rickety stairs.
It is completely familiar to me, and in so many ways I am completely at home. I sat in the offices of my wonderful UK publisher yesterday, Pan Macmillan, who just won Publisher of the Year. The meeting was filled with good things: good ideas, brilliant strategies, much laughter, and I left on a high at speaking the exact same language and being understood.
And yet, for as familiar as this town is, it isn’t home anymore. I lived in London for 30 years, and my friends used to joke I was like the mayor; I couldn’t go anywhere without running in to at least three people I knew.
And now, I don’t know anyone. I walk into restaurants filled with people that look like I ought to know them, and I know no-one. However well I know a place, it has always been the people who have made it home, and as much as I am loving reminiscing about my life here before I moved to America almost 15 years ago, being a stranger in a familiar land is making me realise that my hat is not laid here, and this will never be home again.
On Saturday, back in Connecticut, I will be doubtless be running up to Trader Joe’s and seeing three people I know, pausing at check-out to give Trudy a hug; I will grab lunch from the Organic market and chat with Charles as I leave; I will walk along the beach and see everyone in my neighbourhood.
And I will feel lucky, and grateful that although I left the place I grew up in, I have found another place to call home.
Now that summer is here, and seeing as I’m off to Nantucket tomorrow, here’s a sneak preview of one of my most favorite recipes. It’s one of my most favorite dessert dishes ever, and everyone who tastes it goes nuts for it. This isn’t my recipe, it comes from Bon Appetit, but this is probably at the top of my must-makes when people come for supper.
If you want to purchase my cookbook, it is only available for 27 more days here: bit.ly/janegreencookbook
Whipped Ricotta with Honey (serves 6)
They gave us the grand tour of this giant mansion, saving the best until last – a huge movie theatre complete with wall-to-wall dioramas of a busy main street, beautifully backlit, a steam room big enough for the Yankees and their friends, and a dedicated massage room.
It was ridiculous, and fantastic, the quintessential fantasy house, a millionaire’s playground, and after we got the tour we trooped upstairs for dinner, ending with this yummy dessert, that needs nothing other than a big bowl, a spoon, and willing fingers for clean-up when no-one is looking.
2 cups whole milk Ricotta cheese
4oz cream cheese, softened at room temp
2 Tablespoons stevia
3 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Blend everything in processor until very smooth (about 5 minutes).
Refrigerate until slightly set – around 2 hours.