BEYOND SUMMER

Lisa Wingate

National bestselling author Lisa Wingate returns with an uplifting novel set in Blue Sky Hill, where unexpected challenges and new relationships give deeper meanings to “home”.

When Tam Lambert learns that her family’s upscale home is in foreclosure, the life she’s known is forever changed. Tam and her family must move to a changing Dallas neighborhood called Blue Sky Hill…

New resident Shasta Williams knows nothing of real estate schemes when she and her husband purchase a home in Blue Sky Hill. To her it’s the perfect place to raise her children.

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National bestselling author Lisa Wingate returns with an uplifting novel set in Blue Sky Hill, where unexpected challenges and new relationships give deeper meanings to “home”.

When Tam Lambert learns that her family’s upscale home is in foreclosure, the life she’s known is forever changed. Tam and her family must move to a changing Dallas neighborhood called Blue Sky Hill…

New resident Shasta Williams knows nothing of real estate schemes when she and her husband purchase a home in Blue Sky Hill. To her it’s the perfect place to raise her children. Better yet is getting to know Tam, who lives next door. When neighbors realize that a corrupt deal could force them from their homes, friendships and loyalties are tested. Over the span of one summer, two young women discover the strength and maturity to do the impossible. They find that even in Blue Sky Hill, life-altering relationships and amazing possibilities can begin to blossom…

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  • NAL
  • Paperback
  • July 2010
  • 416 Pages
  • 9780451230010

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$15.00

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About Lisa Wingate

Lisa Wingate writes both Accent novels and contemporary romances for NAL. She lives with her husband and two sons in the central Texas hill country, where she is a popular inspirational speaker, writing instructor, and magazine columnist.

Praise

Beyond Summer is beyond good. It’s great!”—Sandra Dallas, author of Whiter than Snow

“Wingate’s novels [are] like those of Nicholas Sparks and Richard Paul Evans.”—The Bryan-College Station Eagle

Discussion Questions

There are a lot of characters in this book. Who are your favorites and why? Who don’t you like? 

Most the characters are deeply flawed, yet we care about them anyway. How does Lisa Wingate achieve that?

The Lambert family members find their lives turning upside down almost overnight. Tam ends up in a place she can hardly conceive of being. Yet most of us experience at some point some sense of disconnect between what we thought our lives would be and what they really are. Has that happened to you? How did that experience change you? 

Why do you think Lisa Wingate chose to include the stories that Sesay tells the children at the Summer Kitchen story hour? What insights did you receive from them? 

Did you notice that Lisa Wingate narrates Tam’s and Shasta’s chapters using verbs in the past tense while she narrates Sesay’s chapters using verbs in the present tense? Why do you think she made this choice? Do you have any thoughts about other ways in which the novel is structured?

Barbie experiences an emotional turning point that offers some insights into her background, and might suggest she has tried to satisfy an emotional loss by surrounding herself with material possessions. Is that how you read Barbie? Do you think our culture is too obsessed with acquiring things, and if so, what are some of the reasons for that? 

Shasta has made some impulsive decisions in her life, and is suffering the consequences. Perhaps the worst consequence is the bruising of her own self-image. Discuss how she sees herself, how she thinks others see her, and whether her self-criticism is deserved. 

What do you think of Aunt Lute? In what ways is she truly crazy? In what ways is she crazy like a fox—in other words, smarter in her handling of a situation than either Tam or Barbie? 

Several characters experience major insights or turning points during the course of the novel that suggest they will make different choices in the future—Tam, her father, Barbie, Shasta, Sesay, to name a few. Did you find these transformations believable? Why or why not? 

What would you like the Blue Sky Hill neighborhood to be like in five years? Fifteen years? Fifty years? How much responsibility do you think you have for helping to shape the places where you live and work? 

Simple acts of kindness can go a long way in helping someone get through the day, or in knitting together an entire community. What are some acts of kindness that stand out for you in the book? 

Is there a need for a Summer Kitchen or a neighborhood association near where you live? If you were to start something like that, what needs might it try to fulfill and what form might it take? What resistance might you encounter? What joys might you experience?