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A Different Kind of Summer    by Caron Todd order for
Different Kind of Summer
by Caron Todd
Order:  USA  Can
Harlequin, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton

Here's a romance that tackles two very high profile issues: Global Warming and the War in Iraq. Gwyn Sinclair was widowed before her son Chris (now a 5-year-old) was born, and still has not moved on. Mementos of her husband Duncan are everywhere in the house and in her son's eyes. More often than not, when Gwyn looks into Chris's eyes, they're troubled. After Chris views the movie The Day After Tomorrow, he worries about catastrophic events. Gwyn is frustrated that she can't protect him from the world's dangers and from his current obsession.

David Bretton is as different from Gwyn as they come. He's a scientist who studies climatic changes and lives close to his parents, while Gwyn's parents are deceased. David's brother has just returned from the Middle East, and his sister is expexcted for their annual family vacation. When Gwyn brings Chris to the museum after he views the movie, David introduces himself and talks to Chris about the last ice age. This angers Gwyn, and thus begins a very tense relationship between the laid back scientist and the uptight mother. As the story progresses, Chris's behavior becomes more erratic, and he begins to act out at school. His teacher approaches Gwyn several times to get to the root of the problem. The only thing that seems to help is David's new relationship with Chris. The issue of Global Warming takes center stage as David defends the theory, which helps calm down Chris, but infuriates Gwyn.

I liked the way the author incorporated a major modern issue, i.e. Global Warming, into the romance. The War in Iraq also came up, via David's brother Sam's mysterious return to town. While there were obviously serious themes in the story - including the issue of a single parent dealing with an out of control five-year old - it also focused on family and romance. I found it fascinating.

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