“Nothing carries meaning. People carry meaning. We are the porters of importance.” - Jarod Kintz

Author Betta Ferrendelli’s ‘An Invincible Summer’ is a tour de force into the inner workings of the American justice department and about a group of people whose lives are changed forever at the end of a landmark case. Jaime Monroe is a young do-gooder of an attorney working with the Denver DA. Enter Ashleigh Roberts, a young cheerful girl with mental disability who is strained to fight against her own mother, to ascertain her right over her own body and life. Leigh Roberts is the mother trying to do what’s best for her only daughter. Jamie becomes Ashleigh’s attorney and the ensuing trial affects these three women’s lives in a profound manner.

When you pick up a book from a known author, you know there will be a familiar nod to their past writing in their new work as well. And in Ferrendelli’s latest, you get the staple, troubled young woman, an insight into the workings of the law enforcement agencies, flawed but good at heart male characters and so on. But what makes An Invincible Summer stand out is that the issues discussed here have widespread medical, moral and social implications in the real world too. It should generate discussions and talks regarding an issue that usually doesn’t find space in the mainstream media. And this is a mighty big achievement for a fiction book that at its core is an entertaining read about a female attorney’s life.

The author deserves appreciation for getting right the nuances and language right in describing and writing dialogues for a person with metal disability. It isn’t offensive or stereotypical and there’s an air of believability around the character. Of course there are a few diversions here and there but you have to expect that in a fictional read. The strength in research shows while it’s discussing diseases and in the manner attorneys, judges and the courtrooms have been portrayed.

The strength and layers to the relationship the various characters have in this book is worth talking about. In Betta’s books men and women have intense and complicated relationships that are romantic and sometimes platonic in nature. It brings great mystery to these characters and readability to the narrative.

The only negative I felt were the one too many sub-plots involving the secondary characters in the first half; it takes away the focus from the chief protagonists without contributing much.

Jaime is immensely likeable and has a grace about her. Although she is suffering from an intense mental trauma and is constantly trying to make amends for it, she is a brave and courageous woman. She is a fighter, someone who never gives up and is excellent hero material. She has all the trappings of becoming a vital character in future stories centered around her. The book also has a bunch of well etched out characters in Leigh, Ashleigh, Drew, Tia, etc who contribute immensely to make this both a feel-good and an inspirational read.

Mother’s love, independence, letting go of your past & atonement are key themes discussed in this book.


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