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Book Rec: One Summer in Savannah

“But I challenge you to define forgiveness for yourself. Because forgiveness is for you, and you deserve to be free.”


One Summer in Savannah by Terah Shelton Harris is a natural pick for book clubs with so many different facets to discuss. It is a thought-provoking look at true forgiveness. Two wounded characters running away from secrets that have no real escape. I loved the quiet courage and strength of Sara.


One Summer in Savannah Summary

book jacket of two people facing away from each other with flowers around them and a bright night sky

It's been eight years since Sara Lancaster left her home in Savannah, Georgia. Eight years since her daughter, Alana, came into this world, following a terrifying sexual assault that left deep emotional wounds Sara would do anything to forget. But when Sara's father falls ill, she's forced to return home and face the ghosts of her past.


While caring for her father and running his bookstore, Sara is desperate to protect her curious, outgoing, genius daughter from the Wylers, the family of the man who assaulted her. Sara thinks she can succeed—her attacker is in prison, his identical twin brother, Jacob, left town years ago, and their mother are all unaware Alana exists. But she soon learns that Jacob has also just returned to Savannah to piece together the fragments of his once-great family. And when their two worlds collide—with the type of force Sara explores in her poetry and Jacob in his astrophysics—they are drawn together in unexpected ways.


Book Club Discussion Questions

  1. Poetry is an important part of the book. Why do you think Sara’s father only speaks in poetry?

  2. Throughout the book, Jacob struggles to forgive his brother. Some say family should always be forgiven, no matter the transgression. Do you believe there are some things that cannot or should not be forgiven?

  3. Do you think Daniel deserved to know of Alana’s existence? Did Sara have an obligation to tell him he had a daughter?

  4. Do you agree with Jacob’s decision to reveal Sara’s secret to Daniel despite having promised her he wouldn’t?

  5. On one Pizza Friday, Sylvia poses a question: “Would you rather be able to reverse one decision you make every day or be able to stop time for ten seconds every day?” What would your answer be?

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May 24
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