The Summer I Dared

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Published by: Gallery Books
Release Date: May 4, 2004
Pages: 368
ISBN13: 978-0743469852



What comes after the moment that changes your life forever? This is the question that haunts Julia Bechtel, Noah Prine, and Kim Colella, the only survivors of a horrific boating accident.

Julia, a 40-year-old wife and mother, has always done exactly what others expect of her. After her brush with death, though, she wonders if obedience is enough.

Feeling strangely connected to the two other survivors — Noah, the taciturn lobsterman who helped save her life, and Kim, a 21-year-old, whose role in the accident, and whose subsequent muteness, are a mystery — Julia sets off on a risky but rewarding search for self.

Set on the picturesque Maine coast, The Summer I Dared is a story of survival, of the irrepressible ability of the human spirit to rebound from disaster and make life anew.


“Delinsky excels at combining a compelling mystery with an insightful portrayal of captivating people facing challenges both ordinary and dramatic.”



The Amelia Celeste was born a lobster boat. An elegant lady, she ran a proud thirty-eight feet of mahogany and oak, from the graceful upward sweep of her bow, down her foredeck to the wheelhouse, and, on a straight and simple plane, back to her stern. True to the axiom that Maine lobstermen treat their boats with the same care as their wives, the Amelia Celeste had been doted on by Matthew Crane in much the way he had pampered the flesh-and-blood Amelia Celeste, to whom he had been married for forty years and on whose grave every Friday he continued to lay a dozen long-stem roses, even twelve long years after her death.
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Real life has always been the inspiration for my books. The Summer I Dared took root soon after September 11, 2001. We were initially focused on those who died, but the term ‘victim’ quickly broadened to include those whose lives were directly touched by the tragedy of that day.

Other tragedies, including the killings by the D.C. snipers, egged me on. Yes, I know. We’ve already had movies where the hero survives the plane crash and starts acting immortal. I felt there had to be other reactions.

There are. Julia Bechtel and Noah Prine, the protagonists of The Summer I Dared, experienced them. These characters aren’t super-human; they’re people like you and me, who experience something unique. Their search for self-understanding and their need for growth struck a chord in me.

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