A long, hot summer has just begun, and three women gather together in the park, in the shade of the trees, forming a tight circle. New mothers, they keep each other close, sharing gossip, parenting wisdom and deep secrets. Uptight, super-organised Gracie seems to have adapted to motherhood with ease, but secretly she wonders if the cost - to her job and her relationship - is too high. Free-spirited Lina is a single parent by choice, but a surprise arrival makes her question everything she's taken for granted. And shy Jane must face up to the consequences of a painful decision she made years ago.One day, a fellow new mother, looking lonely and a bit lost, asks to join them - and the circle opens to let her in.Gradually, the foundations of their lives begin to crumble and their connections to each other begin to fray, each woman is forced to confront unwelcome truths about herself...A novel about the close bonds of female friendship and the emotional undercurrents that underpin them, The Start of Summer looks at that time when life changes utterly, never to be the same again.