Thursday, 22 January 2015

♥ Summertime - Vanessa Lafaye || Review ♥

Horrifying and beautiful, Summertime is a fictionalised account of one of the most devastating natural disasters in US history.

Florida Keys, 1935. Hurricane Season.

Tens of thousands of black and white men scarred by their experiences of war in Europe return home to find themselves abandoned to destitution by the US government.

The tiny, segregated community of Heron Key is suddenly overwhelmed by broken, disturbed men with new ideas about racial equality and nothing left to lose.

Tensions flare when a black veteran is accused of committing the most heinous crime of all against a white resident’s wife.

And not far off the strongest and most intense hurricane America has ever witnessed is gaining force.

For fans of The Help and To Kill a Mockingbird, this is the story of the greatest tragedy you've never heard of.

(Summertime is the title of the UK edition of Under a Dark Summer Sky)


This book is like a hurricane...nothing, nothing then all it once. Summertime is a beautiful beautiful book in terms of the narrative, the story is one of love, real love, of tension and racism.  We meet Missy who has been waiting for Henry to come back war, from the day he went, but when he does arrive back in town - why doesnt he want to meet her?

Part of the Vetrans camp, and slightly outcast on the skirts of town Henry has set up home there and has no intentions of any time soon seeing Missy, he doesn't want to disappoint her. When the annual barbecue/firework display is hosted, the town tries(as every year) to make it a peaceful event, and as usual hiccups occur. When one of the ladies is walking home, she is brutally attacked to nearly at deaths door and of course suspicion falls straight to the vetrans camp. 

Whilst the investigation is taking place, the weather starts too turn, not just slightly but tragically. A hurricane is on its way, and we see the citizens of Heron Key in their true light, we learn more about them in those moments than the whole book.

Summertime is written elegantly and draws you in, you arrive in Heron Key with the characters and you stay through the good and the bad. The narrative builds slowly, allowing you to settle a while and meet the characters before you are thrown into the Hurricane. It really was a fantastic read and i would reccomend it to fans of the help.


Author Info
I was born in Tallahassee, FL in 1963 but the family moved to Tampa soon after. This is where I was raised and schooled until I left for Duke University in 1981. There were hurricanes most years, strong enough to send us scurrying for the safety of the bedroom closets, but nothing on the scale depicted in SUMMERTIME. I am happy to say that I’ve never experienced a natural disaster of that magnitude. A thirst for adventure brought me to Europe in 1987, first to France and then England.
Writing was always a part of my life, from my first story at the age of six, but I did not made any efforts to get published until my 40s. I never imagined that my first novel to be published would be set in Florida, the place which I left nearly 30 years ago. At age 51, I’m proof that it’s never too late to have your dreams come true.


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