The secrets of Summer House are about to come out at last…
1976. Rushing out of the University Library, undergraduate Alice Kenzie bumps straight into PhD student Tristan Somers. There begins a whirlwind romance, and Alice falls pregnant and gives birth to a baby girl. Then Tristan is killed in a car accident. Unable to cope, Alice takes her baby to Summer House, Tristan’s family home in Suffolk, leaves her there and disappears.
2018. Olivia Somers has always been told that her mother died in the same accident as her father. But when she finds a bundle of old letters in Summer House, everything she ever believed about her mother is called into question. Can she find her – and even more importantly, forgive her?
I received a copy of this book from Head of Zeus- Aria via NetGalley.
Atmospheric, emotional and full of well-crafted characters, this dual timeline novel grips the reader from the first page and immerses them in the two hot summers of 1976 and 2018. Both stories are intriguing, and they give the reader insight into both women’s emotions and lives. There is an underlying mystery that weaves itself around the house, an immersive setting in both timelines.
Character-driven this story explores familial relationships and mental health issues and the differences in acceptance, attitudes and expectations in 1976 and 2018. There are many poignant scenes in both Alice’s and Olivia’s lives. Olivia’s quandary over whether to look for her mother and her feelings towards her are particularly emotional.
The passion and romance shine through in each woman’s life, as do the tragic events. I enjoyed the characters’ authenticity and the details and sensory imagery that bring this story to life.
Rachel Burton has been making up stories for as long as she can remember and always dreamed of being a writer until life somehow got in the way. After reading for a degree in Classics and another in English Literature she accidentally fell into a career in law, but eventually managed to write her first book on her lunch breaks. Now she writes from a small bedroom looking out over hydrangeas, lavender bushes and rambling roses, in a little house in Yorkshire that she shares with her husband and their three cats. She loves words, Shakespeare, tea, The Beatles, dresses with pockets and very tall romantic heroes (not necessarily in that order).
Find her on Instagram as @RachelBWriter or follow her blog at rachelburtonwrites.com.