Monday, May 7, 2012

The Book of Summers-Emylia Hall

The Book of Summers

Emylia Hall

Mira, May 29, 2012, $14.95

ISBN: 9780778314110

It has been twelve years since then seventeen years old Beth Lowe left home to attend art school in London; in all that time her father never came to her abodes until now. He arrives carrying a package for Beth. Inside is a letter with news that her estranged mom died and a scrapbook filled with photos of those incredible summers she spent with her mother on Hungary from when she was nine until she was sixteen. That last summer was the most miserable of her life as her mom ended their close relationship leaving a teenage daughter filled with rage and hurt that as she nears thirty still holds its grip on her.

This is an engaging character study that focuses on ethnic identity as The Book of Summers looks back through Beth’s memories triggered by the photos of her life over those seven years. The tweener entries are more in depth than the late teen years (except for the explosive final summer of betrayal, which gives the discerning storyline a sense of imbalance as it is the latter relationships that lead to the implosion. Still with a wonderful look at Hungary, readers will appreciate this tender complicated family drama.

Harriet Klausner

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