Tensions simmer as a small town, already divided by race, is torn apart by the deadliest of hurricanes.
Tensions simmer as a small town, already divided by race, is torn apart by the deadliest of hurricanes . . . THE HELP meets TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD in this powerfully emotional and gripping debut novel.
In the small town of Heron Key, where the relationships are as tangled as the mangrove roots in the swamp, everyone is preparing for the 4th of July barbecue, unaware that their world is about to change for ever. Missy, maid to the Kincaid family, feels she has wasted her life pining for Henry, who went to fight on the battlefields of France. Now he has returned with a group of other desperate, destitute veterans, unsure of his future, ashamed of his past.
When a white woman is found beaten nearly to death, suspicion falls on Henry. As the tensions rise, the barometer starts to plummet. But nothing can prepare them for what is coming. For far out over the Atlantic, the greatest storm ever to strike North America is heading their way...
Vanessa Lafaye was born in Tallahassee and raised in Tampa, Florida, where there were hurricanes most years. She first came to the UK in 1987 looking for adventure, and found it. After spells of living in Paris and Oxford, she now lives in Marlborough, Wiltshire, with her husband and three furry children. Vanessa leads the local community choir, and music and writing are big parts of her life.
A storming debut novel [that] captures the racial and social tensions in southern America after the First World War. Part social history and part love story, this features the hurricane as a forceful, malevolent character in its own right, whipping through the pages. — THE BOOKSELLER
'Powerful, beautifully written and simply unputdownable. If you can read this book and not be moved, you have a heart of stone.' — Cathy Kelly
'I absolutely loved SUMMERTIME; it's rare to read something with such emotional intensity and such exciting pace. It is every bit as good as THE HELP, in my opinion.' — Elizabeth Noble
1935. An Independence day BBQ simmers with racial tension and resentments. By morning, a terrible crime has been committed. Off the Florida coast, a hurricane is heading their way. So tense, I raced through it. — Fanny Blake, WOMAN & HOME
part love-story, part eye-opening insight into a tumultuous time in American history - the years after the First World War, when veterans tried to rebuild their lives and racial tensions ran high — GOOD HOUSEKEEPING
A small community is rocked by an attack on a white woman and suspicion falls on war veteran Henry in a story set against the backdrop of a catastrophic hurricane. Vanessa Lafaye's Summertime is being compared to The Help and To Kill A Mockingbird. — Charlotte Heathcote, SUNDAY EXPRESS
Lafaye has created a taut and powerful novel that I found deeply moving. A riveting piece of social history, it's also a love story and a devastating account of what it's like to experience such a disaster — DAILY MAIL
Combining a moving love story with a fascinating slice of US history, this powerful novel is hard to put down — HELLO!
In one night nature changes this small town more than ever before ... If you love The Help, you'll love this — CLOSER
This is Vanessa Lafaye's debut novel, and what a writer she is! She has a talent with words that enables her prose to glide across the page, there are no superfluous words, and each paragraph eases the story along. She is a natural creator of atmosphere and suspense, and with a deft hand she creates credible, yet humanly flawed characters. She also creates a very palpable setting, the heat, the oppressive temperatures and the gurgling, sulphurous swampland all assault the reader's senses — TRIP FICTION
It's only January but I can safely say that this is one of my Books of 2015. I just know that it's going to be really hard to beat because it had everything I look for in a novel, plus much more.
Mesmerising, powerful and heartbreaking, Summertime is such an exciting, frightening yet beautiful novel.
— Bookaholic Confessions
This novel is sublime and deserving of so many plaudits and for it to only be a debut novel... I'm very excited about what Vanessa Lafaye will bring us next. — Sophie Hedley, REVIEWED THE BOOK
This is a fascinating insight into American social history — SUNDAY EXPRESS
a brave first novel, not least because of Lafaye's descriptions of the devastation wrought by nature — THE SUNDAY TIMES
'Summertime was a compelling read, beautifully written and skilfully crafted to create a great sense of anticipation of the disasters that occurred.' — GRANSNET
Lafaye plumbs the depths of her characters as the storm approaches. Life in a segregated society shows with all its darkness of the heart under the strain of catastrophe. The hurricane and its effects are powerfully rendered, as are the quietest openings of the heart. Highly recommended. — HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY
A convincingly descriptive debut novel. — TELEGRAPH AND ARGUS
The writing is so accomplished that it's hard to believe this is Lafaye's debut. For those who like their historical fiction entrenched in a specific time and place, it will be an intense and unsettling read. — Sarah Johnson, READING THE PAST
For lovers of The Help. — WOMAN MAGAZINE