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Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781409156086

Price: £25

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Florida, 1935, and the residents of Heron Key are preparing for the 4th July barbecue, little realising how much their world is about to change.

Domestic helps Missy and Selma are dismembering the alligator that tried to snatch the baby Missy was watching, before they can get ready for the party. Henry, a returned soldier from WW1, is hoping that his comrades in his construction team will not disgrace themselves in front of an already fiercely judgemental community. Hilda Kincaid, is squeezing into a frock, wondering how she will face another night of public humiliation as her husband toys with Doreen from the golf club. And Sheriff Dwayne Campbell – laughing stock since his wife gave birth to their mixed-race son – is squaring up to deal with any troublemakers and prove he can control the town, even if he can’t control his wife…

Tensions simmer at the party and in the early hours of the morning, a woman is found half-beaten to death. As whites turn on blacks, the finger of suspicion points at one man. And while wild accusations are made, far over the Atlantic a tropical storm changes direction and turns towards Florida, increasing in speed by the second. As the hurricane beacons are lit along the Keys, the town folk prepare themselves as they always do, unaware that the approaching storm is beyond anything they have ever experienced. In one night, Heron Key will change forever.

Read by Adjoa Andoh

(p) 2015 Orion Publishing Group

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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.
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
'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
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
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
Combining a moving love story with a fascinating slice of US history, this powerful novel is hard to put down
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
In one night nature changes this small town more than ever before ... If you love The Help, you'll love this
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.
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
This is a fascinating insight into American social history
a brave first novel, not least because of Lafaye's descriptions of the devastation wrought by nature
'Summertime was a compelling read, beautifully written and skilfully crafted to create a great sense of anticipation of the disasters that occurred.'
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.
A convincingly descriptive debut novel.
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.
For lovers of The Help.