The Book of Summers - Emylia Hall
Released June 2012
Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth
The Book of Summers is likely one of the biggest surprises of the year for me. The premise sounded good, but as I started reading it, I couldn't see that it was going anywhere at first. What I did see was a daughter who needed to grow up and a father who needed to open up. If you're in this same spot, stick with it. Suddenly, the book turns into an amazing look back at love, loss, and family dynamics.
As a child, Beth Lowe's relationship with her mother, Marika, and father seemed solid. Summer vacations in Hungary provided Beth with memories she'd never forget. When Marika suddenly announces that Beth is to return to England with her father and that Marika is not joining them, Beth's world is shattered. Instead of family vacations, she's shuttled off to Hungary for one or two weeks a year and that's all she sees of her mother. Things go well until she discovers a long-hidden secret at the age of 16. She never sees her mother again.
Years later, she receives a package from her mother. After ridiculing her father for daring to bring something into her life, she settles down and starts to remember her past, her present, and her future.
This is a Kleenex kind of book. It's poignant, emotional, and if, like me, you make some judgments in the early stages of the book, prepare to be blown away towards the end. Given that, I do feel that a follow-up would be extremely appreciated.