Big thanks to the lovely people at Aria Fiction and Head of Zeus for inviting Angelnet Reviews to be part of the blog tour for the launch of Rachel Burton’s newest book – The Secrets of Summer House. It has one of the more interesting covers that I’ve seen this year and I’d be picking this straight up from one of those bookshop selection tables!
This is a story of two different generations told in two very distinct timelines. The first is set in Cambridge in the long hot summer of 1976. Rushing out of the University Library, undergraduate Alice Kenzie bumps straight into PhD student Tristan Somers. Even though Alice is a dedicated student and not looking for any distractions they begin a whirlwind romance. The second timeline is set in 2018. After the death of her beloved grandmother Olivia discovers a set of photographs and some letters that challenge everything that Olivia had been brought up to believe about her parents. The news is devastating and finds her rethinking all of her close relationships as she comes to grips with the news.
I loved the setting and the symmetry between the two timelines. I had worked out what the big reveal was going to be in advance but this didn’t spoil the story for me. In fact my biggest gripe was that once the denouement had happened the book comes thundering to a close and it feels as though there are a lot of unanswered questions. I had been so absorbed in Alice and Olivia’s stories that it felt a wrench to say goodbye to them at the end.
The Secrets of Summer House is the perfect accompaniment to your 2022 summer holiday. Some gentle summer escapism and an intergenerational tangle of fears and emotions that will pull you along in the search for the truth.
Supplied by Net Galley, Aria Fiction and Head of Zeus in exchange for an honest review.
UK Publication Date: 21 Apr 2022. 301 pages.
Categories: 4 Stars Book Review
Prolific reader, enthusiastic theatre and movie-goer and ex-Olivier Awards judge who spent twenty years working in the music industry in London. Sharing my house with a gorgeous cockapoo called Harry who has taken over completely.
I love sharing my favourite books with friends - nearly always spoiler-free as I hate reading a synopsis of the whole book in other reviews.
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