Black Dog Summer

by Miranda Sherry

Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel Family Drama Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

LoveReading View on Black Dog Summer

Black thugs break into a South African animal sanctuary/farm and senselessly massacre the whites. This is present day. A 16-year old girl is down by the river at the time and not seen. Two black servants are at church and one white woman, the owner, away visiting Scotland. The story is about the aftermath of the atrocity; the 16-year old’s traumatic shock, her aunt’s family, who take her in, the neighbouring Sangomas (witch doctor) and her dead mother who watches the pain from above. She is our narrator. Spotted with African magic and teenage angst, this is a compelling, powerful read about the ability to heal after tragedy, but first the horror must be faced.

Black Dog Summer Synopsis

Yesterday, Sally was living in a rambling farmstead with her teenage daughter Gigi. Now Sally is dead, murdered, and Gigi is alone in the world. But Sally cannot die. She lingers unseen in her daughter's shadow. When Gigi moves in with her aunt's family, Sally comes too. When Gigi's trauma stirs up long-buried secrets, Sally watches helplessly as the family begins to unravel. Then Gigi's young cousin develops an obsession with African magic, and events take a darker turn. Now Sally must find a way to stop her daughter from making a mistake that will destroy the lives of all who are left behind.

Black Dog Summer Reader Reviews

Some of our Reader Review Panel were lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Annette Woolfson - 'Miranda Sherry has woven a tale of horror, magic and ultimately, love that makes this a thoroughly memorable read.' Read full review >
  • Sarah Harper - 'A fantastic, totally unique book.  Brilliantly  written, I savoured every moment and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.' Read full review >
  • Amanda Keeling - 'A different perspective on death and what comes afterwards...I enjoyed this book very much. I shall be looking forward to reading more from Miranda Sherry.' Read full review >
  • Edel Waugh 'A completely engrossing first chapter that just got better and better.' Read full review >
  • Neil Beattie - 'A very good debut novel from a writer who could become quite big.' Read full review >
  • Suzanne Marsh - ' It felt like I was put under a spell, I just could not put Black Dog Summer down.' Read full review >
  • Elisabeth Thomas -'A stunning and gripping debut novel...I enjoyed this book so much I didn’t want to put it down – the pace of the book kept me gripped from beginning to end.'  Read full review >
  • Barbara Middlemast-Neal - 'Astonishingly accomplished debut novel - VERY highly recommended for reader's of literate fiction.' Read full review >
  • Emma Farragher - 'A tale of love, loss, guilt, growing up, facing your demons, and facing reality...' Read full review >
  • Genevieve McAllister - 'An assured first novel, beautifully written and capturing the mindsets and preoccupations of all the different characters perfectly.'  Read full review >
  • Lorraine Baker - 'The characters are strong and believable and it is a book that was very difficult to put down as the story flowed along perfectly.  A highly recommended read.' Read full review >
  • Julie Bertschin - 'I thoroughly recommend this book to readers who enjoy an engaging and thought provoking story which immerses the reader in the setting of novel and pulls you into its centre.' Read full review >
  • Jocelyn Garvey - 'It is well written and slowly unfolds to a dramatic conclusion.  A good book by a new writer.' Read full review >
  • Victoria Emerson - 'An excellent debut novel.' Read full review >
  • Ian Tyreman - 'A sweeping tale leading to a dramatic climax taking the reader through a journey that will not be forgotten.' Read full review >

The Good Book Guide Review

Sally and her teenage daughter Gigi’s idyllic life on a South African farmstead is shattered when raiders attack and Sally is murdered. Gigi goes to live with her aunt Adele and her troubled cousin Bryony. But Sally’s spirit cannot rest, and she follows Gigi with a sense of danger and foreboding. Her arrival and struggle to deal with the trauma of her mother’s death uncover painful family secrets, and when Bryony becomes entangled in African black magic, Sally must protect her daughter before lives are destroyed. An accomplished debut, poetic and thought-provoking.

Black Dog Summer Press Reviews

'Poetic and thought-provoking, this accomplished debut is an intensely moving tale'
The Good Book Guide

'A tapestry of human experience that never runs out'
Mercury Newspaper


'An engaging tale of second chances, reconciliation and allies in unlikely places'
The Times Newspaper

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781781859599
Publication date: 15/01/2015
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781781859575
Publication date: 14/08/2014
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781781859599
Publication date: 15th January 2015
Author: Miranda Sherry
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 320 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Reading Groups,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Miranda Sherry

Miranda Sherry lives in Johannesburg. Black Dog Summer is her first novel.   Photo credit: Hannelie Coetzee   A few words from the author herself:- 'I grew up in Johannesburg in a house filled with books. I was seven when I began writing stories. A few decades, and numerous strange jobs later (including puppeteer, bartender and musician), I finally finished an actual book. Black Dog Summer is my latest novel.I currently live in Johannesburg with the love of my life and two weird cats.'Click here to read more from Miranda Sherry on writing her first book.

More About Miranda Sherry

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