likeyoulove books of the month
Search our site
The Heart of Mars by Paul Magrs Read the opening extract of the brand new Paul Magrs book before its publication on 15/03/2018

Reader Reviewed
Black Dog Summer by Miranda Sherry

Black Dog Summer

Literary Fiction   Family Drama   Reading Groups   eBook Favourites   
Download an extract Discuss on Facebook Discuss this book on our Literary Contemporary Facebook group Share this book

Lovereading view...

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.

The Good Book Guide logo 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.
~ The Good Book Guide

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 >


Black Dog Summer by Miranda Sherry

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.


'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

About the Author

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 books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

15th January 2015


Miranda Sherry

More books by Miranda Sherry
Author 'Like for Like'

Author's Website

Author's Facebook Latest

Loading facebook updates...
Loading twitter updates...


Head of Zeus


320 pages


Literary Fiction
Family Drama
Reading Groups
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



Lovereading always comes up with great suggestions and has introduced me to enjoyable books and new authors to discover.

Gaynor Passmore

Their sending me my first book to review 18 months ago re-awakened my fondness for reading, since then I have purchased some real gems.

Barry Griffiths

Lovereading takes the guesswork out of finding your next read with "if you like you'll love" and extracts to help with your decision.

Sarah Bruch

Lovereading is a wonderful way to expand my literary horizons, discover inspiring authors & get the chance to read new novels first. #loveit

Zarina de Ruiter

I love the newsletter with reviews of all the new books coming out. Can't wait to open it when it arrives in my inbox.

Rachel Aygin

Insightful reader reviews and unbiased recommendations. I don't know how I chose books before Lovereading! An essential for all book lovers.

Sarah Harper

I love 'try before you buy' extracts. I love the wide range of authors & genres. I love the author info. I love books!

Judi Davies

Because of Lovereading I have broadened my reading horizons with some really great books that I probably would never have chosen myself.

Susan Walsh