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This Summer's Secrets

"Disappearances, death and deceit unravelling in a summer of first love and family secrets"

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Compelling, surprising and complex, this will not disappoint the many fans of best-selling Emily Barr, who has become renowned for her twisty, psychological page turners ever since her Carnegie nominated debut, The One Memory of Flora Banks.

Set in a beautifully evocative Cornwall and across three different decades: the 1940's, the 1980's and the present day, with each time frame covering a generation of the family living at the grand, isolated Cliff House, which has come to symbolise wealth, privilege and absentee owners for the present-day local teens.

One character spans the whole time period, and it is really Martha’s story that our heroine Senara gradually discovers. She came to Cliff House as an evacuee in 1940 and now in her nineties remains as the sole inhabitant unless the family decide to visit for the summer. But it was the 1980’s generation that included Senara’s mother which had the most to hide and the most to lose and the ramifications of their regrettable decisions split families and sundered friendships and lovers.

The multiple narrators and time frames are skilfully handled and the reader becomes entirely engrossed in the lives of these characters and kept guessing about what secrets are to be revealed. The underlying elements of class conflict and privilege versus poverty adds subtlety and nuance to the relationships in every generation and a definite flavour of authenticity to the Cornish setting.

Joy Court

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