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Last Summer
Kylie Ladd
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Last Summer

3.49  ·  Rating Details ·  229 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Rory has it all: looks, talent, charisma - an all around good-guy, he's the centre of every party and a loving father and husband. Then one summer's afternoon tragedy strikes ... and those who closest to him struggle to come to terms with their loss. Friendships are strained, marriages falter and loyalties are tested in a gripping and brilliantly crafted novel about loss, ...more
Paperback, 1, 344 pages
Published July 2011 by Allen & Unwin (first published January 1st 2011)
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John Purcell
Jul 10, 2011 John Purcell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By the simple act of telling a story a good book can carry a light into the dark and unexamined corners of a reader’s life. The darkest of these unexamined corners is occupied by the single irrefutable truth of our existence, death. Left in the shadows this stark fact can take on all of the attributes of a nightmarish spectre. Left unexamined we may be left entirely unprepared when death intrudes upon our own lives. Something it will do, eventually.

Last Summer by Kylie Ladd, begins with the sudd
Review for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2012

Rory is a larger then life character and prominent figure in his circle of friends. Whether it’s organising special events/training for the cricket club, or get togethers and parties for his friends - he was the key to keeping this tight nit group together. But Rory sudden death put a strain on the remaining friendship and marriages, and with some it has prompted them re-evaluate their own lives.

This is the first book I’ve read of Kylie Ladd
Lauren K
Sep 20, 2011 Lauren K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Last Summer is my first Kylie Ladd novel and I really enjoyed this Australian author’s take on the aftermath of death among a group of friends in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. When talented recreational cricketer Rory Buchanan dies unexpectedly at cricket practice from a heart condition, his wife, children and friends struggle to deal with their loss.

When I was almost seventeen and smack bang in the middle of my HSC trial exams, my best friend died in a car accident. Much of that time for m
Aug 29, 2015 Faye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is only the second novel I have read of this author and like the first I enjoyed this immensely. How not only the closest of friends can fall apart when they lose a loved one, how people can't cope with their own grief little alone help their loved ones. Worth the read.
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Since reading Kylie Ladd’s debut novel After the Fall I’ve been anxiously awaiting her next release. When I finally got my hands on Last Summer I was ecstatic and relieved when from the first line I knew it wasn’t going to be a decision I regretted.

They were making love when Rory died.” p1

With the sudden death of Rory Buchanan, his devastated family and closest friends are faced with the uncomfortable truth of their mortality and themselves. Their grief creates fractures in their relationships a
Rachael Hewison
Last Summer was another Australian fiction novel I’d been recommended on Goodreads. Although it was an easy to read, fast-paced book, I didn’t entirely enjoy it.
Ladd has successfully presented the reader with a vast range of ways that people deal with grief and moving on after losing a loved one. Some of her characters lost their passion for life, others wanted to pick themselves up and carry on like normal. Rarely did any of them talk to each other about the sorrow they were feeling, not even t
Jul 24, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ozzie-gems
Kylie Ladd's second novel brings up a question that none of of like to think about. How we would cope with the loss of a loved one. Set in suburban Melbourne the story goes of a group of friend all approaching 40 who play cricket for the local team. At the heart of that group of friends is Rory who is team captain and a larger than life character. When tragety strikes with the unexpected death of Rory this tightly nit group slowly falls apart. Without there buddy the mates find themselves lost a ...more
Michael Guidera
Jun 16, 2013 Michael Guidera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: litfiction
I found last summer to be a couple of good things. It was a good meditation on the effects of sudden death on the people closer to the deceased.
More interestingly I found it to be a good answer to hurl, 25 years too late, at Margaret Thatcher after her claim there is no such thing as society, only individuals and families.
What I found most distinctive in this novel was how embedded the action was in society. It showed very clearly that society includes a range of institutions that need to be sup
Jul 09, 2011 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Last Summer doesn't mess around. Author Kylie Ladd makes her intentions clear from the very first sentence. Last Summer is a thought-provoking study of death and desire; loss and fear. It's deep and thoughtful and lovely - an absolutely amazing piece of writing.

You can read my complete review on my blog, Book to the Future:
Steve lovell
Jan 19, 2015 Steve lovell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love peering at road atlases. In doing so I am mentally planning road trips – road trips that I realise I'll never do. Why? I hate driving – but still, I dream of the open road, of grey nomading and the places in Oz I'd nomad to. If only I didn't abhor getting behind the wheel of a car. Still, I ruminate – and peer at road maps. I imagine being one of these wizened, ageing vagabonds who've been everywhere in this wide brown land, spinning yarns to others of a similar ilk around an outback camp ...more
Bree T
Jul 22, 2011 Bree T rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rory Buchanan had it all. Captain of his local cricket club, he was the centre of it and of many people’s lives. The life of the party, the glue that held it all together. He had a good marriage with a wonderful wife and two sons. A successful business and a beautiful house. His friends and family idolized him.

When Rory dies at cricket training from an aneurysm of the aorta, the people left behind in his life are devastated. His sister and wife struggle to make sense of it. His friends from the
Like J. K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, this is a book about what happens to a group of people after a ‘good guy’ dies. In this case, the other people are fellow members of Rory Buchanan’s Division 2, cricket team and their wives. Each chapter gives us another point of view from one of the nine people (we also learn about Rory’s widow), with a few general chapters about ‘big events’ which occur.

In The Casual Vacancy, the people who we learn about are rather different and don’t necessarily inter
Helen McKenna
Rory is a great Aussie bloke - a father, husband, brother, son and good mate to many. He's also the captain of the local cricket team and the nucleus of a group of friends in suburban Melbourne. Then suddenly (and shockingly) one day he dies....and everybody around him is left floundering as they try to pick up the pieces of their lives without Rory in it.

I really liked the way the premise of this book and how it explored what happens when a tragic, unexpected event occurs. It illustrated wonder
Sean Kennedy
On an otherwise normal summer night Rory Buchanan drops dead on a cricket pitch, and his friends and family have to adjust to the thought of a life without him where he was the center of everyone's attention.

In many ways this book reminded me of The Slap, as in a bunch of self-absorbed Melbournites have their world turned upside down by some catastrophic event. Whereas The Slap reveled in its own sense of 'ooh, the world's fucked up and everyone in it is as well', Last Summer tries to other a mo
Greg Barron
Aug 04, 2012 Greg Barron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Last Summer is a slice of suburban life, studied through the objective lens of a microscope. The characters move in and out of focus, each subject to a probing examination by someone who not only knows how to observe human nature, but can tell a compelling story as well.

The characters are not perfect. Nor should they be. Joe becomes hard to like. Anita goes off, rather selfishly, to find herself. Kelly is the stand-out to me--she leaps off the page, and I found myself looking forward to her chap
Jul 28, 2011 Kylie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would actually give this 3 & 1/2 stars, but 1/2s aren't possible, and 3 stars simply seemed too low. I did really enjoy this book. I wanted to keep reading to see what was going to happen. But I did feel like there were too many main characters. At times, I found it hard to keep track of who was married to who, & which children belonged to them, and what were they up to at any given time. And even though I felt like I knew them all quite well, I would have preferred there to be less ma ...more
Mary Winchester
May 09, 2013 Mary Winchester rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THE ENDING, WHY DID IT END THE WAY IT DID!? It left me so.. GRRRR. I wanted to know what happened with some of the characters, and what exactly Will's problem was with Toby and what would happen with Laine and Nick.. it just left too much unanswered!

At first I thought it was a boring read.. to be completely honest, if it wasn't by Kylie Ladd, I doubt I would've picked up this book. It was an average book at first, but did pick up gradually. I find it extremely Australian and I was just hooked on
Jul 08, 2011 Joanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didnt realise Ladd had another book out, until I saw it on the shelf at work, I immediatley bought it and read it in a day I enjoyed it that much. Kylie Ladd does not disappoint yet again, with this excellent story of one mans sudden death and how it affects those around him, from his wife who faces a life raising 3 children alone, to his sister who has always looked to him for guidance in life, and his best friend who has relied on him since first grade.
Each chapter is from a different persp
Sallyann Van leeuwen
Rory Buchanan is your true blue Aussie bloke, the captain of your kid's cricket club, the life of the party. So what happens when this person is suddenly gone for your life? Last Summer follows the lives of the remaining friends and their children in the aftermath of Rory's death. Are they able to keep their friendships going without him?

Great premise, but I couldn't differentiate bewteen the characters, I kept having to look back to see who was who, who was married to who, which kids belonged
Judith Yeabsley
Sep 16, 2012 Judith Yeabsley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An easy read this follows a group of friends bound together by one charismatic man who leads the local cricket team but draws family and friends into socialising and holidaying together. When he dies unexpectedly they are all shocked and the impact is felt across many aspects of their lives. The author focuses on all of them individually and you get an insider view of their life and thoughts. I loved the idea and the birds eye view although it doesn't endear you to many of them. It was set in Me ...more
Jul 13, 2012 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was given this book by a gorgeous friend of mine and I thank her very much! I was a bit wary when at the very beginning there is a death and I seem to have read a lot of books lately with death and sadness in them – and I thought I’d be pulled down by the book, but surprisingly, although it was hard to see how Rory’s friends dealt with his death, it was also insightful. Each chapter is from a different perspective and how 9 different people deal with the sudden loss of husband, brother and fri ...more
Townsville Library
This reminded me of The Slap but the issue is the death of a man who is the life of the party, he's everyone's best friend. Set in Melbourne in cricket season, Last Summer left me contemplative.
~ Alison

Find this Great Summer Read in Townsville
Lucy Mackey
Oct 24, 2011 Lucy Mackey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thoughtful, insightful, moving and sensitive telling of how 9 people deal with the death of their friend. It grabbed me from the start and kept running. It has more sex in it than I was expecting which was interesting as it added to a sense of being part of their secret lives. They say that you can't really know anyone till you've walked in their shoes. Kylie Ladd is very good at imagining walking in other people's shoes.
I was crying on the first pages - the author built a bond for the reader with the central character Rory right off. Gradually Rory's character is explored and exposed a little more throughout the book alongside that of his friends and their families. A strong urban Australian element runs through Last Summer and I could picture it on the screen just like The Slap.
Oct 26, 2012 Jo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed the setting being in Melbourne & a lot of the character themes resonated with me & happenings in the past. I found it a little slow in parts & felt some of the characters' stories went in circles & never fully resolved themselves
Jul 24, 2012 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, the writing was fresh and easy to read, and I felt that I couldn't put it down. The story was great but I found that it jumped around a bit so at times I was left wanting more from particular characters. If you enjoyed "The Slap" you'll enjoy this.
Jul 31, 2015 Ellen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When grief and suburban ordinariness collide. Flows well, but I didn't connect overly much with any of the characters.
Sep 01, 2013 Karyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
disappointing, the story never really went anywhere and the ending was sudden and felt like it was still the middle of the book
Gab Doquile
Apr 21, 2012 Gab Doquile rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gee I enjoyed this! Kylie Ladd's characters are incredibly well drawn, and the dynamics of the friendship group were fascinating. Good sex scenes too.
Jul 30, 2011 Bri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed the very Australian flavour of this book. The ending was a bit dodgy but the rest of the book was great. Highly recommended.
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Kylie Ladd is a novelist and freelance writer. Her essays and articles have appeared in The Age, Griffith Review, O Magazine, The Sydney Morning Herald, Good Medicine, Kill Your Darlings, The Hoopla and MamaMia, among others. Kylie's first novel, After the Fall , was published in Australia, the US and Turkey, while her second, Last Summer, was highly commended in the 2011 Federation of Australian ...more
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