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Une Saison D'été
 
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Elizabeth Taylor
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Une Saison D'été

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  414 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews

In A Summer Season is one of Elizabeth Taylor's finest novels--revealing -- in a moving and haunting manner -- the ways of human love and its beautiful, tragic and piercingly funny moments.
Published (first published January 28th 1961)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sarah
Jun 24, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kate Heron is a wealthy, middle-aged woman who feels fragile as her life is changing. She was a widow with children, Tom and Louisa, that no longer needed her constant attention. She is now married to Dermot, much to her friends silent disapproval. Dermot is ten years her junior and a troubled character. A close friend of Kate's returns and this stirs up feelings in Kate which cause conflict.

The theme of ageing is threaded through the novel. The difference in generations and the ghosts of previo
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Ali
Aug 31, 2009 Ali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this novel when I first read it, and I still love it now having re-read it for the Librarything readalong of Elizabeth Taylor, and the beginning of All Virago all August. I had remembered it very well though, so the ending (which I’ll say no more about) is much less dramatic when one knows what’s coming.
In Kate we have a typical Elizabeth Taylor character - one of the especially likeable ones who I imagine is very like Elizabeth Taylor was herself. Kate is a middle aged woman with two c
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Kate
Mar 08, 2012 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Taylor is my reading equivalent of 'comfort food'. In a Summer Season is one book I could read over and over. Marvellous characters, light humour and just the right number of twists and turns in the plot. Read my full review here - http://booksaremyfavouriteandbest.wor...
Jane
Feb 11, 2016 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mother of two, once widowed, Kate made a second marriage without regard to the prejudices of her friends or neighbors, all of whom assume that her rakish younger husband married her for her money. Though Kate and Dermot, her husband, both know better, having fallen deeply in love, the world’s perceptions settle on them awkwardly and burden Kate’s children.

The novel explores these burdens, and the dissatisfaction they cause Kate. Near the end, the plot takes what I thought was a quite startling
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Karen
Dec 02, 2012 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It has been so wonderful to find Elizabeth Taylor. My poor mother and sister urged me to read her novels but I never got round to it. This year, I did.
This is one of the best novels that I have read. The writing is both descriptive and crisp. The characters in a novel are always hugely important to me and the characters in this novel are entirely credible and, despite their evidence of human frailty, likeable. The irritations and frustrations that they arouse are tempered by writing that shows a
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Nicholas
Apparently Elizabeth Taylor once said that she loved novels where nothing much happened. Until the very end this is kind of one of those novels, and unfortunately I don't happen to agree with Taylor. I need some events to keep me interested and there just aren't many in this one. What I have loved about two other novels of hers (Angel and Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont) is that they share the same lovely writing and subtle characterizations as this book, but things really do happen. They're also ...more
Wfpope
Feb 07, 2014 Wfpope rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very subtle, quiet book. I love Taylor's writing because what she omits is just as important as what she includes. Taylor is an example of why I continuously return to English writers.
Hilary Woolf
Jan 13, 2016 Hilary Woolf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some good characters and an interesting look at relationships but I found this story predictable and less subtle than Taylor's other stories.
Luann
Feb 07, 2010 Luann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-ladies
Second time
Sonia
Jan 16, 2011 Sonia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I shall start by answering the question that everyone who has seen me reading the book has asked. No, it is not ‘THE’ Elizabeth Taylor. It was written by Elizabeth Taylor the novelist (obviously) who was lived 1912-1975 and wrote a number of books and short stories.

In A Summer Season was first published in 1961 I believe (I have loaned the book to my mate, so don’t have it to hand to refer to!) but to be honest, unless you knew that, I think you’d be hard-placed to date it, as there are barely a
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Ms Miaow
May 28, 2014 Ms Miaow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another really enjoyable read from Elizabeth Taylor.
I love her accurate and witty depictions of typically English middle class life in the home counties.
If people are expecting action on every page,sorry but you're reading the wrong book,you've missed the point entirely and don't get what Elizabeth Taylor and her subtle style of writing is all about.

I have to say I found the odd provocative moments a bit of a surprise in an Elizabeth Taylor novel! And I wonder if she put these in to keep up with
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Jennifer
Aug 28, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
So once again, I've waited weeks to update Goodreads. After about 6 weeks I came back to my list of summer reading to write updates and saw this title. I had no idea what this book was. I thought I must have written the title down wrong. That really doesn't bode well, does it? When I finally put the pieces together I was left with some vague images and absolutely no feeling toward this book. I didn't hate it. I think that's all I've got.
Rina
May 13, 2012 Rina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
only read this if you are a fan of English insipidness, disjointed conversation with the story ending only being lifted by a somewhat crisp ending.
Nicole Hale
Dec 19, 2012 Nicole Hale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I discovered Taylor because of the Virago publications, and this is the second I have read from her. In this book, we spend time with a family that has reestablished a tentative calm after the death of the husband/father of the household. Kate, the widow, has fallen in love and remarried Dermot, an aimless man much younger than herself. Her son, Tom, surprised her by bonding with her new husband, and she isn't always happy about the outcome of their close relationship. Kate's daughter, on the ot ...more
Sharon Terry
Sep 16, 2015 Sharon Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
Just finished it this morning. Quite enjoyed it once I got into it, but couldn’t really understand why Kate (Heron) married the feckless, spineless, good for nothing Dermot. Maybe it was rebound, her first husband having died, but Dermot is 10 years her junior and she is effectively supporting him.

Kate lives with Dermot and her grown son, Tom, in what seems a rather crowded household somewhere in the English countryside. They share the house with elderly spinster Aunt Ethel (who used to teach)
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Nina
Jun 27, 2015 Nina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ath-stacks
Authors know best. Better, certainly, than the cretin who wrote the inside cover description, cut from the original dust jacket and pasted inside the covers. Bluish green buckram--looks like bits of the old yellow buckram with green typography were cut out and pasted on front and spine.

Another novel by Taylor that doesn't appear to have much point besides the knowing portraits of the characters. There isn't really much of a plot--the naughty characters are both conveniently killed at the end. T
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Juliet
Jan 30, 2016 Juliet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This isn't an American book. By that I mean, it's not all full of Plot and Major Events while being rather thin on people or language. Rather, the problems arise from people's personalities and the choices they've made. Kate's husband has died when the novel begins, and she's married a younger man who drinks too much and can't decide what he wants to be when he grows up, even though he's grown up. So, this is a problem, as is the fact that new husband's mother keeps hatching plans for things her ...more
Rita
Jul 19, 2010 Rita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british
1961. Another good book by Taylor. Rather wide-ranging; occasionally I feel she might have deleted some minor characters or seemingly irrelevant bits about them.

In all three books of Taylor's that I have read this week [they are all quite short:] there is a young woman who seems to be what I suppose could be called a nymphomaniac. She attracts many men, both young and old, and none of them are able to observe clear signs of her having any feelings for them, one way or another. She is congenial a
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Suzie Grogan
Sep 18, 2011 Suzie Grogan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I have recently discovered Elizabeth Taylor - her acute observations of middle class 50's and 60's England are both entertaining and emotionally affecting.

She is much neglected. Anyone who enjoys Barbara Pym, Anita Brookner or even Jane Austen will find a lot to admire in this book. Hardly plot-driven, it is however a story of one summer in the life of a woman who has somewhat lost her way in the wake of the death of her first husband, quickly marrying a much younger man.

The ending is surprisin
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Suzanne
I'm branching out from Victorian love-affair dramas to 20th-century love-affair dramas. The book was not as melodramatic as promised; it's more about the dynamic between young, old, and dead folks in platonic, familial and romantic relationships, with occasional melodrama thrown in to keep me happy. It started off slow, but both the plot and the character development gathered steam around the halfway mark. The end was a virtual action-film finale sequence compared to the beginning. The presumed ...more
Steve
Apr 08, 2009 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
Elizabeth Taylor had a good ear and eye for character interaction and motivation. This quiet study of an English family in the mid-twentieth century reminds me keenly of some of the better books set a century earlier. Her studies of class and economic and social strata remind me of Jane Austen or Henry James or, yes, Charles Dickens. Our main character Kate is a middle-age widow who has married a man much younger (and less affluent) than she is, but the book also includes a cast of interesting f ...more
Beesley
This is a beautifully written book. Taylor has a marvelous eye for the small telling detail and is able to shift seamlessly among the points of view of multiple characters. The actual story didn't do much for me but I can see why Taylor is admired as a writer. This novel was published and on the bestseller list in January of 1961, and there were a few interesting period touches: it was a big deal for one of the characters to buy a television, and an even bigger deal for several of the characters ...more
Nimbex
May 26, 2013 Nimbex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
El estilo es similar al de Una vista del puerto pero, a diferencia de lo que me pasó con aquel, con "En el verano" no me ha costado nada meterme en la historia y en seguida me he familiarizado con los personajes. Por lo demás hay muchos paralelismos entre ambos y aunque he terminado disfrutando mucho los dos, si tuviera que escoger uno me quedaría con éste. Tengo muchas ganas de seguir leyendo cosas de Elizabeth Taylor, me encanta su estilo y aunque sus historias son en términos del argumento y ...more
Kirsten
May 26, 2015 Kirsten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was written in 1961, and you can really tell that they're on the verge of the Sexual Revolution. A lot of the book was very subtle - little shifts in mood or tone were really deftly conveyed. She has a way of suddenly dipping into different characters' heads for a few minutes - you get their perspective on what they're thinking - and then go back to straight-up third-person narration. That really makes the characters come alive and it's a great cast of characters too. Veddy British too. A l ...more
zespri
Dec 15, 2008 zespri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
About 10 years ago I discovered Elizabeth Taylor and scoured obscure libraries and second hand book shops to obtain her books to read.

All I can say is that I loved her then, and I love her still! Sounds like a line from something or somewhere but is completely my own sentiment!!

Having just re-read "In a summer season" it was as much fun as the first time, and I was so glad I had forgotten most of it!

Elizabeth Taylor's characters don't do an awful lot, but the dialogue is delightful, and i chuck
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Nancy
Aug 14, 2008 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nancy by: Gerry
This quietly provocative book has sat in my "to read" pile for several months and avoided because of the jacket's summary of the novel. The plot summary doesn't do justice to this interesting character study of a prosperous, but unsettled, British family.

All of the characters are mildly dissatisfied with something in their life and that creates the interest, or tension, in the novel. In A Summer Season reminds me a bit of Evan S. Connell's book, Mrs. Bridge:portraits of prosperous, well-respecte
...more
Pascale
Feb 19, 2013 Pascale rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Like everything I've read by this author, it makes for addictive reading because of all the beautifully crafter characters and scenes of domestic life and strife. However, it felt more formulaic than her best efforts, with characters like the spinster aunt a bit too "obvious". However, the major flaw is the ending where the no-good husband and the too-beautiful young woman are conveniently killed off to allow the more sympathetic middle-aged characters to marry, as they should have done in the f ...more
Lisa
May 30, 2016 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was fun. I'm still new to the whole English novel of manners thing, and the class issues leave me a little itchy, but they're at least part of what the book is about, after all. Marvelous tiny observations and celebrations of what lies beneath the surface—joys, resentments, and recalibrations for the most part. Even a little sex. I'll definitely be reading more of Taylor.

For anyone interested, there's a discussion of the book starting up over at Bookballoon.com (a literary discussion forum,
...more
Ashley
Feb 29, 2012 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been wanting to read one of Elizabeth Taylor's novels for awhile, and this one is said to be one of her best. It was well-written and very, very English, but I just didn't love any of the characters. I did like all of the 1960s-ish domestic details--especially the main character's disdain for her cook's preference for serving American-style food--everything was served with a ring of pineapple on it.
Danielle
Jan 22, 2016 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel has a Lifetime movie plot line (which, in this case, is not intended to cause any offense) and the most exquisitely crafted sentences that I have read in a long time. I am completely smitten with this novel, and the complicated dynamic created between the multiple generations that interact therein. Bravo.
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Elizabeth Taylor (née Coles) was a popular English novelist and short story writer. Elizabeth Coles was born in Reading, Berkshire in 1912. She was educated at The Abbey School, Reading, and worked as a governess, as a tutor and as a librarian.

In 1936, she married John William Kendall Taylor , a businessman. She lived in Penn, Buckinghamshire, for almost all her married life.

Her first novel, At Mr
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