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The Summer We All Ran Away

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  277 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
When nineteen year old Davey finds himself drunk, beaten and alone, he is rescued by the oddly-assorted inhabitants of an abandoned and beautiful house in the West Country. Their only condition for letting him join them is that he asks them no questions.
More than thirty years ago in that same house, burned-out rock star Jack Laker writes a ground-breaking comeback album, a
Paperback, 1st edition, 256 pages
Published August 1st 2013 by Legend Press (first published July 1st 2013)
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Sep 25, 2014 karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
a sad and lovely book about damaged people trying to pick up their pieces.

it takes place in "then" and "now," with thirty years separating the narratives. in the then, we have a musician suddenly and uncomfortably finding himself turned into a rock star, with all of the trappings and complications that the lifestyle contains. the story opens with him having climbed a tree to escape the debauched party taking place at his enormous house, and a near-mauling of a guest by his caged panther. in the
Diane S ☔
Aug 29, 2013 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it
Sometimes I am not at all sure what makes me choose a book. This one was on NetGalley and there was just something about this rather stark and darker colored cover that called to me or maybe it was the waving tree and the glimpses of bright yellow. . Read the synopsis, which sounded interesting and thought "What the heck" and am so glad I did. This is a book that will probably not get very much press and yet it is wonderfully written. The story is different and captured my interest from the very ...more
You know that feeling when you're just drawn to something, when you feel like you cannot continue existing without this object? Yeah. That was me when I saw the cover of The Summer We All Ran Away. I'm shallow, and I judge books by their covers. And this one.. oh my. I went all grabby-hands on it.

The point is, however, that unlike most other times when this has happened to me, the content wrapped in this cover turned out to match it in quality. We've got a talented author on our hands here. We
Liz Barnsley
Aug 11, 2013 Liz Barnsley rated it it was amazing
Thank you kindly to Legend Press and Cassandra Parkin for the copy of this novel via netgalley.

In an abandoned house in the West Country a small eclectic group of people gather – including young Davey, escaping from life , who is welcomed into their midst with one caveat – he asks no questions. 30 Years previously, Musican Jack Laker is writing a comeback album…and in abandoning one girl for another sets into motion a wave of events that will ripple through the years until they reach Davey’s sho
Aug 11, 2013 Jane rated it liked it
The title caught my attention, and then the story pulled me in from the front page.

Davey was running away from home, not quite knowing where he was going, just knowing that had to get away. He tried to escape into a bottle, but that only got him into more trouble, and he finally collapsed on the steps of a big house on the Cornish coast. He thought that he was in trouble again, but he wasn’t. He met the three people who lived there and they told him that he could join them, that he could live th
Aug 01, 2013 Chrissi rated it really liked it
I really liked the sound of this book, so I was thrilled when I was approved to read it. It didn’t take me long to get stuck into the story. Cassandra Parkin has a very appealing writing style.

The story is told through ‘then’ and ‘now’ which really works for me. It was a risk to take. I think you have to be very engaged in the story to keep track of what it is going on. Luckily for me, I found it incredibly easy to be completely gripped by the story. I think Cassandra has done a fantastic job th
Faith Spinks
Aug 23, 2015 Faith Spinks rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, kindle
I bought this on Kindle some time ago. I think it was either free or very cheap. Choosing to read it as my flight began I had no recollection of what the book was supposed to be about.

It was an interesting storyline - though being British, calling something interesting isn't necessarily a good thing. I think the best I can say about this book is that it did keep me reading till the end, and it did pass the hours of the flight. Not especially memorable but certainly not terrible.
Louise Beech
Jul 23, 2015 Louise Beech rated it it was amazing
I was haunted from beginning to end - still am. The title suggests escape and I did, every time I opened a page bookmarked by whatever discarded scrap was to hand. I loved how past and present merged, how issues that test us, destroy us, save us, are the same no matter what era we belong to. Davey captivated me the most, perhaps because we begin with him, perhaps because his history of abuse resonated so much or perhaps simply because he's so beautifully written. I was also intrigued by Jack Lak ...more
Dec 31, 2014 Andrea rated it it was ok
Ugh! Fucking ridiculous! It's hard to go into it without giving things away but I found the culmination of the various plot lines to be terribly clumsy and incongruous. Besides that, the whole book read like some kind of YA/Romance/Mystery debacle, but I was playing along until the wretched excuse for an ending. This book just completely rubbed me the wrong way.
Elizabeth Moffat
May 04, 2015 Elizabeth Moffat rated it liked it
First of all I’d like to thank NetGalley and Legend Press for allowing me to read a copy of this intriguing debut novel. I have to admit I was initially drawn to this book by the simple yet absolutely beautiful and very effective cover art and a synopsis which sounded anything but dull. Unfortunately I appear to be in the minority group of readers that didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I was going to. It starts brilliantly enough, when a runaway called Davey is saved from the streets by Tom a ...more
Aug 13, 2013 Claire rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced reading copy of this book from Net Galley, and I'm so glad that I did because I really enjoyed it.

It is written in the past and present, switching between the two in alternate chapters, and normally I don't like this, but I felt that it really worked in this book.

The story focuses around an old derelict house in which four people are living who have run away. They all have different stories to tell about why they ended up in the old house, and the house itself tells a st
4.5 Stars

This is a story about Davey, who ran away from an abusive family. Tom, who ran away from a life he could not repair. Kate, who was drawn away from what she had. And Priss, who is doing a whole bunch of running and pushing. They all come together in a huge, half-constructed house in the middle of nowhere and make a curious kind of living.

This book is really beautiful. The writing just made all the characters come alive. I really liked everybody, even the ones that didn't give you much to
Lisa (scarlet21)
Sep 11, 2013 Lisa (scarlet21) rated it really liked it
A fantastic debut novel by Cassandra Parkin, her first but hopefully not her last.

The story has chapters from Now and chapters from Then. In 'Now' we meet Davey, badly beaten and clearly at the end of his tether; not knowing where to turn he makes his way drunk and randomly to Cornwall; guided by a light across the water he makes his way to a house where he collapses on the doorstep to be taken in by an odd bunch of people who offer him a place to stay, no questions asked as long as he returns t
Jul 17, 2013 Alicia rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
*I received a copy of this book through NetGalley*

It was amazing throughout the story how the past and present go together so well without giving everything away. I was hooked from the beginning! Each of the characters were deeply interesting and complex. The mystery of who they all were and what exactly happened kept me guessing.

My favorite character was Davey. At first, I didn't really care for him. Learning his past as well as seeing his current actions made me start to like him. I feel like
Mar 14, 2015 Anna rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, kindle
I've had this book on my Kindle forever and decided to just finally give it a go thinking I could just delete it finally if I really didn't like it. I've said before in my reviews that I'm not a big fan of back and forth plots mixing history with present day action, but this is the second book recently where I've not minded it so much and I think it was because it was mainly the history of the house and events in it rather than the history of the characters (although this came later). Although y ...more
Feb 20, 2014 Alexis rated it really liked it
Shelves: 52-books-in-2014
I thoroughly enjoyed this read. As someone who doesn't always enjoy a mystery, i couldn't help but wonder how all the lives of the characters were linked. The story was lyrical, and I enjoyed the flow from each character toward the end, I never found it hard to figure out who was talking. Each character has gone through something that has changed their loves forever and when they are confined to an old house together, it is only then that they can find out who they are.

I am interested in reading
Neil Mcrobert
Sep 22, 2015 Neil Mcrobert rated it liked it
This is a lovely, odd, intriguing little novel that is a bit undermined by its brevity. Normally novels can be substantially shortened, but this one would benefit from another hundred pages. The story and characterisation builds brilliantly -and in Priss the author has created a really wonderful young female voice - but the final chapter crams so much character 'development' (much of it out of left field) that it detracts from the conclusion. It makes the ending feel more like a giving up than a ...more
Leanne Keenoo
Apr 26, 2015 Leanne Keenoo rated it liked it
Not sure what I feel about this book.
Written in two alternating parts in the past and the present it got a little confusing at times.
Davey is 19 and finds himself taken in by 2 adults in a house in the middle of nowhere where a 16 year old girl also lives and apparently nobody is related to each other and no questions are asked as to why any of them are there.
The past talks about a pop star called Jack who is drug and alcohol addicted and torn between 2 women.
The 2 stories knit together some
Nov 04, 2014 Anita rated it liked it
A gripping story from beginning to end, strong characters and quirky setting. The book has alternating chapters of 'Now' and 'Then' which I enjoyed. Although towards the end of the book the switching to differing settings and characters felt like it was still in a draft version. This was a little confusing and it was a shame as the rest of the book is strong and compelling. The very end, I felt the questions in the book were all tied up within ten pages, if these were staggered I would have enjo ...more
Pamela Scott
The Summer We All Ran Away is a great book. I thought the characters were excellent. I really liked Davey; he’s the kind of guy you immediately feel sympathy for. He’s gone through a lot and you can’t help but want to wrap him in cotton wool and cuddle him. I loved Priss. She acted really tough but she was actually a lost, messed up little girl. I wanted to hug her as well. The other characters living in the house are suitably mysterious. This book is well written and drew me in from the very fi ...more
Nov 03, 2013 Claudia rated it it was amazing
I bought this when Amazon offered it as the Kindle Deal of Day, and I ended up ordering the paperback after I finished reading because I loved it so much that I wanted to own it as a physical book.

Cassandra Parkin debut novel tells two stories that turn out to be so tightly intwined that what seems like separate plot lines are really not separate at all. It's the story of 19-year-old runaway Davey who finds shelter in an old mansion with a bunch of misfits, all of whom seem to be running from so
Jul 30, 2013 Laura rated it really liked it
I thought this was a very interestingly thought out story, not at all something I have come across before and the way it was written worked really well.

We are first introduced to Davey. Davey appears to have a drink problem and this is to do with him having an unhappy home life, which has forced him to run away. An encounter with a policeman makes Davey make a snap decision to run away to Cornwall and this is where he stumbles across a house where the people there show unexpected kindness and ta
Sep 30, 2013 Natalie rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Davey is a teenager, he's really drunk, and he's running away. He's not sure where he's going, but he knows he can't stay where he is. He finds himself at a large country house, inhabited by three squatters. The two adults, Kate and Tom, and another teenager, Priss. It's not clear what the relationship is between any of these characters, except that they all needed a place to stay, and this house was the right place.

The house and it's previous occupants and visitors have a history too. There's a
Sep 26, 2013 Bames rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
I received a copy of the book through NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.

Davey is 19 years old when he decides to runaway. He gets himself so drunk that he barely remembers how he managed to get on a train to travel to someplace in the West Country. He manages to stumble his way onto the entrance of a very beautiful home.

He wakes the next day to find that a group of people have taken him in. He also finds out that they are not the owners of the home but are simply squatting
Laura Clarke
Oct 26, 2014 Laura Clarke rated it really liked it
I loved this quirky book, I wont summarise it as it has been done below....the only downside was that I found the ending a little rushed and I am still not entirely sure that the story was resolved. the characters were well drawn and interesting, the addition of Isaac the (possibly) mute artist who knows the whole story was skilful, and I shared the other characters frustration at his inability/refusal to share what he knows....
Oct 29, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it
One of the central characters of this book is a house and the story is related both in the present time and in the not too distant past culminating in how the two parts are joined.

A story of enduring love and the way that people treat each other, both good and bad. This is a well written book with likeable characters and a few unexpected happenings, including an escaped panther, for good measure.
Claire Jennings
Feb 09, 2015 Claire Jennings rated it really liked it
It's been a long while since I've found a book as good as this one! That just grabs your attention from the very first page and you have to keep going back for more until it's all over. I'm so glad I decided to impulse buy this one. A sad premise but an excellent story with well written characters full of complications and secrets and lies, that really do keep you guessing until the very last pages. Can't recommend enough.
Feb 05, 2014 Chennyc rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books where you read it and get immediately enticed and need to know how it ends. Beautifully written and it captures your thoughts for a while. It's a book written in a way that isn't your typical 'boy meets girl, boy saves girl' (or the other way around). It's more than that. Highly recommend!!
Aug 25, 2013 Janet rated it really liked it
Cassandra Parkin's writing style is both comfortable and masterful. She demonstrated real skill in moving this story back and forth between then and now; certainly a risk. The story was so well paced and plotted that it was easy to follow. She also peopled the story with characters that grabbed you early and held on. They were likeable, fully-faceted and completely developed - back stories and all. I really appreciated that though the characters were complex, as was the story, the ease of immers ...more
Dec 20, 2014 Vanessab rated it really liked it
This is an interesting book. Parts are really gripping, especially the second half. There are some inconsistencies and I felt that the women were much less well drawn than the men. However the drawing together of the various strands is dramatic and full of suspense. I feel the novel would have benefited from improved editing.
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Cassandra Parkin grew up in Hull, and now lives in East Yorkshire. Her short story collection, New World Fairy Tales (Salt Publishing, 2011), won the 2011 Scott Prize for Short Stories and her work has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies.

The Summer We All Ran Away (Legend Press, 2013) was Cassandra's debut novel.

Her work has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. T
More about Cassandra Parkin...

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