Summer Son, The: A Novel
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Summer Son, The: A Novel

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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  386 ratings  ·  81 reviews
When Mitch Quillen's life begins to unravel, he fears there is no escape. His marriage and his career are both failing, and his relationship with his father has been a disaster for decades. Approaching forty, Mitch doesn't want to become a middle-aged statistic. When his estranged father, Jim, suddenly calls, Mitch's wife urges him to respond. Ready for a change, Mitch hea...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by AmazonEncore
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Michael
My review from the Missoula Independent:

After finishing The Summer Son, I began wandering my balcony (it's actually the roof, but I prefer to call it a balcony), wracked by two contradictory reactions at once, which, for a book reviewer, is not a good sign. My thoughts were:

1.) This is an unusually probing, terrifically paced character study;

2.) This is a hyperbolic, badly conceived novel.

I kept reminding myself that I would not begin a review on such a vague note. A few days and much balcony-wa...more
Darcia Helle
Craig Lancaster is the master of character-driven fiction. His writing feels effortless, though I know it's anything but. From the very first page, I was pulled into the world of Mitch Quillen, a man whose troubled relationship with his father has clouded every aspect of his adult life. He searches for answers, confronting his father and reliving his past. I was swept along with him, pulled by the power of Lancaster's words.

This book will make you feel and make you care. To the very last page -...more
Andrea
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Jim Thomsen
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Christina
I guess I will start with WOW!!! I normally read vampire/supernatural books. This has none of that in it and yet held my attention just as intently. I couldnt help but be amazed at the quality of writing in this novel. While there are skips through time it is all clearly defined so you can keep up. The charcters who are so wonderfully written reveal things to you at just the right pace to keep you intrigued and involved in the story. You come to care and grow attached to these charcters the more...more
Eileen Granfors
An Amazon Encore book. . .review soon. I liked it!

Mitch Quillen is battling a pre-mid-life crisis. He's fighting with his wife, his father is estranged but constantly calling the house, and his career is not so hot.

Craig Lancaster, in "The Summer Son," gives us a lot to think about in terms of our hopes, goals, dreams, and letting out the secrets that may hold us back. The past is the past, but we need to share it with others without playing the blame game.

In this novel, Mitch returns to his hom...more
Helene
This is the kind of fiction I like.

It was fate for me to pick up "The Summer Son" and read it when I did. I gobbled up the whole book in 2-3 days because it was so riveting. The storyline, albeit about a father-son relationship that's been tense for many years, spoke to my own current life situation so much.

Most importantly, the protagonist, Mitch, was very realistic, and not annoying (I've had my share of fiction with annoying protagonists in the past 2 years+). I could empathize with his inter...more
Helen
The Summer Son by Craig Lancaster, is about a man, Mitch Quillen, who decides he must settle things from his past in order to save his future. To do that, he’ll have to go back to confront his father and, if not make peace, then at least understand and accept the man that he ran away from.

The Summer Son is one of those books you might describe as an “onion.” It has many layers and bit by bit, the layers are peeled away down to the heart of the story.

Jim, the father in the story, is at times so...more
Maggie Doerle
Yes. Craig Lancaster is on my list of favorite authors. After reading the two Edward books it would have been easy for this book to disappoint. Let me say, it does not!!!! Far from it. It plumbs the depths of the human heart: the secrets, the pain, the shame, the rage, the love, the heartbreak that all of us carry within us. How easy it is to judge, to make assumptions. How painful it is to find the truth. Although this centers around a father/son relationship, it could be any relationship, howe...more
Jayne Gordon
My first thought when I finished this book was WOW! This is the third book I've read by Craig Lancaster. It was also one of the first books I bought for my Kindle, although I started and put it down way back then. Since then I read and thoroughly enjoyed both Edward books by Mr. Lancaster. While looking through my Kindle for my next read, I came across Summer Son, noticed that it was by Mr. Lancaster, started reading it and didn't put it down except to sleep and work. An excellent, very well wri...more
Catskillblogger
This was a really solid book by a new to me author. It wasn't a particular enjoyable book, there were a few moments that were difficult to read. But it was a well crafted, memorable story.

The thing that made this book for me was the character Jim and his role of a father. It's a subject I find fascinating, I love seeing strong father figures, especially when it's not clear what kind of father the man is as men often adopt a gruff exterior. Often they aren't vocal about what they are feeling, in...more
Colette
Loved it..I give it four and a half stars..I felt like getting up and applauding when I finished. So raw and real and poignant. Hoping to read a lot more by this author in the future.
Lisa Christen
Mitch Quillen doesn't have all that much going for him right now. His relationship with his wife is going through some tough times, his job isn't going any better, and his relationship with his dad is non-existent. Then out of the blue, his dad begins calling, but they never say much to each other and hang-up.

So begins the story of an adult son seeking out the answers to his struggles with his dad and why their relationship is non-existent. What you will find out with this book is that is a dar...more
Dana Tillman
Intriguing!

Great story about how several people can experience the same circumstance but have totally different viewpoints. This story was well written & definitely begs the question "why do I do this". The family dynamic that played out in Mick's childhood affected the way he related to his family & his marriage. This story shows that nothing is as it seems & it's never too late to fix what has been broken. I really enjoyed this book. Take a moment to read & the events in your l...more
Sam
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Mitch receives some confusing phone calls from his Dad Jim and decides to visit him in Montana to find out what's wrong. They've had a difficult relationship since 1979; Mitch's parents were divorced and he would spend every summer with his Dad and older brother Jerry who worked for him. During that fateful summer Mitch was sent home early by Jim and it has affected their father son relationship ever since, by the end of the story we know the reason why. The story moves betwe...more
Charley
Mitch is your average late 30s man, wife, two young children, but with problems at home. One week, he starts getting calls from his father who he’d been largely estranged from, save for the funeral of his mother. These calls are short, and usually end with his father insisting that the calls were for “nothing important” and hanging up. At the insistence of his wife, at first to give him a break from the environment at home, and later, to solve the mystery of why his father is calling and hanging...more
Page (One Book At A Time)

Lancaster's debut novel 600 Hours of Edward was one of my favorite books of 2009. So, needless to say, I was more than happy to review his sophomore effort.


Lancaster creates characters that you can identify with. Mitch is no exception. I really felt his struggle with is wife and his battle to try to figure out the best way to save his marriage. I also felt his struggle with himself and the things he's burried so deep even he's not sure what exactly they are. But most of all, I really felt his s...more
Deborah Gray
I picked this up last year when it was in its ARC stage (Advance Reader Copy) so it was free. IMO, the cover is less than inspired, making no attempt to lure me into its pages, and the novel languished on my bookshelf for a few months.

When I decided to read it this week, it took me two days to finish it during which I could hardly put it down. Pacing, style, dialogue and story were all well-executed and every bit as good as any mainstream novel from a big publishing house. Originally, I assumed...more
Marty Beaudet
This was an ordinary story in many ways: a son of divorced parents, spending the summer with his dad, growing up in the process. It's juxtaposed with the adult son returning to assist a now enfeebled father and probing for answers to the questions that were raised during that summer so long ago. Therein lies the mystery. It's not earthshattering in the cosmic sense. It has no universal implications. It is, at heart, a human interest story. The storytelling is so smooth that one gets the sense it...more
Maryann
Mar 24, 2011 Maryann rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes a good mainstream novel about relationships.
The Summer Son
Craig Lancaster
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: AmazonEncore (January 25, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1935597248
ISBN-13: 978-1935597247


Craig Lancaster has a knack for exploring relationships on all levels, and The Summer Son does that as well as any book out there.

Mitch Quillen has had a rocky relationship with his father that has dwindled into two phone calls a year and maybe two visits in 25 years. All of a sudden his father, Jim, starts calling frequently but won't say wh...more
Elsa
Rate: 4/5

Favorite Quote: "You love them, don't you?".."I do." "You hang on, then. You hang on, and don't let go."

Cover: Not that amusing.

The Summer Son, by Craig Lancaster, is a story about Mitch Quillen, a husband, father, and son who finds himself struggling in all aspects of his life, including work. Mitch, raised by his divorced mother and hurt by his childhood memories of his summer vacations with his father, has gone on with life and left aside his past, until his father has reaches out t...more
Deidra Ann
When I started it I was a bit apprehensive about it. It took a chapter or two to really get into it, but I was glad I didn't give it up. The story turned into something emotional and touching, all the while throwing me for a complete loop as I could not anticipate what would become of it. It shows a complex relationship of parent and child from early childhood well into adulthood, and how sometimes our children will never be able to understand our actions.
Marie
I got The Summer Son for my Kindle because the trial pages sounded good to me and I wanted to know what happens. It took me over 6 weeks to finish this book which doesn't mean it's bad, just that up until about the middle, it was possible to put it aside and read something else for a while and I did this frequently. The second half was less easily put aside and I really liked when all the sercets were revealed. It's a good story about family and dark pasts but I will not go into a huge rant abou...more
Barbara
I won this book through Goodreads and received an autographed copy - which was a great surprise. Not sure if I would've picked this book up if I had seen it in the book store, but was really glad that I had the opportunity to read it. Was an excellent read, quick and easy, but it certainly gave the reader a lot to think about as far as father/son relationships and how children perceive their parents - what they "think" they know versus what was real. How easy it is for a child to make judgements...more
Jill Burkinshaw
I loved this book it is the first one by this Author I have read. The story was very believable and kept me gripped right to the end with a very unexpected twist at the end. I liked the way the story went from past to present along the same kind of time frame and always gave dates so I knew where we were up to.
Karen Lowe
Not my usual sort of read, but I was thoroughly engrossed from start to finish. Strong,silent men, deep-running emotion and resentments, dark secrets - it's a terrific read. The characters and settings are vividly portrayed, and the pace of the book is superbly handled.
Natalie
Craig Lancaster does not disappoint readers with his second novel The Summer Son. A powerful, moving story that is intense at times and keeps the readers attention the whole way through.

The story begins with Mitch as an adult, receiving mysterious phone calls from his dad. His life is in a quandary and spiraling fast out of control. After much deliberation with his wife, he goes to his dad to find the missing puzzle pieces to the jigsaw of his life.

Throughout the story, there is a mystery to wh...more
Kelly Knaus
A Real Page Turner

This book kept my attention right up until the very last page! I highly recommended this book to anyone looking for a good drama.
Angie
Undecided. Read in 2 sittings but not sure if I enjoyed it or just wanted to finish it. A few clever twists but a few predictable ones too..... hmmmm.......
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When Craig Lancaster moved to Montana in 2006, at the age of 36, it was the realization of a dream he’d harbored since childhood, one that he figured had been overtaken by events, as so many dreams are.

“I have these incredibly vivid memories of visiting Montana with my folks on family vacations, and following my dad, an itinerant laborer who worked in the oil and gas fields of the West when I was...more
More about Craig Lancaster...
600 Hours of Edward Edward Adrift Quantum Physics and the Art of Departure This is Butte. You Have Ten Minutes. Six-Hundred Hours of a Life: Or: They say you get 630,270, But I Don't Like to Assume

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“There's a saying about ranch women. When they're 30, they look 50. When they're 80, they look 50.” 1 likes
“For everything I wished were different about the old man, I found comfort in just as many things that never changed.” 1 likes
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